India's First Women Fighter Pilots Get Wings

  • Gayathri Mathivanan
  • |
  • June 18, 2016, 10:25 AM

 

Flight cadets Avani Chaturvedi of Madhya Pradesh, Mohana Singh of Rajasthan and Bhawana Kanth of Bihar make history after being commissioned as the first women fighter pilots in Indian Air Force.

 

Each has cleared the first stage of training and has about 150 hours of flying. After getting their wings as flying officers, they will train for six months on the Advanced Jet Fighter - the British-built Hawk - they will be assigned fighters and their squadrons.

 

Air Chief Arup Raha has already said that the woman fighters will get no preference and will be assigned as per requirements of the force.

 

"We are lucky to have been the first three women fighter pilots. It could have been anyone else," the three jubilant women said while addressing the media after being commissioned.

 

The three women, all in their mid-twenties, have already encountered uncertainties and hazards of flying, when training and grit become the difference between a successful recovery and an accident, or even between life and death.

 

In February 2016, President Pranab Mukherjee had announced that all military combat roles will be opened to women in the future.

 

The women, who broke the barriers to score their names in the history of Indian Air Force, will get to fly fighter jets like Sukhoi and Tejas next year after completion of stage-III training at Bidar in Karnataka.

 

They have undergone rigorous training at the Hakempet base over the last six months. The cadets have undergone the mandatory 55 hours of flying on Stage I trainer - the Pilatus PC 7 basic trainer.

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