In yet another achievement by women officers, an all-woman crew on 27 May 2019 flew a medium-lift helicopter for the first time in India.
The crew, comprising Flight Lieutenant Parul Bhardwaj (Captain), Flying Officer Aman Nidhi (co-pilot) and Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal (flight engineer), flew a Mi-17 V5 helicopter for a Battle Inoculation Training Mission, taking off and landing from restricted areas at a forward airbase in the South Western Air Command.
Flight Lieutenant Bhardwaj hails from Mukerian in Punjab and is incidentally also the first woman pilot to fly the Mi-17 V5. The helicopter was certified airworthy by Squadron Leader Richa Adhikari, the unit engineering officer.
Flying Officer Nidhi hails from Ranchi and is also the first woman IAF pilot from Jharkhand while Flying Officer Jaiswal hails from Chandigarh and is the first woman Flight Engineer of the IAF.
The pilots had undergone basic flight training at the Helicopter Training School at Air Force Station, Hakimpet followed by advanced training at Air Force Station, Yelahanka.