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Old 21st February 2008, 12:24   #1
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Default Interesting aviator tales from Hyderabad

Baqar Bilgrami, a good friend of Dad's, was an ace pilot. More of a daredevil.

Once Dad recalls he walked onto the tarmac at the Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad to a huge commotion to find Baqar uncle bragging to friends and staff at the airfield that he could take off a Chipmunk from a standstill.

Now that obviously defies all logic and surely everyone erupted into a vociferous "No" challenging him to prove it.

Dad himself couldn't believe that was possible as it simply defies all known logic in how an aircraft can take off. You need to taxi along the runway for a minimum distance before the craft can pull up. But he knew Baqar uncle was a genious of sorts and didn't join the boisterous wagering that mustve taken place as everyone scrambled to make a pie at Baqar uncle's expense.

The Chipmunk was lined up and Baqar uncle instructed friends to place wheel chocks. He told them that only when he signalled were they to pull the chocks away.

Dad remembers how dumbstruck he stood there as Baqar uncle revved the little Chipmunk to full throttle. The tiny plane was literally dancing around the chocks like a monkey on steroids.

As Baqar uncle gave the signal and the chocks were pulled away the plane actually sprang into air and took off with ABSOLUTELY NO TAXI!!!!! leaving a totally dumbstruck and flabberghasted crowd behind.

On yet another occasion during his visit to England Baqar uncle ended up being arrested by the police for flying a plane under the famous Tower Bridge...so much for daredevil stunts!!!

His antics had driven the Airport authorities/flight club staff up the wall and there were strong rumours they were planning to cancel his license and possibly ban him from flying.

Now this was serious and it all had gone too far. Being the bright mind that he was Baqar uncle got out of this brilliantly.

On one of Sardar Patel's (the Iron Man of India ofcourse) trips to Hyderabad, somehow, Baqar uncle managed to get onto Sardar Patel's plane from Aurangabad.

As the plane taxi'd to a halt on the tarmac at Hyderabad with dignitaries all lined up to welcome Sardar Patel, who had a reputation of being a terror of sorts, the door of the plane opens and, as Dad recalls, out steps Baqar uncle first with Sardar Patel following holding Baqar uncle's hand!!!

Now imagine the scene. With all the senior airport staff wanting to bar Baqar uncle from flying, and here he walks out of a plane with one of the most powerful men in India at the time.

Dad tells me how, much to Baqar uncle's glee and relief, quite mysteriously all records of misconduct were erased promptly by the authorities and he went on to many more flights of fancy!!!

On yet another occasion Dad had taken out a friend on a sortee in a Chipmunk and apparently did some low flying (dangerously low flying????) over Gandipet (Osman Sagar Lake). The tyres apparently touched water and when he landed back at Begumpet he was asked...hey Chandu so you took the plane home for a wash eh???...when Dad tried to play innocent the staff affectionately chided him warning him not to pull any such stunts again and let him off!

These are just some of the countlless tales the older generations in our towns can regales us with. I would urge all you guys to chat up oldies known to you on the fun they had with cars and bikes and planes and horses and you won't believe the treasure trove of interesting tales you will uncover.

Like us the generations before too had loads of fun being petrol heads..or horse heads???..and its fun to sit down some lazy afternoon and chat to your heart's content.
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Old 21st February 2008, 14:49   #2
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wow..lovely stuff...you are filling up the forum with stories..thanks for sharing this...and more...why don't you jump in for next meet?
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Old 21st February 2008, 20:00   #3
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You need tocome to India, and I will buy you a mug of your favorite poison/bew and we gotto hear all those stories. Time for another (Inter)National meet, Ishan?
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Old 21st February 2008, 21:28   #4
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Default Sahara Forest

My grandfather was a great lumberjack in his youth. At least, that is what everybody said, mostly him.

One day he came to me and said, "Sonny, did I ever tell you about the time I cut down and cleared the Sahara Forest?

I said to him, "Grandfather, you are telling me another one of your awful stories. I have got you this time. The Sahara is a great desert, not a forest."

He smiled at me and winked and said, "Sure it is. Now."
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Old 1st September 2012, 23:12   #5
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Default Re: Interesting aviator tales from Hyderabad

DKG, I immensely enjoyed reading this thread and the anecdote about Baqar uncle. I spent my school and college days in Hyderabad in the 80s, and have fond memories of Hyderabad. Reading about Begumpet airport and Gandipet brought a lot of old memories of the time I spent cycling around the twin-cities in the 80s. In those days, I had a Hero sports bike and used to cycle to Ghatkesar, Golconda Fort, parts of Old City and Gandipet, and exploring those areas. Today, the spirit is the same ..except that I now do it on a Wagon-R. But the fun I had with my cycle was something else. Thanks for this post. It also brought back memories of reading Biggles novels. Also I have to tell you that you have a great storytelling talent. Your post made the entire Begumpet, Sardar Patel story vivid.
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Old 2nd September 2012, 01:14   #6
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Default Re: Interesting aviator tales from Hyderabad

Baqar uncle seems to be a jolly good fellow! But alas, those men are gone as is the days when one could take such chances or liberties (depends on your point of view!). Not only are the machines that fly much costlier, but the flying environment itself has changed so much that such incidents as mentioned above are truly folklore today!
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