French entrepreneur, inventor and adventurer Yves Marre is consistently proving to be a genuine friend of Bangladesh.
This time, he has strived, through his position as an Executive Director at Maritime Search & Rescue Society (MSRS), and has convinced the renowned French NGO Aviation Sans Frontières (ASF) to donate the Rescue Association an autogyro or gyrocopter.
Gyrocopter will allow GPS localisation of wrecked ships and sailors after storms and disasters. Their GPS localisation will be sent to rescue boats which will waste no more time and efforts in patrolling for search.
Additionally, in normal weather conditions, this aircraft will allow monitoring the evolution and erosion of the chars of the Bay and of main rivers, to help Bangladesh fight the effects of global warming.
Gyrocopter is a type of rotorcraft that uses an unpowered rotor in autorotation to develop lift, and an engine-powered propeller, similar to that of a fixed-wing-aircraft, to provide thrust. While similar to a helicopter rotor in appearance, the gyrocopter’s rotor must have air flowing through the rotor disc to generate rotation. Invented by Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva to create an aircraft that could fly safely at low speeds, the gyrocopter was first flown on 9 January 1923 in Madrid.
“In a goodwill gesture, ASF board decided to offer one autogiro to our MSRS, as well as the training of 2 Bangladeshi pilots and 2 Bangladeshi mechanics who will become instructors in Bangladesh,” said Yves Marre, in an exclusive interview with UNB.
“The CAAB (Civil Aviation Administration of Bangladesh) already included the rules for ultra-light crafts in its regulations. We are now in the process to have the first autogyro for MSRS, registered by CAAB.”
The first pilots and mechanics of the autogyro, to be trained in Europe, will be selected from volunteer retired Airforce staff.
Yves Marre himself is already licensed as a Gyrocopter pilot but the MSRS wishes that its pilots and crew be from Bangladeshi origins for a better efficiency.
“The ASF gesture is extremely generous and an immense help in the development of MSRS and for increasing much its efficiency with this air capacity,” said Marre, “It shows the genuine interest of ASF in helping to save/rescue people in danger and distress all around the world.”
“After discussion with ASF, for selecting an efficient yet affordable aircraft, ASF helped us to choose the autogyro. This 2-seater ultra-light aircraft can take off and land on very short distances of unprepared airstrips such as a field, a narrow path, a beach, etc. It can fly at a speed between 40 Km/hour to 170 Km/hour with only 16 litres/hour of petrol. Its maintenance is easy and cheap,” Marre informed.
While remaining a friend of ASF in spirit, Marre remained for over 20 years in Bangladesh in the boat making and sailing field. This is how he became aware of the terrible life of the fishermen and seafarers of the bay, of the estuary and of the main river routes.
That is when, with Rear Admiral Taher, Rear Admiral Kazi Sarwar Hussain, Saber Husain Chowdhury, Dr. Baizid Kurshed Riaz, Shamsuddin Khan and Enayetullah Khan, he decided to create the MSRS, with an objective to provide air support for wrecked boats and sailors after storms and also monitor the effects of global warming on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and of the rivers of Bangladesh.
“Our MSRS is still at a starting stage, but our deep concern is that the first missions will take place before the end of this year.”unb