Avani Chaturvedi Flies MiG-21 Solo! First Indian Woman to do So!

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Flying high on success, Officer Avani Chaturvedi on Monday scripted history yet again. Avani is now the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo, reported PTI. She is one of India’s first women fighter pilots who broke through glass ceiling along with Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh on June 18th, 2016. After the Defence Ministry’s ground-breaking decision of inducting women in the combat stream, the three women were commissioned as India’s first women fighter pilots.

On February 19, Chaturvedi took a swift detour in a MiG-21 “Bison”, which has virtually the highest landing and take-off speed in the world – 340 kmph, and achieved the distinction in flying.

Avani flew out from IAF’s Jamnagar base for her first solo flight, TOI reported. Before wheeling “Bison”, she had only undertaken solo sorties in aircraft like the Pilatus PC-7 turboprops, Kiran and Hawk jet trainers, which are considered easier to handle.


The trio then underwent the second phase of their training. Officer Bhawana nurtured this dream from childhood, while Mohana comes from a family of Air Force officers. And as for Avani, she couldn’t wait to take up the challenge. It was indeed a proud day for the entire country when these women took to the skies!

First, the women were trained at the prestigious Airforce Academy, Dundigal in Hyderabad.  So far, this has  been a major step forward towards women taking an active part in combat in the IAF. However, the whole process of inducting women in combat roles in the IAF is currently on an “experimental basis for five years”.

With this step, the IAF has shown the way towards achieving gender parity in the Defense forces. Now, it is up to the women cadets to seize the opportunity like Avani did.

Feature Image Credit: indiatoday

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Also read: Special Feature: Women in Indian Armed Forces

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