Sub-lieutenant Shivangi is Indian Navy's first woman pilot

Updated: Dec 03, 2019, 15:09 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Kochi (Kerala)

Just two days before Navy Day, she joined operational duties in the presence of top naval officials at its base in Kochi

Sub-lieutenant Shivangi (in the centre) in a picture posted by the All India Mahila Congress on Twitter
Sub-lieutenant Shivangi (in the centre) in a picture posted by the All India Mahila Congress on Twitter

Kochi (Kerala): Sub-lieutenant Shivangi got her qualification wings on Monday, which made her the first woman pilot in the Indian Navy. On completing her operational training, Shivangi made history by becoming the first pilot among women naval officers.

Joining the force just two days before Navy Day, she joined operational duties in the presence of top naval officials at its base in Kochi. For achieving such an accomplishment, she received congratulatory messages from many. Among them, the All India Mahila Congress took to Twitter to convey their best wishes to Shivangi, saying that to be proud would be an understatement.

Shivangi would be flying the Naval Dornier surveillance aircraft, reported PTI. As part of her training, she has flown Pilatus PC 7 Mk II, Basic Trainer at AFA and completed Dornier Conversion with the Navy in Kochi. She would continue her training at INAS 550, the Dornier squadron at INS Garuda, to become a fully operational pilot on Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) aircraft.

Talking to PTI, Shivangi says that it is a proud moment for her and it is a different feeling to be the first woman navy pilot. "Women were always there in the Navy. They were not in the cockpit but were just observers. Her being the first to be the pilot in the navy 'would create more opportunities for other women who wanted to join the defence force.'

Hailing from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, she started dreaming of becoming a pilot ever since she saw a chopper carrying a minister landed in the neighbourhood of her grandparents' place in Bihar during her childhood.

Shivangi recalled that everyone in the area had gathered around to see the helicopter and she was one among them. She got 'super-inspired" when she saw the helicopter and the man flying it. She said her family is supportive and they never questioned her wish to join defence forces.

From here on, Shivangi, along with other pilots would join the Dornier Operational Flying Training course at INAS 550 from mid- January 2020, prior to joining an operational maritime reconnaissance squadron. The award of the Wings marks the culmination of one year of flying training at the Air Force Academy (AFA), Dundigal and Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 550, INS Garuda in Kochi.

(With inputs from PTI)

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