Mumbai girl Aarohi Pandit, currently on a global flight in a small plane created history by becoming the first woman pilot to cross both Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean solo in a Light Sports Aircraft. Flying from Alaska's Unalakleet city across the Pacific Ocean's Bering Sea, she landed safely at the Anadyr Airport in Russia's Far East region of Chukotka at 01.54 a.m. after a stopover at Nome (Alaska). After landing, Aarohi, appearing a bit weary but cheerful, posed for a photo before her LSA and waved the Indian tricolour.
In mid-May this year, Aarohi, 23, became the first woman in the world to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in a LSA, thrilling her family, friends and aviation circles. Aarohi Pandit set course for the Expedition with her fellow pilot and best friend Keithair Misquitta on July 30 last year. They flew Mahi across Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat in India and then to Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Serbia, Slovenia, Germany, France and UK.
In the past nearly 13 months of her circumnavigation flight, she has broken and created several records, including becoming the world's first woman to complete a solo flight over the treacherous Greenland ice-cap in an LSA, and the first woman to fly all across Canada from the North East to the North West via the South, said her team in Mumbai.
Lynn de Souza founder of Social Access Communications, which organised the WE! Expedition said, "Aarohi truly represents all those young Indian women are capable of, given an opportunity. We are very proud and she has set such a great example for all other girls to emulate."
On her part, Aarohi considers the Pacific Ocean crossing as the most significant sector for the Women Empower Expedition (WE!) circumnavigation, marking its entry into a new country, a new continent and a new day.
In her 1,100 km flight from Unalakleet to Anadyr, Aarohi Pandit flew across the International Date Line, also known as the Line of Confusion, when the date changes and all instruments conk off for a few minutes
For the main and challenging leg of the crossing, Aarohi took off from Nome at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and after a 3 hour, 50-minute flight, she landed at Anadyr in August 2019. "I lost one day of my life which I will never get back.." she said jokingly about the IDL crossing but said she would always treasure the experience
"The Pacific Ocean flight was more beautiful than the Atlantic Ocean crossing and it was also one of my most enjoyable. I feel honoured to achieve these records for India and women all over," Aarohi Pandit said after her landing at Anadyr.
An Indian commercial pilot licence and LSA Licence holder, Aarohi Pandit launched the world's first all-woman team to circumnavigate the Earth in her LSA, named "Mahi", on July 30, 2018, along with her friend and pilot, Keithair Misquitta
Initially, Aarohi Pandit and Keithair flew together across India's Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Serbia, Slovenia, Germany, France and Britain
Since the tiny cockpit had to be equipped with a life-raft, oxygen system and other safety gadgets for the trans-oceanic flights from Britain onwards, Aarohi Pandit undertook the remaining expedition solo. She was accompanied by Pipistrel's Canada President Jonah Boll for photography
Aarohi Pandit had to cope up with various physical and mental exercises to help her take on the toughest terrains and weather conditions while being all alone in the cockpit. Till date, she has logged in 29,500 kms in 50 legs across three continents and 20 countries in her small LSA.
Aarohi Pandit is an ardent fan of the legendary American aviator, Amelia Earheart -- who became the world's first woman to make a solo transatlantic flight in a bigger aircraft, 87 years ago, on May 20, 1932
A resident of Borivali, northwest Mumbai suburb, Aarohi Pandit underwent an arduous seven-month preparatory training schedule in India, Greenland, Siberia, Italy over oceans, high altitude, snow, extreme weather conditions, different terrains testing her physical and mental capabilities to undertake her circumnavigation feat
Mumbai girl Aarohi Pandit, currently on a global flight in a small plane created history by becoming the first woman pilot to cross both Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean solo in a Light Sports Aircraft. Here's what we know about her life and journey
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