HYDERABAD: “We want to be part of the country’s future combat missions and make our parents proud,” said the three female fighter pilots, beaming with pride.
The trio entered the annals of history on Saturday as they were commissioned into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the presence of Defence minister Manohar Parrikar at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal here on Saturday.
Yet another glass ceiling was broken by Indian women as Bhawana Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh were inducted into the Indian Air Force.
Expressing her happiness on being part of the nation’s air defence force, Bhawana said that she is fortunate to be a fighter pilot with a mission to fight and win for the country.
“We are extremely fortunate to be the chosen ones. It feels great to be a fighter pilot. It was my dream to fly like a free bird since my childhood days. After clearing my Stage - One training, I got the golden opportunity to opt for fighter stream, the best and the biggest thing that has happened to me. The best part is that it is just a beginning. I will strive to become a good fighter pilot and fight for the nation and make my parents proud,” Bhawana added.
Mohana, who represents the third generation of fighter pilots in her family, echoed Bhawana’s passion for flying. “ I have a dream of being part of the future combat missions and fight for the nation when duty calls to guard our skies. I aspire to fly the best fighter aircraft and make my parents proud,” she said.
Mohana’s mother, who was also present at the ceremony, said that she is proud of her daughter. “Mohana represents the third generation of fighter pilots in our family and I am glad that she is continuing the legacy. I am really proud of her and I wish her all the luck,” she said.
Avani said she was feeling great and confident as a fighter pilot.
“I was inspired by the life of Army officers in my family. I had a few hours of flying experience in our college flying club, which inspired me to join the Indian Air Force. I got the golden opportunity to fly two different aircraft, one very modern and advanced, and the other a stalwart trainer, with the best of instructors. My dream is to become a good fighter pilot, whom my seniors can rely on when it comes to live operations,” she added.
All the three have cleared the first stage of training and have about 150 hours of flying experience. They will now head to Bidar in Karnataka for their stage-II training for a year on British Hawk advanced jet trainers, before they get to fly supersonic fighter jets.