Staff Correspondent

`It has overtaken everything else in my life'

MANGALORE: As an avionics engineer with the Royal Air Force (RAF), he gets to see some of those most modern "metal birds" up close and for real. His role as a customer manager in the RAF's "search and rescue" team puts him in the thick of real-life situations where persons stranded on high seas need his expertise. All this is part of his "profession".

Drawing a clear line between his profession of taking care of the avionics needs of Sea King helicopters and flying kites, which is his passion, is Bob Cruikshanks from Somerset, United Kingdom.

Better known amongst the international fraternity of kite-flyers and to his peers as Bob `C', his eyes light up when some one mentions kite flying.

He is all geared up and ready to get into flight mode with his uniquely designed kites.

Mr. Cruikshanks is in the city to take part in the "Kite festival", organised by the Dakshina Kannada district administration as part of the "Beach Utsav" in the ongoing Karavali Utsav 2007, during the weekend on Panambur beach.

Mr. Cruikshanks told The Hindu on Wednesday that his role as an engineer with the RAF was purely professional.

Recalling his tryst with flying kites 12 years ago, Mr. Cruikshanks said, "It was my wife Carole who bought me my first small kite."