Squadron Leader Aashritha V Olety Becomes India’s First Female Flight Test Engineer

Aashritha V Olety, Who is Aashritha V Olety
Squadron Leader Aashritha V Olety recently became the first female flight test engineer in the country after undergoing strenuous training. Olety, who hails from Kollegal, Karnataka, completed her engineering from MVJ College of Engineering in Bengaluru. She was part of the 43rd Flight Test Course of Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE).

Olety recently graduated from the prestigious Air Force Test Pilots School (AFTPS), one of the only seven such institutions in the world. She completed a one-year course at the pilot school, which is also a premier unit of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Squadron Leader Aashritha V Olety is the first and only woman in the IAF qualified for the role, and as a flight test engineer, she will evaluate aircraft and airborne systems before their induction into the Armed Forces, an official told Hindustan Times. So far, only 275 graduates have ever managed to clear this course since its inception in 1973, according toOlety’s family. Her sister Aashik Olety told Bangalore Mirror that her sister was commissioned in the IAF in 2014 and that it is a “great moment of pride” to set such a great history for the country.

There are a total of 6,807 women officers serving the army, the IAF has 1,607 and the navy has 704 women officers. In percentage terms, women still form a small part of the Armed Forces — 0.56 percent of the army, 1.08 percent of the air force and 6.5 percent of the navy, however, the country is moving a step towards breaking gender borders in the force. One of the milestones achieved by women in the Forces was when in 2015 the IAF decided to induct women jawans into the fighter stream.

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