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Pilots are better leaders with a vision: Rahul Gandhi says his father had warned Sanjay Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi in a video posted on social media has said that pilots are better leaders with vision and that his late father Rajiv Gandhi had warned his uncle (Sanjay Gandhi) about the dangers of flying.

Rahul said this during an interface with the Youth Congress leaders in a photo exhibition on late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the video of which was uploaded on YouTube on Thursday.

Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi’s younger brother had died in an air crash on June 23, 1980, near the Safdarjung Airport in New Delhi. He was flying a new aircraft of the Delhi Flying Club, and, while performing an aerobatic maneuver lost control and the plane crashed.

Rahul in the video said, “Look if you’re a pilot. That’s a risk you take. You take it. So, my father told my uncle. Because my uncle was flying a particular type of plane — it was a Pitts. It’s a very aggressive plane.

My father told him that you know, don’t do this. My uncle really didn’t have the experience. My uncle had similar hours to what I have about 300-350 hours.”

He said Pilots are better leaders as they have a very particular ability that comes from their training and it is this idea that you have to move, from a 30,000-foot vision to details in the cockpit.

“So a pilot, and I am one, we move from these 2 spaces very seamlessly and very quickly. Pilots also when they fly, their imagination isn’t blocked by roads, by railway lines. Their imagination is at 30,000 feet, so they have the ability to see large systems.

If they lose track of details in the cockpit you run into trouble. And if they lose track of the 30,000-foot picture you, run into trouble.

Rahul said his father was a pilot and this really helped him.
“I could see this process taking place where he would go and meet people, get into their details, understand their details and then instantly move to 30,000-40,000-50,000 feet and look at the big picture.

His work was constantly moving between these two perspectives and always understanding that imagination can bridge anything. So that to me was a very powerful thing that my father had.”

He also recalled that DC 3 was both my father and my favorite plane. That’s the most beautiful plane and it’s the first plane my father flew commercial on.

He said his father used to wake him early for early flights, “I remember once he came into my room at about 3.30 in the morning. He’s like, ‘okay, get ready. So I was like, ‘What is this, get ready?’ So he didn’t tell me why or anything like that.

So I was like ‘okay. I had a little aluminum case, this big (indicates), I packed it with shirts and my pants and my shoes and then I remember walking out in the dark and going.”

In the video, a question is asked to Rahul — “How did your mother react to your father flying?

Rahul replies, “Yeah, my mother was worried, so every time my father would go on a flight. You know it would be, my mother would have this record playing in the background that he’s on a flight.

It’s so dangerous and she’d be worried and she’d be transferring that worry. Then once there was some problem in Kashmir and then there was some issue with his aircraft. So my mother I remember getting very really worked up.”


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