*My dream has come true: Asha
By Pradeep Kumar
NAHARLAGUN | Oct 30 | “Joining Skyone Airways is a dream come true,” cabin crew Tago Asha smilingly said while getting down from the chopper on flying back to the helipad here after day-long duty.
Head of operations Deepraj Sirohi said that the company was looking for cabin crew since long but most of the women were interested only in big cities as Arunachal Pradesh was never their choice despite any offer. “We managed to zero down to two women from NE and ultimately Asha proved the desired commitment for her love for her land and has been offered much better terms and conditions than any big airliner,” Sirohi said.
After doing schooling from Don Bosco while pursuing graduation, Asha’s childhood dream to move to places and fly took her to Guwahati-based Frankfinn where she pursued year-long airhostess course and served Jet Airways for three years before getting this offer and gladly accepted, she said.
Daughter of ASI Tago James and GoAP employee mother Tago Yapu, she is the third of their seven off springs, including five brothers.
“I faced many a ups and downs and struggled hard in my life to reach where I am today. Though my goal has been achieved, I am very happy but want to rise to higher ladders to win name and fame for my country Bharat, Arunachal Pradesh in particular,” she said with confidence lit large over her face.
After selection, I had to undergo tough training – one moth practical in Delhi on medical, security, fire fighting, etc followed by practical and theory training here, she said, adding the cabin crew and air hostess after lot of tests and training only get the chance to serve the flying passengers.
Skyone is the only helicopter company in India with Mintoo Nagpaul as director which flies MI-172 helicopters and three of its total four are deployed in Arunachal, Sirohi said. There are 10 pilots, mostly former IAF pilots, including two foreigners, five cabin crew, 35 air maintenance engineers including two foreigners while Paranjape is cabin crew instructor, he informed.
“As maintenance is mandatory after every flying even for new copter, the helicopters are maintained in helipad itself to ensure safe flying,” Sirohi said, adding that Skyone after signing an MoU with state Govt has been operating in this Himalayan state since Sept 2014 and Asha’s selection aimed at giving something back to the state and prove that Arunachalee girl are equally competent. Or else, she would not have achieved triple records – 1st Arunachalee to qualify such professional course, 1st woman ever to become helicopter cabin crew in India and1st Arunachalee to join Skyone Airways.
MI-172 manufactured by Kazan Helicopters (Russia) and equipped with 2 TV3-117VM engines, is one of the most popular MI helicopters in the world because of its versatility, multi-mission capability, high performance and endurance. VNH South has been efficiently operating this chopper for ONGC & VIP transportation.
New Delhi has sent an official request to Moscow to begin joint production of civilian aircraft for India, said Russian Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov. Moreover, PM Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladmir Putin had a discussion on this issue in New Delhi on 14.10.16.
“There are plans for a joint venture to produce and supply Ka-226T utility helicopters. An agreement to build up to 200 helicopters including servicing, repair and technical assistance is expected to be signed. Russian Helicopters Holding is taking part in a tender to supply two civil Mi-172 helicopters, in addition to those that are already operating in India,” Manturov had told Economic Times.
India has been a traditional buyer of Russian arms since the 1950s. Over the last five years, about 70% of India’s military purchases came from Russia. Moreover, Mi-17 helicopter is in service in Angola, Hungary, India, North Korea, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru and Poland and used as civilian carrier by Air Koryo, national airline of North Korea, Pyongyang & Kaesong and Pyongyang & Haeju.