Sunday, February 05, 2023

Meet Avani Chaturvedi: First Woman Pilot to Fly Sukhoi Fighter Jet in Aerial Wargame Abroad

Weeks after scripting history by becoming the first woman fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to take part in an aerial wargame abroad, Squadron Leader Avani Chaturvedi says flying combat aircraft is exciting and the sky is the limit for young people wanting to pursue a career in the force. Chaturvedi, a Su-30MKI pilot, was part of the IAF contingent that participated in a 16-day mega air combat exercise with the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) at the Japanese airbase of Hyakuri from January 12 to 26. "It is always a good experience to participate in flying exercises, especially with a foreign air force. This is more so because this was the first time that I was involved in an international exercise. It was a huge opportunity for me and a wonderful learning experience," Chaturvedi told PTI.

The exercise, "Veer Guardian-2023", was the first such wargame between the IAF and the JASDF with a focus on air-combat manoeuvring, interception and air-defence missions. "I would like to convey to all the young, aspiring girls and boys that the sky is the limit for you. The IAF is a wonderful career option and flying fighter aircraft is really exciting," Chaturvedi said.

"I would like to tell all IAF aspirants that you should set your eyes on the goal and go for it with dogged determination," she said when asked how arduous was the path for her to become a fighter pilot.

A B.Tech in computer science, Squadron Leader Chaturvedi was among the first three women fighter pilots commissioned into the IAF in June 2016. The other two were Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh.

05/02/23 PTI/ZeeNews

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