IAF Helmet Propels Aviation Collector's Fancy
By Anantha Krishnan M - BANGALORE
Published: 08th Dec 2013 10:24:16 AM
Scott Bouchard, an aviation enthusiast and pilot equipment collector from Sharnford (Leicestershire, England) has the Indian Air Force (IAF) on his radar. A technical specialist with Rolls-Royce Energy, 31-year-old Scott is on a mission to source a flying helmet used by the IAF pilots.
Scott said he fell in love with the IAF assets after having a close look at the HAL-built Ajeet aircraft, while on a business trip to the US, in 2010.
“I am very familiar with the Folland Gnat, so it was a pleasure to have a close look at the Ajeet. Any opportunity to link my hobby with the IAF would be quite interesting,” he added. He has followed the interests from his father and late grandfather, who was a pilot during World War II.
Scott displays his aviation equipment collection during the annual ‘Cockpit- Fest events’ at the Newark Air Museum, UK.
Till date, Scott has collected 30 helmets with oxygen masks, from the UK, US, Russia, Poland, Spain and France.
A senior IAF official said that the old helmets are generally sent to the logistics section after they are identified as ‘not fit to use.’ “There are also auctions at times,” he added. Scott said he works on a limited budget while chasing his passion. “I am trying to build the collection as cheaply as possible. But if a purchase opportunity arises in India, I do have items I could sell to raise the money,” Scott said.