THE SINGER, NOT JUST THE SONG-By Capt Elmo Jayawardena

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THE SINGER, NOT JUST THE SONG-By Capt Elmo Jayawardena Source:Island As for those who flew the sleek, fully aerobatic machine, undoubtedly the most flamboyant was Paulis Appuhamy, the Bus Mudalali from Attanagalle. He obtained his Private Pilot’s Licence, flying in his Palayacart Sarong and pressing rudders with his bare feet. Paulis had his long hair tied in a knot at the back of his head. No, he did not speak any fluent English, barely managed to read the checklist. He needed no short-cuts either, went through the whole flying school rigmarole to obtain a pilot’s licence. If anyone broke the pseudo-sophisticated conceit of flying aeroplanes, it was Paulis Appuhamy. I know of no other person who had such determination to become a pilot and succeeded doing so with flying colours. Recently, I received a gift of a book. The name on the cover said ‘de Havilland Chipmunk’, a comprehensive narration about a popular aeroplane that served 1950s onwards in most colonial countries as a pilot trainer. I too flew that…

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