Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi has become the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo, reported PTI. She undertook the 30-minute sortie from IAF’s Jamnagar base on Monday.
“My heartiest congratulations to Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi for successfully clearing her first solo sortie on a MiG-21 ‘Bison’ fighter,” Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa told The Times of India on Wednesday. “The IAF has always taken a lead in providing an equal platform to women officers. It’s a red letter day for the country.” The MiG-21 “Bisons” have the highest landing and take-off speed in the world at 340 kmph.
Chaturvedi, who completed her BTech in Computer Science from Banasthali University in Jaipur, was among the first three women who were commissioned into the Indian Air Force in June 2016. Her colleagues Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh will also go for solo fighter sorties soon.
The IAF has already selected the next batch of three women trainee pilots for the fighter stream.