JRD Tata was India’s first Licensed Pilot

Indian industrialist JRD Tata, widely regarded as the father of Indian civil aviation, became the first person to obtain a commercial pilot license in India in 1929, with ‘No. 1’ printed on his license. Born on July 29, 1904, the aviator and entrepreneur launched India’s first airmail service three years later, which later became the country’s national carrier, Air India.

June 29 is the birth anniversary of JRD Tata. Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was an Indian aviator and business tycoon who became India’s first licensed pilot in 1929 and went on start India’s first commercial airline. Tata Airlines was established in 1932 and JRD flew its first aircraft carrying mail from Karachi to Bombay (present-day Mumbai) and then continuing on to Madras (present-day Chennai). The aircraft JRD Tata flew on that historic flight was a single-engine De Havilland Puss Moth. Tata Airlines went public in World War II and changed its name to Air India. At one point Air India was one of the largest airlines in the Indian subcontinent.

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