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FAVOURITE GADGET


FAVOURITE GADGET... Madhavan's spirits are soaring. The actor experiences a high when he indulges his passion for flying … remote-operated aircraft!

“Flying a remote-controlled aircraft is the next best thing to possessing your own set of wings. After a flying session, I feel refreshed — as if I have emerged from a dip in a waterfall.

“I developed a fascination for flying thanks to my friend-cum-instructor Arivind from Chennai. He's a cameraman. There is no official club in Chennai where we fly these aircraft; but we go outside the city limits to practise. Every precaution for the safety of all concerned is taken before we fly our remote-operated copters.


AEROBATICS...“The size of these choppers is anywhere from 8 inches to three-and-a-half feet in layman's terms. In chopper and engine terminology, it would be 30 size, 50 size, 60 size, 90 size and so on. I fly a raptor 50 3d. I love it when I can make it do aerobatics.

“The chopper handbook says: ‘If you are not crashing, you are not flying.' I have crashed many times, and with every crash my ego gets shattered more than the chopper. That's because one gets emotionally attached to one's Bird. The physical damage to the chopper is repairable but one's self-esteem takes much longer to heal. I sometimes feel I get more affected by a bad day of flying than a film that flops.

“Flying is an expensive hobby. The best place to buy choppers is Singapore, Dubai and the U.S. The cost varies from Rs. 8,000 for an electric chopper to Rs. 2,15,000 for a top-of-the-line gas chopper to about Rs. 4-5 lakh for a turbine chopper. On an average, you spend Rs. 7,000-8,000 for repairs on a modest crash.

FLYING HIGH...“For me, my fondness for this gadget is a great plus. Since we fly very early in the morning, it prevents me from hitting the nightclubs or partying till late. That means money well-spent.

“I did consider flying planes — real ones — as a vocation during my NCC days. I flew a bit during my stint in the U.K. as well, but not long enough to clock up flying hours. But it is just a question of time before every upper middle-class household in India has a hangar in its backyard.”

DINESH RAHEJA

Bollywood News Service

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