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He Has Flown 12 Gujarat CMs!
June, 03rd 2008

There is only one person you can compare him with in Gujarat. Jagdish Thakkar who has been a PRO in the CMO with nine different chief ministers in saddle.

But, Thakkar has spent much time with CMs on the ground. Capt Ram Nath Dogra had them as captive audience in the air! In an aeroplane, there is nothing more important to listen than the pilot's voice booming through. And, the score

is three more than Thakkar's. Twelve chief ministers of Gujarat have heard Capt' Dogra saying: "Ready for landing, Sir. We are touching down at Ahmedabad airport."

In April this year, Capt Dogra completed 50 years of flying, 42 of them in Gujarat. At 68 years of age, how many people can claim that? Flying is in his blood. Both his sons have inherted this and are senior pilots with Air-India.

His critics said he stopped flying long back. He used to be the co-pilot, leaving the real flying to a younger colleague. But, Capt Dogra always had things under control. The younger pilots used to feel at ease with a person of such vast experience in flying, gliding, aeronautical engineering, operations and maintenance by their side.

He has not only flown VVIPs, he has sprayed pesticides in almost all districts of Gujarat and was also instrumental in artificial rain-making experiments in drought-prone areas of Gujarat. Till his retirement in 2004 as aviation advisor and joint secretary, civil aviation, government of Gujarat, he was in complete control of civil aviation in Gujarat.

His offer to work as an aviation advisor to the state government for an honorarium of Re 1 having been spurned, he is now moving on to Pawan-Hans Helicopter Limited, a Government of India undertaking, for a much larger sum. He is also considering another offer from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to audit flight training facilities across the country.

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