Seven years ago, Amol Yadav announced to his family and friends that he would build an aeroplane on the roof of a boxy apartment building in the teeming Indian city of Mumbai.
Incredulous friends and family members asked the young pilot how he planned to bring the plane down once it was complete.
“I really don’t know,” he told them.
The five-storey building, home to his 19-member joint family, didn’t have a lift, so they lugged factory lathes, compressors, welding machines, and an imported 180kg (396lb) engine up the narrow stairwell to the roof.
Braving sticky summers and torrential monsoon rains, Mr Yadav and his motley crew – an automobile garage mechanic and an expert fabricator – worked under a tarp shed on the unkempt 111.5 sq m (1,200 sq ft) roof, less than half the size of a tennis court.
In February last year, his six-seater propeller plane was ready…
Words by Soutik Biswas