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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

On trial run of helicopter he built, man known as ‘Yavatmal’s Rancho’ dies in rotor blade mishap

His friends said Sheikh Ismail was preparing to launch his 'Munna Helicopter' on Independence Day.

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur |
Updated: August 12, 2021 8:20:34 am
On trial run of helicopter he built, man known as ‘Yavatmal’s Rancho’ dies in rotor blade mishapSheikh Ismail wanted to dedicate helicopter to nation on I-Day.

A 28-year old man, who dreamed of making his own helicopter and launching a manufacturing company one day, died from the impact of one of the rotor blades of the copter during a trial run on Tuesday night at Fulsawangi village in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra.

His friends said Sheikh Ismail was preparing to launch his ‘Munna Helicopter’ on Independence Day. He wanted the helicopter to be a low-cost alternative for personal use or for the government, to be deployed for rescue operations during floods and other calamities.

Ismail had studied only up to Class 7 but was famous as Yavatmal’s ‘Rancho’ for his mechanical experiments. A metal sheet worker, he ran a small workshop at his village, where he was pursuing his dream of making his own helicopter over the last three years.

Khurshid Akram, a trader from nearby Pusad town who was a close acquaintance of Ismail’s, said, “His dream came to a sad end when the tail rotor blades crashed into the main rotor blades during a trial on Tuesday night. Apparently, one of the broken rotor blades was swept into the cabin and hit him in the head, leading to his death.”

Ismail had studied only up to Class 7 but was famous as Yavatmal’s ‘Rancho’ for his mechanical experiments.

“He was apparently in a hurry to launch the helicopter on Independence Day and dedicate it to the nation. I had tried to tell him to make a checklist and inspect everything properly. He had got the RPM meter for the main rotor but didn’t have one for the tail rotor. It seems when he throttled the accelerator, he didn’t have an idea about the tail rotor’s speed, which might have led to the accident,” said Akram, who claimed that he had often provided whatever help Ismail needed, including funds.

“He used to say that his helicopter would cost the buyer only Rs 7-8 lakh and would be a cheap option for various kinds of use. He had used the engine of a Maruti 800 to make the prototype,” said Akram.

“Ismail would often say that he would present his helicopter to the nation as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, and had written the slogan on his chopper,” he added.

Police Inspector Vilas Chavan of Mahagaon, the local police station, said, “He had been making the one-seater helicopter since the past three years and his dream was to make a six-seater helicopter for only Rs 30 lakh, so it could be widely used. He wanted to conduct a public launch of the chopper on August 15. But last night, the tail rotor broke away and hit the main rotor, and the impact hit Ismail. He used to wear a helmet every time he would conduct a trial run. But on Tuesday, he reportedly didn’t wear one. He succumbed to the head injury in the hospital.”
Ismail had learnt the art of metal sheet work from his father Sheikh Ibrahim.

Ismail is survived by his father Sheikh Ibrahim, mother Nazarjaan Bano, brother Sheikh Mainuddin and sister Saika Bano.They couldn’t be reached for comment.

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