Avani Chaturvedi: First Indian woman to fly fighter jet


Avani Chaturvedi, 24, has become the first Indian woman to fly a fighter jet solo.

She flew a Mig-21 Bison for 30 minutes earlier this week, the air force said.

“It is the breaking of a glass ceiling,”.  A “big day” in the history of the country’s armed forces.

Avani Chaturvedi, 24, comes from Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa district. She did her schooling from Deoland, a small town in Madhya Pradesh and went on to study Bachelors in Technology from Banasthali University, Rajasthan. During this time, she joined the Flying Club and went on to pass the Indian Air Force exam.

Avani Chaturvedi completed her training at Hyderabad Air Force Academy. Her inspiration to fly fighter jets comes from her brother who is in the Army. Her father, Dinkar Chaturvedi, is an executive engineer in Water Resource Department of Madhya Pradesh government and her mother is a home maker.

Avani Chaturvedi had enough previous experience in flying aircrafts. But she was always accompanied by a trainer while doing so. A fighter jet, unlike regular aircrafts, flies at incredible speeds and it takes a lot of practice and cautiousness to excel in flying it.

Before 2016, women made up just 2.5% of India’s armed forces, working in mainly non-combat roles.

Neighbouring Pakistan has about 20 female fighter pilots – the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) began inducting women into combat roles in 2006.

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