Best of Press: Farmer banned from flying home-made plane

I am coming across funny newspaper articles every other day. Articles, which are likely meant to be serious, but shed an interesting light on China. So I think as a European at least.

And I thought, if I don’t have too much time to write articles, then let me share some with you from other sources. (Hope I don’t get into trouble copying them…)

Here’s one from today’s issue of Shanghai Daily.

The story is good for 2 reasons:

  1. The act as such: Who would do that in Europe? But it’s somehow cool!
  2. The reason given for intervention: There are many reasons stated, all of them completely obvious to me, which is one of the reasons why I never made a plane myself at home. (Hey, as a small boy I did dream of that!)Chinese might seem to need this detailed explanation, however, to understand why home-made planes need to be banned.

Farmer banned from flying home-made plane

Li Xinran


THE Zhejiang provincial branch of China’s aviation industry has launched an investigation into a farmer-turned pilot, who flew his home-made plane earlier this month, Qianjiang Evening News reported yesterday. The authority said “do-it-yourself” aircrafts are banned from flying in China’s skies.

Xu Bin, the farmer-turned pilot, kicked off a 25-minute test flight in his 30,000 yuan (US$3,750) airplane in Quzhou, eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, at about 3pm on July 8.

Reaching an average height of 50 meters, Xu reportedly accomplished a series of maneuvers, including dives and sudden swerves.

Having heard of the flight via local media reports, Zhejiang aviation authorities immediately launched an investigation, and discovered that Xu did not register his flight, which breached the Aviation Law of China and several other relevant regulations. They banned Xu from making any future flights.

Home-made planes may face hidden safety problems, which are very dangerous to pilots, passengers and people in the vicinity. If the plane loses control, it may cause a terrible accident, so the government won’t allow any unapproved flights and will strictly handle the breach to protect citizens and their assets, said Wang Jian, the vice director of the flight criteria department in the Zhejiang office of the CAAC.

Xu made the 130 kilogram plane with an engine he purchased from a Website. The cockpit seats were taken from a car as well as the DIY frame and other components.

Copyright © 2001-2005 Shanghai Daily Company

Categories: Shanghai

Originally Created: 07/24/2006 04:29:00 PM

Last Edited: 07/24/2006

The Heavy Rains of Shanghai

I know for quite some time, even before I came here, that Shanghai has something like a “rain season”. Last year all of us Germans tried to figure out from the locals when exactly is that rain season. Rain seasons in other countries are quite predictable due to local and regional weather phenomenons. The Shanghai rain season is either unpretictable or the locals don’t care…we didn’t find out in advance but only when it started raining. Continue reading The Heavy Rains of Shanghai