Avani Chaturvedi Becomes First Indian Woman To Fly A Fighter Jet

Cheryl Sanders
February 22, 2018

She has become the first Indian woman fighter pilot to fly a fighter aircraft solo by flying a MiG-21 bison all by herself in Jamnanagar, Gujarat. Prior to her solo drive, on Monday morning, she took off from Jamnagar with her instructor for the last time for the Solo Check. The solo sortie is the first milestone of any fighter pilot and this reinforces IAF commitment give a level-playing field to both genders, IAF spokesperson and fighter pilot Anupam Banerjee said.

Born on October 24, 1993, Avani Chaturvedi hails from Madhya Pradesh's Rewa district. She then pursued her graduation in BTech Computer Science from Banasthali University in Jaipur. Days before being commissioned in the IAF in 2016, Avani had spoken to The Times of India about how she got interested in flying. "I got selected for flying stream and subsequently for fighter flying. You will not send someone who is not good to fly a MiG-21", one of her flying instructors told The Indian Express. She flew a 30-minute solo sortie in a MiG-21 this morning. She has so far trained in flying Pilatus aircraft, Kiran trainer jets, and Hawk advanced training jets at various air force training bases.

Apart from continuing her training on MiG-21, she will have to undertake air-to-air and air-to-ground combat training. Inducted in the same batch as hers were flying officers Mohana Singh and Bhawana Kanth.

The three women were commissioned as flying officers in July 2016, less than a year after the government made a decision to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis.

The IAF has given the MiG-21 Bison to the first three women fighter pilots, as it considers the aircraft best suited for sharpening the skills of new flyers, as they have more manual features compared to other, more sophisticated aircraft.

Other reports by iNewsToday