Coming soon air ambulances and taxis

We are in talks with a French aircraft manufacturing firm to get gyrocopters, says Captain Ram Prasad of Aviator World
VISAKHAPATNAM: Om Prakash Saran’s powered parachute (PPC) rumbled down the 50-metre airstrip over the verdant hills of Araku Valley. After a ride into the winter mist flying at 150 feet above ground, flying instructor Saran, a former paratrooper in the Indian Air Force, and his trainee touched down smoothly. It was an unusual sight for the tribals of Araku as they witnessed the colourful winged beauty glide down like a bird. The ride was a part of the practical training lessons for the first batch of students of Aviator World, a general aviation firm.
The Vizag-based firm that kick-started its operations in March is soon planning to launch specialised services such as air ambulances, air taxis, aerial marketing and aerial tours for tourists. Currently, Aviator World provides training in two powered parachutes (Pegasus and Buckeye) and plans to enhance its fleet by bringing in gyrocopters (a hybrid between helicopters and gliders). “We are in talks with a French aircraft manufacturing firm to get gyrocopters to India and start services like air ambulances, police convoys, aerial crop spraying, aerial advertisements and air taxis in AP in the next six months. Once the DGCA clearances are done, we plan to tie-up with EMRI 108 services for air ambulances and amusement parks in cities for tourist joy rides,” Captain Ram Prasad of Aviator World told The Hindu.
This smaller, lighter version of the chopper may perhaps be the answer to the country’s burgeoning traffic problems. And it is a cost-effective alternative to other aircraft carriers. Priced Rs. 40 lakh onward, it is about the same as a luxury car. The low cost and low fuel consumption make the gyrocopter an attractive proposition for air ambulance services. “Also, it uses power petrol as fuel and not ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel) which is a major financial burden for all the airlines. Gyrocopters do not require more than 50 metres runway space which makes it an ideal alternative mode of transport,” Captain Ram added.
Till now, the firm has focussed on giving training in powered parachutes for one-year and six-month certification courses in PPC pilot, field officer, mechanical operations and repair, flying instructor and ground instructor categories.
“By January, we plan to start tourist aerial ride services in the three aerial strips in Araku and will be adding four more powered parachutes shortly,” he said. Prasad served the Philippines based airline firm Cyclone Airways as a commercial pilot for two-and-a-half years before setting up his first aviation training institute in Vijayawada in 2012 for a brief period. He later joined hands with Om Prakash Saran and Captain Ram Chandran, an NCC officer, to set a new base in Vizag this year. The firm that has offices in Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Bangalore and Vizag plans to expand to Guntur and Bhubaneswar within a month. Any person, who is medically fit and above 18 years of age, can enrol for the courses.