Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

What’s the link between Air India and India’s first pilot’s licence? The answer lies in JRD Tata

The post highlighted how JRD ‘Jeh’ Tata’s love for flying that he nurtured since he was 15 that led him to start Tata Air Service.

jrd tata, tata group air india, air india, jrd tata pilot licence, india first commercial pilot licence, jrd tata air india inaugural flight, indian expressJRD Tata prepares to take off from Karachi, on his inaugural flight carrying cargo of mail to Bombay in 1932. (Source: Express archive)

After nearly seven decades, the Tata Group regained control of the country’s national carrier Air India. While it’s a known fact that the group was responsible for founding the company, did you know it has a connection with India’s first pilot’s licence as well? A social media post shared by the company has piqued the interest of many online.

Tata has shared an interesting anecdote about JRD ‘Jeh’ Tata, the founder of the company. The visionary industrialist, who was also known for his passion as an aviator, “earned the first commercial aviator’s certificate” in the country on February 10, 1929.

“Jeh not only set up India’s first airline — Tata Air Service, which later became Air India — but also went on to pilot its inaugural flight,” the post added. On October 15, 1932, as a pilot, JRD Tata undertook the first-ever flight from Karachi to Mumbai.


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A post shared by Tata Group (@tatacompanies)

“He soared into the sky from Karachi in a Puss Moth, flying towards Bombay at what was then a ‘dazzling 100 miles an hour’,” the post added, sharing an image of him along with the aircraft.

“All he was armed with was a pair of goggles, his trusted slide rule that he always carried on flights, ‘a silent prayer’, and his little blue and gold aviator’s certificate that bore the Number 1,” the company said.

It also shared picture of JRD Tata’s licence certificate that helped him in “fulfilling a dream that he had nurtured since he was 15 and setting the stage for the much bigger dream of giving wings to the nation.”

When talks on the Air India sale began last year, a letter written to JRD Tata by Indira Gandhi had gone viral. The takeover of the airline was completed on January 27, this year, after the group won a bid of Rs 18,000 crore.

First published on: 12-02-2022 at 11:25:52 am
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