1st Woman IAF Pilot Bhawana Kanth: Qualify for Combat Missions.

1st Woman IAF Pilot Bhawana Kanth: Qualify for Combat Missions.

May 26, 2019.

Bhawana Kanth, Flight Lieutenant, has become the country’s first woman fighter pilot to becomes “fully ops (operational) by day” in the IAF. She can now go to battle in her MiG-21 `Bison’ supersonic jet during the daytime.

Bhawana is one of the three women fighter pilots who belongs to Darbhanga of Bihar. The other two are Flight Lieutenants Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh. She has become the first of the three in her batch of women fighter pilots to successfully complete her “day operational syllabus” on the MiG-21s at the Nal airbase in Bikaner.

IAF spokesperson Group Captain Anupam Banerjee said, “She is the first women fighter pilot to qualify to undertake missions by day on a fighter aircraft. Bhawana joined her fighter squadron in November 2017 after initial flying on Pilatus turbo-props and Kiran trainers as well as Hawk advanced jet trainers. She flew her first solo on a MiG-21 Bison in March 2018.”

She will have to now learn night flying during the “moon” and “dark phases” to become a fully operational fighter pilot. Though Bhawana can be deployed for day-time missions, her grueling training regime in handling the highly-demanding and aging MiG-21s, which have virtually the highest landing and take-off speed in the world at 340 km/ph, is not yet over.

She said, “It’s now my aim to become a good fighter pilot, fight for the nation and make my parents proud. Earlier, Bhawana had said it was her “dream to fly like a free bird” when she was growing up in the refinery township of Begusarai, where her father was an engineer in IOCL.

Bhawana is deeply into adventure sports like trekking, rock climbing, rappelling, rafting and the like. Bhawana had completed her BE (Medical Electronics) from the BMS College of Engineering at Bengaluru before being commissioned into the fighter stream after basic training in June 2016.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *