Mohammad Fayaz has become the talk of town for building a small aircraft at his house in Pakpattan.
The flight didn’t go as he planned because he was stopped by the police. He used the metal link road as a runway to take off on his maiden flight and took several rounds in the air before being arrested.
“I have wanted to become a pilot since I was a child,” he told SAMAA TV. “I wanted to be recruited in the Pakistan Air Force.”
One of his teachers, Yaqoob sahab, a retired subedar, used to tell him stories of what happens during the Army recruitment process and that used to fascinate him a lot.
His father was a supervisor at Ittefaq Sugar Mills. “Whenever I got the time, I used to sit with my father and ask him how machines worked.
“My dad would always tell me that I am very smart and that I will definitely become a pilot,” he shared.
Life, however, had a different plan for Fayaz. When he was in class nine, his father became unwell. “I had to leave my studies and start earning for the family.” He even had to sell his four Kanal land. His father passed away and he had to take up the responsibility of earning for his family.
“I took on the role but I never let my passion die,” he said.
He started selling popcorn in the morning and then worked as a security guard at the University of Lahore at night. “I earned Rs15,000 working as a security guard and saved that money to build my aircraft.”
He had already saved Rs50,000 from before.
Fayaz soon started working on the aircraft. “I would save my two months salaries and then buy the engine or some other part of the plane.” It took me a year to build it, he said. It cost him Rs90,000.
The plane works on petrol, he explained.
The plane has the engine of a road cutter which Fayaz bought for Rs33,000. It runs on petrol and the capacity of its fuel tank is 10 litres. The plane can fly for continuous two to three hours, he said. “This is more than enough to take it to Lahore or Faisalabad.”
Fayaz has requested Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to take notice of police capturing his plane. “I want the chance to improve on my design.”
‘Police made me feel like a terrorist’
On his arrest, he said that he was just flying his plane but the police hit him. “They beat me up and then arrested me.”
He remarked that he felt like a terrorist or a wanted criminal. “I kept thinking that I shouldn’t have done this.”
I just want to work for the betterment of the country, he added.