Shailesh Kumar, National Defence,
New Delhi, 11 March 2018
Avani Chaturvedi says that flying MiG-21 sortie gave her feeling of content that she has taken first step nicely; the sortie does not give much time to think but mission only as the aircraft is very fast.
Flying officer Chturvedi says that Risk is involved in every walk of life. Being combat pilot, you are directly involved with the risk. But we are well trained for the risk. Our training is well structured. All of us when we reached that stage, we are confident enough and competent enough to take on any mission.
A soldier is a soldier, it does not matter if he / she is a boy or a girl or a men or a women. The consequences of mission are equal for both of us. Our training is same, our mission is same, so it does not matter. In case if sometime, we get into this kind of situation, we are well trained for it.
Avani belongs to Reeva in Madhya Pradesh, she told National Defence editor Shailesh Kumar that she done her schooling in Bansagar. She is completely from a hindi medium school. She done her graduation from Banasthali, Jaipur. She said that though she stayed at small places but people around her were very motivating. The moral values given to her were splendid. That made her at ease to adapt to any new situation. She wanted to fly from her childhood, however, she did not know how to go about it.
Then, with time, she got the platform, she got to know about the kind of flying we do in Indian air force.
I had no doubt, I step forward to join Indian Air Force. In the first stage of her training the news of women being given combatant role in Indian Air Force broke. After initial reluctance and a thought process, she was clear that this is what she wanted to become.
Avani Chaturvedi says that life in civil and life in defence is different. When she compare herself of three years back when she did not join the academy, and now standing here, I believe, I have become more disciplined, more confident due to my training which teaches time management.
When we are getting training in airforce academy, for one and half years, initial six months are basic training or grooming of being a soldier, in which we undergone lot of physical training, exercises, running, camps, range work etc, so basic of every soldier remain same.
Flying officer Avani Chaturvedi says that parents should always nurture their child’s dream. What the young boy or young girl talks about is something that comes in the minds before time, so if you will supress that thing that time, they will never be able to realise it.
So they should give them motivation, so they should support them by all possible means.
Avani told that she flew Platus, Kiran, Hawk and then she got posting in MiG-21 Bison squadron, where she is trained for that fighter. To become fully operational pilot, it may take her another one and a half year. Thereafter, she will fly the aircraft, which airforce will find her suitable for.
Watch India’s first woman fighter pilot, who flown MiG-21 Bison solo, flying officer Avani Chaturvedi’s exclsuive interview on National Defence at url: https://youtu.be/3bihnYphNnc
Also watch: Interview with Sq Ldr Khushboo Gupta, India’s First Women Helicopter Pilot To Land At Siachen
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.