How Fighter Pilot Avani Chaturvedi Created History

Avani Chaturvedi became the first Indian woman to fly the MiG 21 Bison, solo. Do you want to know how she did the impossible?

On 19th February 2023, Avani Chaturvedi coming from a small town of Madhya Pradesh, Chaturvedi was born and brought up in Madhya Pradesh and did her schooling there. She has a degree in Bachelor of Technology from Banasthali (university). Chaturvedi learned aviation as an additional discipline at the campus aviation school.

She became the first Indian woman to fly the MiG 21 Bison, solo. Because of her, it paved a path for the contribution to the complex narrative surrounding gender equality in India.

As women are mostly treated as inferior to anything relating to combat or army professions.

How Avani Chaturvedi succeeded in a male dominated field?

Avani Chaturvedi

With the movie Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, you can also see for yourself the struggles a woman has to go through. Working in a male dominated profession requires a lot of hard work, people are mostly prejudiced towards women.

By the movie you can understand the life of a woman specifically in combat training. Avani flew through all these struggles and found her rightful place being a saviour for all the girls who wish to do the same, she gave hope.

But this would be the first time an Indian Air Force woman fighter pilot would get to be a part of the Indian contingent for the aerial war games to be held outside the country. And this would be represented by Avani Chaturvedi.

Su-30MKI, the aircraft operated by Avani Chaturvedi

The Su-30MKI aircraft operated by the Indian Air Force is said to be one of the best and most lethal platforms armed with indigenous weapon systems. This was termed by the squadron leader Bhawana Kanth who is also the first women fighter pilot.

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Indian Aviation Force is the only one of India’s three defence arms to allow women in combat positions. Around a dozen countries, including China and Pakistan, allow women to fly fighter planes.

What is Avani Chaturvedi’s background?

First Indian woman fighter pilot

Avani’s father, Dinkar Chaturvedi, is an executive engineer in Water Resource Department of MP government while her mother is a homemaker. Her family is located in a small district named Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.

Her brother was in the Army, and she got inspired by him to achieve her dream to conquer the skies. So, she then decided to join the flying club in her college.

Role of IAF

Chaturvedi’s achievement has put India on the list of the countries, such as Britain, the United States, Israel, and Pakistan, where women are allowed to fly fighter jets.

It was in October 2015 that the Indian Government took the decision to open the fighter stream for women. Meanwhile, combat roles in the Army and the Navy are still off-limits for women, due to a combination of operational concerns and logistical constraints.

In the IAF since 1993, women officers have been inducted in all branches and stream as Short Service Commissioned Officers, except in the fighter stream.

However, IAF has revised the Short Service Commission scheme to induct women into the fighter stream on experimental basis for five years. The IAF has already selected the next batch of three women trainee pilots for the fighter stream.

When Avani created history

Avani Chaturvedi, Mohana Singh and Bhawana Kanth

Avani Chaturvedi has created history by becoming the first Indian woman fighter pilot to fly solo. Chaturvedi flew a MiG-21 Bison in her first training solo sortie, in Jamnagar, Gujarat. Avani flew a MiG-21 Bison It is pertinent to mention here that MiG-21 Bison has the highest landing and take-off speed in the world – 340 kmph.

Coming from the Rewa district in Madhya Pradesh, she was declared as the first combat pilot along with two of her cohorts, Mohana Singh and Bhawana Kanth. The trio was conducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron on June 18th, 2016. They were formally commissioned by then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Inspirations for little girls

Avani being the first woman to gain such a big accomplishment this early in her life helps other little girls who have got the same wishes. The wishes can’t go dismissed just because they don’t belong to the male category.

As being a male isn’t a factor to determine how strong anyone is or what power they got to be able to handle combat situations.

Women are as mentally and physically strong and fully capable of choosing their professions. The accomplishments of Avani Chaturvedi is indeed a huge impact on India as a country and is a way in a much improved direction of change in gender dynamics.


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Image source: edited on CanvaPro

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