India has the maximum number of women pilots in the world, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said last month. “India is the country with maximum number of women pilots in the world, be it in Air India or Indian Air Force. This is a testimony of the contribution made by women to the aviation sector and also by the country to their careers,” Sinha said.
Breaking the orthodox tradition, serving the nation, and chasing their noble goals – that is what the women in the Indian Air Force are doing today. Mr Sinha was addressing the gathering at golden jubilee celebrations of the India Women Pilots Association (IWPA). “While the presence of women has contributed to the progress of the aviation sector, their support is still needed to strengthen the area,” He added as he lauded the women pilot in the country for their achievements during the gathering at the golden jubilee celebrations of India Women Pilots Association.
He also advised that the traffic problem in the country can be addressed if the sky area is utilised. The traffic problem can be dealt with if we decide to go vertical and utilise the sky area. It happens in many countries,” he expressed. The event was also attended by Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa who also lauded the contribution of women to the aviation sector.
The first Indian woman pilot to take a solo flight in a MiG-21 was Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi. She belongs to Satna district in Madhya Pradesh. She was declared as the first combat pilot along with two of her cohort, Mohana Singh, and Bhawana Kanth. The trio was inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron in June 2016. They were formally commissioned by the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Avani Chaturvedi completed the half-an-hour long solo flight in the Russian-origin jet in the skies over Jamnagar Air Base. As per the latest reports, she had undertaken flights in twin-seater training jets, accompanied by Qualified Flying Instructors of the IAF. After completing her basic flying training on a Pilatus aircraft at the Air Force Academy, Chaturvedi underwent six months of training on Kiran trainer jets at Hakimpet, which was followed by a year-long training stint on Hawk advanced trainer jets at Bidar Air Base.