Hyderabad: A 23-year-old from Hyderabad, pursuing his Master’s in Aviation with a vertical in Airworthiness at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Rakesh Dhannarapu, is a debutant author whose first book revolves answering 101 flying secrets that every passenger should know as a traveller.
The book ‘101 flying secrets’ gives us an insight on some of the most unknown facts about aviation and flights and answers one’s queries under categories like the types and other aspects of an aircraft. It also addresses about what happens on the ground, what happens in the air, at the airport and other curious questions that need to be known by a regular flyer or a first-timer.
An aerospace engineer from the SRM University in Chennai, he has interned with Brahmos Aerospace, Bharat Dynamics Limited, GMR, Tata Advance systems LTD, National Aerospace Limited during his bachelor’s and wanted to pursue piloting.
But destiny had other plans for Rakesh as he was diagnosed with a medical issue. Even after this, he continued his ground training of 900 hours as a pilot in which he learnt on how to operate an aircraft.
During that phase, when he was bound to get a medical certification, he had to undergo a minor operation, which shattered his dreams of being a pilot.
It was during this year’s three-month summer vacation that he decided to pen down things that people should know about flying. He worked at Uber Eats to earn money.
“What one reads through the book written in the simplest language is what I’ve been taught in terms of physics, aerodynamics, mathematics and terms, which would be irrelevant to anyone,” he says on how he filtered the language and terminology.
“It’s like when you buy a mobile phone or any appliance, you’re given a user’s manual along with it. You know about it through the manual. But when it comes to flights, one trusts their life with the airlines without knowing anything about what’s happening. That’s the longest gap I see and the main reason behind writing the book as well”, says Rakesh.
“I’m emotive. But that wouldn’t work here as aviation involves a lot of technicalities. So not making it completely technical or emotional, I’ve maintained a balance between the two,” he reasons.
On Why 101? Just like cooking 101 or anything 101 are the basics or fundamentals or ABC’s of anything. I made a Google form and sent it to everyone I knew and told the same to them as well. That’s how I managed to get the 101 questions, he says.
“The questions that I asked might not be complex but the answers might have complex reasons that the passengers should know. The questions are framed in a child like manner but are very informative for any passenger”, he explains.
Taking it further, he points out, “Things like no flight list is something people hardly know, whereas questions like why is the flight coloured white are one of the most curious questions. There is a point of time which is the writer’s block. To go beyond the limits, I started exploring other things, which gave me options to make the book more creative. Creativity makes it attractive. I started looking at aviation from a different perspective. Having a wide exposure always helps.”
“I’m not only clarifying on the technicalities of people but also exposing myths and phobias that are in people’s minds. So having a balance between all the aspects that you want to put forward for the audience helps in maintaining the rhythm which is important”, he says.
Speaking about the role of family, he says – “It is important to give adequate exposure to parents. It is only then can they understand what their child is doing. You need to have parents who will show you the light at the end of the tunnel. I am blessed as wonderfully understanding and supportive parents.”
“Aircrafts always fly against the wind and not along with it. Similarly in life, we all have challenges to cross. So the greater the challenge, greater the journey and greater the outcome”, he says on what he learnt through his internship journey.
“101 Flying secrets” (Rs 2100) is available in stores across five States. It is also available on Amazon, Flipkart. The E-book (NotionPress), it is available on Amazon Kindle, Google playbooks.