Giving wings to her curiosity

August 22, 2017

Growing up, Anny Divya was intrigued by clouds. Her mother suggested Divya to become a pilot if she really wanted to see clouds up close. And that is when Divya, who grew up in Vijayawada, decided to give wings to her curiosity. The first time she ever boarded an aircraft, many years later, was after she had begun her pilot training course.

Today, Divya is making headlines for being the youngest woman to command a Boeing 777, the world’s largest twin-engine jet. That’s a mean feat for the 30-year-old, who got her pilot license when she was 19.

So how did she know she was the youngest to fly the Boeing 777?

“My friends pointed this out to me once I got the command,” she said in a recent interview to BusinessLine. “So we asked around and found that I was the youngest woman to do this.”
Divya’s story is one of tenacity and determination. She joined the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi, a Government-run pilot training institute in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, straight after school. Her parents took a bank loan to pay the ₹15 lakh tuition fee for the two-year course.
Growing up in South India, the move to Uttar Pradesh was culturally difficult for her as a teenager. “My parents always told me their doors were open if I wanted to come back, or if I found living there difficult. But this is what I’ve always wanted to do, and I realised that you can’t stop doing what you love just because there are challenges.”

Graciously, Divya also admits that she’s had fortune favour her through her career. She was hired by Air India when she was 19-year-old, right after she graduated. “It’s difficult these days for pilots to get jobs, everything depends on job slots.”

When she is up in the air, life is never monotonous. “I remember I first time I flew an aircraft, during my pilot training course, that night, I was still flying in my dreams.” Every flight is still exciting, even on the same route. Divya says: “It’s always different; the winds, the weather and pressure conditions outside, the air traffic controllers you have to communicate with, all of this keep changing.”

“The best part of flying is when you see the sun break out from behind the clouds, and sometimes this happens two or three times on the same flight, depending on how many time zones you cross. The shift from night to day is beautiful.”
22/08/17 Tanya Thomas/Business Line

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