Commercial or combat, flying has always been a male-dominated career, where females were considered incompetent. Even data suggest the same. Only 5.5% American pilots in the commercial domain are female pilots.
As far as India is concerned, recent years have seen progress for Indian female pilots on the commercial front. Simultaneously, Indian Air Force also allows their female combats to fly fighter jets.
If we set this difference between commercial and combat, we may end up designing an impressive list of those ground-breakers, who created their own world to be in.
Anna Divya is one such name who, when first entered the plane, it was to fly and not as a traveler. Yes, she was the at 30, the first Indian female pilot to fly Boeing 777. From Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, Anna was clear about her goal.
If Anna Divya’s life isn’t inspiring enough, one should watch out for Avani Chaturvedi. A decade ago, unimaginable it was to see female solo fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force. Avani broke the jinx and brought the patriarchal mindset to the lowest. Avani is one of the three pilots commissioned in 2016 for training Mig-29 fighter jets.
Not so familiar name Shubhangi Swaroop is, but A Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh resident has got her name carved in the history books by becoming the first Indian Navy pilot. She will be the first ever female Indian pilot to fly Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft over the Arabian sea.
The sense of achievement isn’t a domain of the community but for the entire nation. One such example is Syeda Salva Fatima of Hyderabad. Being a Muslim, breaking the ground in Indian culture is less anticipated. However, Syeda is waiting for her DDCA license to fly Airbus A320 of one of the most prestigious airlines.
Kshamata Bajpai is not a new name for the Air India. A pilot for 20 years at Air India, and the 3rd female pilot so far, Kshamata led the 16 members all-female crew to fly the longest possible commercial flight in the world, from New Delhi to San Francisco covering over 30000 km.
From assistance to surveillance, every aspect becomes important when the nation is in the war. None knew it better than Gunjan Saxena, who flew Cheetah helicopters to provide medical assistance and to spot the activities of the Pakistani troops during the Kargil war.
With women getting into every aspect of life proving them metal as stronger as their male counterparts, we are set to see more groundbreaking work from Indian females in the years to come.