Thirty-year-old Anny Divya is the youngest woman commander to fly the humongous Boeing 777. Born in Pathankot and brought up in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, Captain Anny Divya says that she was always fascinated by the skies.

“Actually from a very young age when I used to look up at the sky, I always wanted to touch it and fly through the clouds. But it was only after my mom said, that I started to dream of being a pilot,” said the army brat to SheThePeople.TV.

Divya’s father served in the Army as a soldier for 19 years before opting for voluntary retirement. He then relocated to Vijayawada. Right after completing her school Divya got through Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi. It is a government-run pilot training academy in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh. Divya was only 17 when she achieved this tremendous feat.

“I had seen aircrafts rarely. But the first time I saw them close is when I learnt to fly. It was my childhood dream coming true, so I was on cloud nine literally. I flew first time by myself when I joined the Academy in 2004,” said Divya.

Talking about fleeting moments of self-doubt and how she overcame that, she said, “Yes, I also had and have several ambitions but being a pilot was always on top of the list. My grit and determination helped me to stay focused.”

Her family supported her through her journey, she says. But it was her relatives who considered her profession too far-fetched. She recollects that while growing up even the kids who she played with, mocked her for her dreams. About grown up in a conservative environment, she said, “I faced challenges of regressive mindset not only from my relatives but also from the people around. But it has changed over the period of time. I wish to see more changes around which would help other girls on the similar lines.”

Boeing 777
Anny Divya

Divya’s struggles are a testimony to the fact that she never sat on an airplane if it wasn’t for flying one!

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“I had seen aircrafts rarely. But the first time I saw them close is when I learnt to fly. It was my childhood dream coming true so I was on cloud nine literally. I flew first time by myself when joined the Academy in 2004,” said Divya.

At 19, she completed her training and also received an offer letter from Air India. This was not it, she also got a chance to travel to Spain for further training. There, she got the opportunity to fly Boeing 737 which is a short-to medium-range twin jet narrow-body airliner.

At 21, Divya went to London for more training. It was there when she first flew Boeing 777.

“I love Boeing 777 the most, it’s huge.”

She described the features of a Boeing 777, “The Boeing 777 is the world’s largest twin jet aircraft. It has a typical seating capacity of 350 to 396 depending on the configuration. It can fly Non-Stop between India and USA. The distinguishing features of this aircraft include its largest-diameter turbofan engines of any aircraft, six wheels on each main landing gear. As Boeing’s first fly by wire airliner, it has computer-mediated controls. It was also the first commercial aircraft designed entirely with computer-aided design.”

Apart from this, she has also flown 20 single engine 4 seater, King Air C-90 dual engine around 12 seater , B737 around 180 pax capacity, B777 around 350 to 396 pax depending on configuration. “I love B777 the most, it’s huge.”

For young girls wanting to become a pilot, Divya says, “Having a passion and patience are very important for this field which will help them succeed. And having focus will help in being a very good professional.”

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