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Renault Triber showcases Gujarati plane-spotter Utkarsh Thakkar
Renault Triber showcases Gujarati plane-spotter Utkarsh Thakkar

Renault Triber showcases Gujarati lad Utkarsh Thakkar and his rather unique profession of "plane spotting"

ANI | Updated: Aug 30, 2021 15:58 IST

New Delhi [India], August 30 (ANI/Mediawire): They used to say that the world is shrinking because of our ability to reach any part of the globe, any time. Transportation plays a significant role in our lives.
Amongst that, arguably, cars and airplanes have Planes inspired the highest number of stories and lives. And it has resulted in creating new tribes of enthusiasts. One such story we tell today is of 26-year-old Utkarsh Thakkar, a car nut and a plane spotter.
Born and brought up in Mumbai, Utkarsh has family roots in Gujarat which keeps bringing him back to this vibrant state. Interestingly, a proud Renault Duster owner, we gave him the spacious and versatile Triber for one such trip where not only would he visit one of his favorite cities but also give us some inside information on his unique profession and passion.
Utkarsh goes by the name VimanSpotter on social media where he has a significant following of like-minded airplane lovers. His work involves posting never-before-seen angles and pictures of commercial airlines from different airports.
"My first experience of an airplane was back in 2002. Took my first flight - an international one, and solo, as a 7-year-old kid" he recalls Utkarsh. Love at first sight, you could say. The airplane bug bit him and there has been no looking back since. Even as a kid, his majority of outings with his dad involved visits to the far east side of the Mumbai airport and get a closer look at the commercial jets.

Once out of school, armed with a simple digital camera, Utkarsh ended up pursuing his passion whenever time permitted. He found out places around the airport which would offer a vantage point to shoot these flying beauties. Of course, it wasn't easy getting to these places as they were not easily accessible.
With the advent of social media, and a huge bank of aircraft pictures, he decided to join this tribe of global plane spotters. "In Indian mythology, a flying mode of transportation is called viman so I decided to use it as my identity and I became Viman-Spotter," he reveals.

While he hasn't learnt to fly yet, Utkarsh says he does the next best thing - drive. "I love cars and I love to drive," he adds. While Mumbai is my base, thanks to his ancestral connection with Gujarat, he is regular here to share his passion with a local plane spotter. "I like road trips but it is not about driving fast. I like to drive like a pilot - carefully, following all the protocols and rules - I enjoy it that way." So, his usual drill before a road trip is pre-drive checks, pretty much like pre-flight checks, he jokes. Safety is paramount for him and admires how the Triber, that was conceived, developed and produced in India, has managed to get a good score in Global NCAP crash test.
Utkarsh loves spotting in Ahmedabad as it offers better vantage points. Of course, it isn't always easy. "Plane spotting is not a common activity in India, so it is difficult to explain to authorities what we do. It is not meant to cause any trouble." Although he has been a Duster user for a long time, he likes the flexibility of the Triber's 7-seat configuration, especially noteworthy given that it is a sub-4m car. The extra seats are always welcome. "Always better to have friends along to help in my line of work because we need to check aircraft's correct flight path and times on apps and also manage camera equipment in time." And time is of essence. There is no chance of a re-take.

The Indian plane-spotting tribe is small but well-networked. The news of any new commercial airline coming to India creates a lot of excitement. Nowadays even aviation companies and airlines invite spotters for special occasions such as a first flight. "It is a great time to also catch up with other spotters."
Having worked closely with a commercial airline, Utkarsh now has a better perspective about the industry. "Earlier I used to think it was just the pilots and crew flying the plane," he laughs. "Now I know there is a whole army behind it."
While plane spotting is in its nascent stage in India, it will grow. "The tribe will increase as awareness increases. I hope to fly again freely, soon. But for now, I am even happy driving to different destinations to pursue my passion."
This story is provided by Mediawire. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article (ANI/Mediawire)