After Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi, it is Flying Officer Bhawana Kanth’s turn to create history by becoming the second woman pilot of the Indian Air Force to fly solo in a fighter aircraft.
She flew a MiG-21 Bison aircraft from Ambala Air Force Station last week.
Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi created history on February 21 by being the first woman fighter pilot to fly solo. Bhawana has followed on the same path. Both girls have become instant role model to hundreds of girls in the country by setting aspirations a little higher than was possible before these girls took the skies.
The 25-year-old is one of the three in the first batch of women pilots, besides Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh, who was inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron on June 18, 2016.
It was in October 2015 that the government took the decision to open the fighter stream for women. Meanwhile, combat roles in the Army and Navy are still off-limits for women, due to a combination of operational concerns and logistical constraints.
On December 16, 2017, two women from the second batch entered the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force and were commissioned after graduating from the Dundigul Air Force Academy.
It was only in 1992 that the armed forces began recruiting women to streams, other than the medical.
Only selected countries, such as Britain, the United States, Israel, and Pakistan have allowed women in the role of fighter pilots.
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