Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi has created history by becoming the first Indian women fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force to fly solo. Avani flew a MiG-21 Bison, which has the highest landing and take-off speed in the world – 340Kmph. Ms. Chaturvedi achieved this stunning feat over the Jamnagar Airbase in the Russian-origin flight.
The solo sortie in a fighter is the first step to becoming a fully operational fighter pilot. The solo sortie is the first milestone of any fighter pilot and this reinforces IAF commitment give a level-playing field to genders, IAF spokesperson and fighter pilot Anupam Banerjee said. The Russian made MiG 21 Bison is also the oldest fighter in IAF’s head. Avani Chaturvedi is one of the three in the first batch of female pilots, besides Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh, who was inducted in Indian Air Force fighter squadron on June 18, 2016. Mohana Singh and Bhawana have also completed training to fly a fighter plane and will soon fly fighter planes. Only selected countries, such as Britain, the United States, Israel, and Pakistan, have allowed women in the role of fighter pilots. It was in October 2015 that the Government took the decision to open the fighter stream for women and Avani’s achievement has put India on the global list of countries.
Avani comes from Rewa district in Madhya Pradesh. She completed her training at Hyderabad Air Force Academy. She did her schooling from Deoland, a small town in the district of Madhya Pradesh. After completing her Bachelors in Technology from Banasthali University, Rajasthan in 2014, she passed the Indian Air Force exam. The 24 years old pilot got inspired to join the Indian Army by her brother who is also an officer. Chaturvedi, who is posted to No. 23 Squadron is from the first batch of three women officers who were placed as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force in June 2016. Apart from flying fighter jets, she is also fond of playing chess, table tennis. And interestingly once Avani Chaturvedi will complete stage -3 training at Bidar in Karnataka next year, she would be able to fly fighter jets like Tejas and Sukhoi.
The daughter of India Avani Chaturvedi has not only made us all proud but also inspires young girls to take up new challenges in life. We congratulate and salute Avani Chaturvedi on her amazing achievement.