Efforts by a man from Nyeri to fly his home-made aircraft suffered another blow on Saturday afternoon after it failed to take off.
Gabriel Nderitu, 48, from Othaya is the man behind a gallant idea of coming up with the first locally assembled aircraft, but his attempt to fly has for the sixth time failed.
Mr nderitu told the Nation at Kiawara area in Kieni West Sub-County that he developed interest in aeronautical engineering soon after completing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from the University of Nairobi and later changed course and went for to a hardware engineering career.
“Interest drove me, and I am trying to encourage local innovation and research,” Mr Nderitu said.
In his latest attempt to fly, Mr Nderitu, with his team of five young men whom he hired two years ago, decided to improve the ground for take-off by making temporary platforms using wood boards.
The platform was to assist the aircraft ascend after taking off from the runway.
The incident attracted tens of curious onlookers with some opting to take videos and photos using their mobile phones.
And after two hours, Mr Nderitu made sure that everything was set for his test.
However, the aircraft nosedived after hitting the platform and crash-landed a few metres away.
However, there was no one on board since it was being operated using a remote control device.
Mr Nderitu said that he had travelled from Nairobi using a truck to come to Kiawara ground so that he could carry out his test because he could not find a good testing ground for his aircraft near the city.
He is now planning to request the Ministry of Roads and Infrastructure to allow him to test his next aircraft project one of the tarmacked airstrips that are not in use currently.
One of them is the Nyaribo airstrip in the outskirts of Nyeri Town which, since its rehabilitation three years ago, is still not in use.
Mr Nderitu said he has incurred a lot of loss since he started his innovation, adding that many of the parts he uses including the engine are all imported.
When the aircraft crash landed on Saturday, it broke and many of its parts were destroyed.
Mr Nderitu said it will take time before he pieces them back to form.
Mid-2014, during a similar test in Nyeri, when Nation team caught up with him, he said he had no training in aeronautical engineering.
He, however, uses the Internet to get the information he uses in his work.
“When I decided to build an aircraft, I bought books related to this line of interest.
“I used the Internet to do my research and for over five years now and the progress is good. Much of what I have done is private research and experimentation,” said Mr Nderitu.