We all heard the bizarre news of an average Pakistani citizen who against all odds made his very own fully functional plane out of nothing more than spare parts from here and there. The news was met with laughter and ridicule by most of us and for everyone else, he was either a hero or a mad man.
Now, the hard work and passion of this popcorn seller and aviation enthusiast has caught the eye and respect of the Pakistan Air Force merely based on his unfaltering drive to break barriers.
Muhammad Fayyaz’s story resonates with so many of us disillusioned but hopeful nation of dreamers because he is a prime example of what sheer drive and determination can help you achieve especially when the odds were never in your favour.
In a report by The News, Fayyaz stated that having no prior experience or knowledge did not stop him and he made his prototype off of what he saw online, “I was literally in the air. I couldn’t feel anything else.”
Fayyaz added that this experiment stemmed from a lifelong dream to become a pilot in the air force but after his father’s untimely demise, he was forced to drop out of school to provide for his family instead. Even at the age of 32, however, the fire only burns brighter as Fayyaz claims he has finally gained the recognition he so ardently desired. According to him, representatives from PAF have already visited him multiple times and have awarded him certification for his efforts.
The aircraft in question has also become a star attraction in Fayyaz’s hometown of Tabur where people come from far and wide to feast their eyes on this marvel.
Working day and night at many odd jobs, selling some of his family’s land and even taking out a loan from an NGO, Fayyaz slowly and gradually saved up enough to create the tiny yet formidable looking aircraft off of blueprints, models and other technicalities he saw on National Geographic’s Air Crash Investigation.
As per the report, his mother and other family members were worried about this dream of his, “I kept telling him to stop. I kept telling him to concentrate on his family and work, he was being crazy over nothing. But he didn’t listen to a single word,” says his mother Mumtaz Bibi.
He set forth to test out his experiment back in February and claims that this first test drive managed to lift him off the ground for about 2 to 3 kilometers. For the main event, Fayyaz chose Pakistan Day to unveil his creation in front of a crowd expected to be around 100 people. This is when local police intervened, regarding this experiment as a potential safety threat.
“I felt as though I had committed one of the worst acts in the world, as though I am the worst person in Pakistan. I had been locked up with criminals,” says Fayyaz.
However, soon after the pioneering pilot was released and his aircraft was returned to him and as per local reports, he is now free to fly if he ever gets his flying license. Talk about an inspirational story!