On Monday, Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi scripted history by becoming the first woman pilot of the Indian Air Force to complete a solo flight on a MiG-21 Bison fighter aircraft. Avani achieved this remarkable feat over the Jamnagar Airbase in the Russian-origin flight. Her historic flight lasted for about 30 minutes. Before MiG-21 Bison, she had previously flown solo in aircrafts like Pilatus PC-7 turboprops, Kiran and Hawk jet trainers. Avani Chaturvedi’s feat brings India at par with countries like Britain, the United States, Israel, and Pakistan where women fly fighter jets. In case you don’t know who Avani Chaturvedi is by now, here are few interesting things you need to know about her.
1. Born on October 24, 1993, Avani Chaturvedi hails from Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa district. Avani was inspired to join the Indian Army by her brother who is also an officer.
2. The 24-year-old pilot completed her schooling from Deoland before joining Banasthali University in 2014 from where she completed her Bachelors in Technology degree.
3. Avani is an active sportswoman and plays chess and table tennis. She also has a knack for painting.
#TouchTheSkyWithGlory : Fg Offr Avani Chaturvedi became the first Indian Woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo, when on 19 Feb 18 she flew a MiG-21 Bison aircraft in her first solo flight. The photo attached has been taken after her solo sortie. pic.twitter.com/nHWe4sgSmi
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) February 22, 2018
4. She is currently posted at No. 23 Squadron (Panthers) and is from the first batch of three women officers who were commissioned as fighter pilots in the IAF in June 2016.
5. Avani took six months of training on Kiran trainer jets at Hakimpet and followed it with a one-year-long stint on Hawk advanced trainer jets at Bidar Air Base.
Flying Officer Bhawna Kanth is expected to follow the footsteps of Avani Chaturvedi by taking a solo flight in MiG-21 Bison fighter jets very soon. Kanth is currently posted at Ambala with No. 3 Squadron of the IAF.
Talking about Avani’s achievement, IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee said that it is a major milestone in training of a fighter pilot. He said that it also demonstrates IAF’s enduring commitment to ‘Nari Shakti’.