Flying has fascinated people throughout the world as evidenced by stories recording the efforts of pioneers down the ages. Greek mythology speaks of Icarus and relatively modern history records the achievements of the Wright brothers. Sri Lanka is no exception. Indian history records in 'Ramayana' the Hindu classic, of how Ravana, a king of Sri Lanka around 300 B.C., outwitted Rama, his Indian counterpart. Using a wooden aircraft designed in the shape of a peacock, he sprang Sita -Rama's consort from India and flew her into the haven of Sri Lanka.
On 06 August 1894, at the present Tower Hall site Colombo, Professor Van Tassel performing before a large crowd, ascended 7000 ft. by balloon and using a parachute, made a successful descent. The first aircraft flight seen by people of Sri Lanka was on 10 December 1911, when Frenchman Marc Pourpe, braving stiff winds, flew his tiny aircraft "Le Curieuse" at the Colombo racecourse around 1700 hrs. that day.
It was not until 1935, that the first trans Palk Strait flight of moden times was done. On 25 November, Mr. H. Tyndale-Biscoe, an instructor of the Madras flying club flew his fragile-looking , "Puss Moth" into Ratmalana at 0940 hrs leaving Madras at 0530 hrs and accompanied by Messrs. W. B. Schleiter and C. B. Darius. At 1130 hrs that day Biscoe, taking off from Ratmalana and accompanied by Schleiter capped his achievement by flying back over the strait.