Breaking new ground in skies! Dad, daughter fly fighter planes in formation

The Indian Air Force has just broken new ground with a father and his daughter flying in formation on a combat proficiency mission.

Published: 06th July 2022 08:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th July 2022 08:21 AM   |  A+A-

Flying Officer Ananya Sharma (L) and Air Commodore Sanjay Sharma | IAF

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force has just broken new ground with a father and his daughter flying in formation on a combat proficiency mission. Air Commodore Sanjay Sharma and Flying Officer Ananya Sharma created the record on May 30, when they flew in the same formation of Hawk-132s at the Air Force Station in  Bidar, where Ananya is undergoing training. 

IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ashish Moghe said, “There has not been any previous instance in the IAF where a father and his daughter were part of the same fighter formation for a mission.” Since a very early age, Ananya wanted to be a fighter pilot. But, at that time the stream was not open for women. Whenever she would bug her dad about it, he would reassure, “Don’t worry you will be one.”

“Ananya after getting commissioned as fighter pilot came and saluted me. It made me really proud,” beamed Air Commodore Sharma. “It was the biggest day of my life when I flew with Ananya,” he added in a video put out by the IAF.

Air Commodore Sharma was commissioned in the fighter stream in 1989. He has had an extensive experience of fighter operations, having commanded a MiG-21 squadron as well as a frontline fighter station. When the first women fighter pilots of the IAF entered service in 2016, Ananya saw her lifelong dream was now achievable. Having completed her B Tech in Electronics and Communication, she was selected for training. She was commissioned as a fighter pilot in December 2021. 

Her mother Sonal Sharma said, “I am extremely happy and proud. The feelings I experienced when both Sanjay and Ananya had got airborne in the same formation cannot be expressed in words. It was a feeling way beyond any happiness or satisfaction that I have experienced till now.”


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