Captain V. Sundaram became a pilot in 1935 at the age of 19. He trained in England and returned to India to become an instructor at the Madras Flying Club. He flew extensively over the country, and was probably the first person to take a picture of the Taj Mahal from air. During World War II, he trained British and American pilots. In 1945 he joined Tata Airlines, and from 1945-1951, served as the pilot of the Maharaja of Mysore. During this time he flew Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel throughout India, especially the latter when he was negotiating the merger of princely states with India. His wife, Usha, served as co-pilot in many of these flights. They set a world record for flying a de Havilland Dove from London to Madras in 27 hours. This record for a piston-engined aircraft is still unbroken. Captain Sundaram had an accident-free flying record during the 35 years he served as pilot. He wrote of his experiences as a pilot in a book titled An Airman's Saga.
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