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Inspired By Biju Patnaik, Odisha's Village Lad Becomes Commercial Pilot

01 December 2017

Sangita Agarwal

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Bhubaneswar: As Commander Tushar Mohanta braces up for his next flight, the passengers seem to be at ease to be flown by such an experienced pilot. Criss-crossing the skies, this undaunted pilot had completed his journey from a small nondescript village of Mayurbhanj to the cockpit of the plane.

Eleven years into the flying feat, Tushar had always dreamt of being in this profession ever since he was in school. His schooling was in Champua, Betnoti and Karanjia villages, the rural pockets of tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj, but he pursued his higher studies in the prestigious BJB College of Bhubaneswar.

Tushar was highly inspired by the flying skills of former Chief Minister of Odisha, Biju Patnaik, who was also known for his dare devil exploits as a pilot in the years before and soon after India's Independence in 1947. He chanced to see him alighting from an aircraft while he was in his primary school at Champua village.

Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, Tushar said, “Though the people around me tried to convince not to hanker after this profession, I was passionate about flying and my father supported my indomitable spirit to achieve my goals. I joined Flying Club in Bhubaneswar and completed one year of training just after completing my 12th in Science stream. At that time, the aviation industry in India had not developed properly."

But this did not deter the young pilot. Not looking back, he then underwent 2 years of professional training in Indira Gandhi Flying Academy at Raibareilli and got absorbed in the prestigious Indian Airlines as a pilot at a young age of 21.

Based in Kolkata, this pilot now lives with his parents, wife and a small son.

"I was lucky to have a very encouraging father who supported me blindly to go in for my goals. Though he was just a bank employee, he never forced me to take up any other training or profession. One should be focussed and determined to achieve one’s goal. Then, nothing can stop a person to get his desired objective," he added.

Being the only child of his parents, Tushar never let his parents down. He broke away all the pre-conceived notions about flying and touched the heights of success, thus, setting an example for other youngsters having a rural background. who have been trying their luck in aviation industry.

“I still have a long way to go. Though I fly to Saudi and South East Asia now, I am aiming for bigger aircrafts and endeavour to pilot intercontinental flights to Europe and US,” signs off Commander Tushar Mohanta.

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Tushar Mohanta, Pilot