On Tuesday (August 10) night, a 24-year-old innovator and school dropout named Sheikh Ismail Sheikh Ibrahim succumbed to his injuries during a fatal accident on his DIY helicopter. The incident took place in the Fulsawangi village in Mahagaon tehsil in the Yavatmal district of Maharashtra.
As per reports, Ibrahim had dropped out of school when he was studying in class 8. He then began working with his elder brother Mussavir at his gas welding workshop. He learnt the art of making coolers, almirahs and other household items using steel and aluminium sheets. He was inspired by the character of ‘Rancho’ in the movie ‘3 idiots’ and wanted to make his village Fulsawangi famous. Using the skills that he honed while working at the workshop, Ibrahim designed a helicopter from scratch.
He had built the helicopter using information from Youtube videos. In a mammoth effort that lasted two years, Ibrahim was able to collect all the parts that are required to build the helicopter. According to his friend Sachin Ubale, the deceased innovator created the prototype of a single-seater helicopter. Ibrahim had used steel pipes and a Maruti 800 engine to build the helicopter. Ubale added that Ismail wanted to showcase the DIY helicopter to the public on the occasion of Independence Day.
On Tuesday night, Ismail decided to do a final trial run of the helicopter. As his friends gathered to witness the occasion, he started the engine, and shortly after the accident happen. As seen in the video shot by his friends, while rotating at very high speed, the blades of the tail rotor of the helicopter snapped, and pieces of it hit the main rotor blads. This caused the main rotor blades also to snap, and a piece of metal hit Ismail at a very high speed.
Ismail did not wear protective gear while testing his chopper
“Ismail wanted to exhibit the helicopter to the public on Independence Day this year and so he decided to test the flying machine near his workshop. On Tuesday night, he occupied the pilot seat and started the engine as some of his friends watched in awe. Even before anyone could understand what was happening, a piece of the broken blade slashed Ismail’s throat and he collapsed to the ground. He used to test the functioning of the chopper very often. Earlier, he had been successful in lifting the helicopter 5 feet above the ground. It was his final trial on Tuesday,” Ubale said.
Young Sheikh Ismail from Fulsawangi in Yavatmal (Maharashtra) built a helicopter which he wanted to launch on Aug 15. The trial run became fatal for welder-turned-innovator on Tuesday ngt. Fondly called ‘Munna Helicopter’, he left inspiring memories behind. RIP, Dear Rancho. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/EwG3IoS7w3— Dharmendra Jore (@dharmendrajore) August 12, 2021
The deceased’s friend informed that Ismail would wear a helmet and headphones while testing the helicopter. However, on the fateful night, he did not wear any protective gear. His friends were thrilled to see Ismail testing out his DIY chopper. Their happiness was short-lived as the helicopter malfunctioned within minutes. After the pieces of the blades slit the throat of Ismail, he fell down from the helicopter. He began bleeding profusely and was rushed to a hospital at Pusad. However, he succumbed to his injuries even before the doctors could begin the treatment. A video of the incident had gone viral on social media.
Ismail wanted to dedicate the chopper under ‘Make in India’ initiative on Independence Day
Ismail was cremated on Wednesday (July 11) amidst a large crowd of villagers. Following the incident, the police took the deceased’s elder brother and 3 friends to the station to the station for further probe. Reportedly, the cops will now seize the helicopter that led to Ismail’s death. According to trader Khurshid Akram and a close acquaintance of the deceased, Ismail had named his vehicle after his nickname ‘Munna.’ He aspired to propose his chopper as a cheaper alternative for rescue operations during floods and for personal use.
Ismail used to say that his chopper would cost only ₹7-8 lac and could be used for various purposes. According to Akram, the deceased wanted to dedicate his DIY project as part of ‘Make in India’ initiative. He had even written the government’s slogan on his chopper. Akram said, “He was apparently in a hurry to launch the helicopter on Independence Day and dedicate it to the nation. I had tried to tell him to make a checklist and inspect everything properly.”
“It seems when he throttled the accelerator, he didn’t have an idea about the tail rotor’s speed, which might have led to the accident. He had got the RPM meter for the main rotor but didn’t have one for the tail rotor,” he added, Ismail is survived by his mother Nazarjaan Bano, father Sheikh Ibrahim, brother Sheikh Mainuddin and sister Saika Bano.