It's been 109 years since Baroness Raymonde de Laroche became the first woman to fly solo in 1909. She inspired a lot of women, who looked at the sky and dreamed of flying, to follow their passion. Even though we have a long way to go, several women in the Indian Air Force (IAF) are conquering their ambitions and writing history.
Only a few days ago, Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth broke all barriers and became the first woman pilot to qualify to undertake combat missions. Following suit, an all-women crew of the IAF flew a medium-lift helicopter for the first time ever in India. That's what girl power stands for and the country couldn't be more proud!
Following examples of such remarkable feats, Flight Lieutenant Mohana Singh recently became the first woman fighter pilot to fly by day on a Hawk advanced jet aircraft.
As per an official statement released by the IAF on Friday, Mohana landed after a relentless 4-aircraft combat sortie at Kalaikunda Air Force station in West Bengal, which was the last syllabus sortie of being fully operational on the Hawk jets.
Mohana Singh is one of the first female pilots of India. She was declared as the first combat pilot along with two of her cohort, Bhawana Kanth and Avani Chaturvedi. All three women pilots were inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron together in June 2016. They were formally commissioned by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. After the government of India decided to open the fighter stream in IAF for women on an experimental basis, these three women were the first to be selected for the program.
Mohana completed her schooling from Air Force School, New Delhi and has a B.Tech in Electronics & Communication from Global Institute of Management and Emerging Technologies, Amritsar. Her father Pratap Singh is a serving IAF personnel and mother Manju Singh is a teacher.
She graduated in 2014 and was recruited for IT giant Tata Consultancy Services. But Mohana had always dreamt of flying planes. She took the UPSC Combined Defence Services competitive exam and was selected to be commissioned into the Air Force. Apart from her flying adventures, Mohana also tried some modeling assignments and appeared in print advertisement!
Mohana Singh's intensive training at the IAF involved flying both air-to-air combat and air-to-ground missions. She volunteered to undertake numerous practice missions such as firing of rockets, guns and dropping high calibre bombs. Moreover, Mohana also participated in various Air Force-level flying exercises.
She has a total experience of over 500 hours of incident-free flying, out of which 380 hours are on the Hawk Mk 132 jet.
More power to you, Mohana!
Featured Image: Instagram
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