These women fighter pilots are flying the tricolour high

“Being a fighter pilot is not inherited is not gifted, I earned it with my own blood, sweat and tears,” says Avani Chaturvedi, first solo women fighter pilot of India, where gender stereotype could not keep women away from taking the lead in frontline. Contrary to male dominance society, Chaturvedi was given wings to fly high to touch the sky like thier male counterparts. Setting a benchmark for the girls across the country, female fighter pilots are flying the tricolour in the sky with pride. A few days ago, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, informed that India has maximum number of women pilots which is around 12 per cent.

Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi

Hailed from Satna district in Madhya Pradesh, this 24-year-old fighter pilot always wanted to take control of an aircraft. She made it big by taking control over one of the heaviest aircrafts to handle — MiG-21 — all by herself. Explaining her job profile to India Today Group, she said, “You cannot become a fighter pilot in a day or two, it is a long process. A person needs to be mentally and physically fit and fine. We have to be quick in decision making, especially while driving an aircraft with the fastest landing speed in the world.” She further mentioned how she has been following Kalpana Chawla since she was 10.
“Getting into Mig-21 Bison is not the ultimate goal it’s the first step there is a long huge syllabus for me to become fully operational pilot,” she mentioned.

WG CDR Shivika Khurana

She was the first Indian officer to be induced into Air Force in 1993. The officer has completed as many as 25 years in defense service. “I was always fascinated by the idea of joining defence and during that time the only way to just be in touch with the defence organisation was to get married to an officer. While completing my Masters, I saw a defense ad, and I was sure that I will not get married to a defense officer but will become one,” she said.

Squadron Leader Khushboo Gupta
Taking the concept of fighter pilot to another level, Squadron Leader Khushboo Gupta has inspired thousands of girls across the country by becoming the first IAF Woman pilot to fly in Siachen glacier sector. “For me it was one proud moment to land a helicopter in Siachen, considering that it is the highest battlefield in the world,” she said.

It’s not difficult to dream and achieve your dreams in a man’s world. Leaving behind the gender bias and myths, Gupta spilled the beans that it was a man who motivated her to become an air force office, “When I was in school, one of my teachers informed me that how his son got selected in a prestigious position.” Indeed, Gupta was filled with a competitive spirit that she too can become a pilot. “After getting a green signal from my parents, I cleared the CPL exam and then of course the Air Force,” she added.

Flying officer Bhawana Kanth

Among the first three fighter pilots in the country, Bhawana Khanth was inducted in the Indian Air Force in 2016. Despite coming from a small town, Barauni, Bihar, Khanth has always been ambitious in life. Being an avid sports players, she cleared the UPSC Combined Defence Services competitive examination. Immediately after her selection, she joined the fighter stream, underwent a six month rigorous training at Kiran Intermediate Jet Trainers at Hakimpet Air Force Station in Hyderabad and achieved the Combined Graduation Parade Spring Term at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal in the same year.

Like Avani, she too was a solo pilot of Mig-21 Bison. She took a flight from Ambala Air Force Station at around 1400 hours.

Flying Officer Mohana Singh
Giving wings to her dreams, Mohana Singh is one motivational female fighter pilot of this generation. The pilot has achieved educational grades with flying colours , she completed her BTech in electronics and communication engineering at the institute and graduated with 83.7 per cent marks in 2013. Subsequently, she graduated from the Global Institute of Management and Emerging Technologies, Amritsar to pursue her dream to fly high in Mig-21 Bison.
18/04/18 India Today

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