Meet Avani Chaturvedi – the first Indian woman to fly a MiG-21 bison fighter aircraft solo

Scripting history, Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi has become the first Indian woman to fly a fighter Mig-21 bison aircraft solo, an IAF official said.

“Avani became the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo when she flew a MiG-21 Bison,” the official said… Making every Indian proud, Avani undertook a sortie in a MiG-21 bison Aircraft from Jamnagar Airbase of Indian Air Force (IAF) in Gujarat on Monday and successfully completed her mission on 19th February 2018.

It is important to mention that  MiG-21 Bison has the highest landing and take-off speed in the world – 340 kmph

Born on 27 October 1993, her father, Mr. Dinkar Chaturvedi, is an executive engineer in Water Resource Department of M.P. government and her mother is a home maker. Avani’s elder brother is also an army officer. She did her schooling from Adarsh Higher Secondary School, Deolond near Rewa. She then completed her BTech (Computer Science) from Banasthali University, Jaipur

She was inspired by Army officers in her family and a brief flying experience of few hours in the flying club of her college inspired her to join the IAF. Avani’s dream to become a pilot got wings when she was selected in the first batch of women pilots to be commissioned in the IAF fighter squadron in June 2016, less than a year after the government decided to open the fighter stream for women. Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh were two fellow women cadets selected for advanced training

Avani was earlier quoted as saying, “Any air force is defined by its fighters. My dream is to become a good fighter pilot, on whom my seniors can rely when it comes to flying live operations. I want to fly the best fighter aircraft and learn more and more each day.”

Apart from conquering the skies, Avani enjoys playing chess, table tennis and to do sketching, painting.

Avani still has over a year to go before she can be deployed for combat missions. “Avani will now learn the intricacies of a fighter aircraft. Lessons in tactical flying, and how to use an aircraft as a war-fighting machine await her. She will also be trained to tackle day fights first before being trained on flying and fighting by night”, said a senior IAF instructor.

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