Scripting history, flying officer Avani Chaturvedi has become the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft. Avani Chaturvedi flew a MiG-21 Bison in her first training solo sortie, in Jamnagar, Gujarat on 19th February 2018. Three women pilots, Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh, had undergone strenuous training programme to fly fighter jets.
They were commissioned as flying officers in July 2016, less than a year after the government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis.
The IAF has already selected the next batch of three women trainee pilots for the fighter stream. Women have been working in IAF in seven areas including administration, logistics, meteorology, navigation, education, aeronautical engineering mechanical and electrical, and accounts. At present, around 1500 women serve in the Indian Air Force, of which around 90 are pilots and about 15 are navigators.