Bengaluru, June 15: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is all geared up to induct women pilots into the fighter stream on June 18 during the historic Passing out Parade (PoP) at Air Force Academy (AFA) at Dundigal in Hyderabad.
In this fist part, OneIndia takes a look at Flight Cadet Bhawana Kanth, who is among the first three lucky women pilots to be welcomed into the fighter stream on Saturday.
According to Indian Air Force (IAF) Public Relations Officer Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee, Bhawana hails from Darbhanga in Bihar and grew up at the Refinery Township of Begusarai.
"Her father is an engineer in IOCL and mother a home maker. She has done her schooling from Barauni Refinery DAV Public School and completed my B.E. (Medical Electronics) from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore," says Wg Cdr Banerjee.
IAF quotes Bhawana as saying that it was dream to fly like a free bird since childhood, which eventually inspired her to join the IAF.
"After clearing my Stage-I training, I got golden opportunity to opt for fighter stream, the best and the biggest thing that has happened to me and the best part is, it is just the beginning. It is my aim to become a good fighter pilot and fight for the nation and make my parents proud," says Bhawana.
When asked about her experience spinning the plane for the first time, a mandatory exercise for all rookie pilots (technically called as stall, spin and recovery mission), Bhavana said she felt the difference of Pilatus and Kiran.
"I thought getting a spin would be cake walk as we had already done solos in the previous stage on Pilatus. But the day we were introduced to spin in Kiran, we realised it was not the same. At 20000 feet the doubt started creeping in that what if the aircraft doesn't recover. I spun the aircraft and to my surprise, the spin was more vicious or so it seemed. But the fighter pilot in me took over and I told myself come what may I will recover," she says.
Among her hobbies are badminton, volleyball trekking, rock climbing, rappelling, rafting etc.
Bhawana also chases her passion in photography, cooking, swimming and travelling.
(This series will have two more parts.)
By OneIndia Defence Bureau