#GoodNews: Avani Chaturvedi 1st IAF Woman Combat Pilot to Fly Solo
Avani Chaturvedi became the first Indian woman to fly a fighter jet solo.
Avani Chaturvedi became the first Indian woman to fly a fighter jet solo.(Photo: ANI)

#GoodNews: Avani Chaturvedi 1st IAF Woman Combat Pilot to Fly Solo

Flying officer Avani Chaturvedi scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo, an Indian Air Force official said on Wednesday 21 February.

"Chaturvedi became the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo when she flew a MiG-21 bison in her first solo flight," the official told PTI.

She undertook the sortie from the Indian Air Force base in Jamnagar, Gujarat on 19 February, he said.

She is one of the three in the first batch of female pilots, besides Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh, who were inducted in Indian Air Force fighter squadron on 18 June, 2016.

"It is a unique achievement for Indian Air Force and the country," Air Commodore Prashant Dixit told ANI.

Only selected countries, such as Britain, the United States, Israel, and Pakistan, have allowed women in the role of fighter pilots.

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 the Navy are still off-limits for women, due to a combination of operational concerns and logistical constraints.

Flying officer Avani Chaturvedi, one of the three in the first batch of female pilots, besides Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh, who were inducted in Indian Air Force fighter squadron on 18 June 2016, flew a MiG-21 bison in her first solo flight.
Flying officer Avani Chaturvedi, one of the three in the first batch of female pilots, besides Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh, who were inducted in Indian Air Force fighter squadron on 18 June 2016, flew a MiG-21 bison in her first solo flight.
(Photo: ANI)

On 16 December 2017 two women from the second batch to enter the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force were commissioned after graduating from the Air Force Academy, Dindigul.

It was only in 1992 that the armed forces began recruiting women to streams, other than the Medical stream.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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