Image sourced from @IAF_MCC – Indian Air Force Twitter Account

All-woman crew from IAF flies a medium-lift helicopter for the first time in India

In my endeavour to continue sharing inspiring stories of women who have broken stereotypes and achieved success in their endeavours, today I share with you about three women officers of the Indian Air Force. The ‘All Women Crew’ of India flew a medium-lift helicopter MI-17 V5 and were the first such women in Indian history, to do so.

According to an Indian Air Force Release, “Flt Lt Parul Bharadwaj (Captain), Flying Officer Aman Nidhi (Co-Pilot) and Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal (Flight Engineer) have become country’s first All-Women Crew to fly a medium-lift helicopter. They flew a Mi-17 V5 helicopter for a battle inoculation Training Mission taking off and landing from restricted areas at a forward airbase in South Western Air command. S/L Richa Adhikari gave the pre-flight certification to the helicopter”.

Flt Lt. Parul Bharadwaj, from Punjab’s Mukerian, is the first woman to fly the Mi-17 V5 helicopter. Flying Officer Aman Nidhi is also the first woman IAF pilot from Jharkhand. She is from Ranchi. Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal, from Chandigarh, is the first woman flight engineer of the Indian Air Force. In fact, it was her childhood dream to wear the soldier’s uniform and take on the skies as an aviator. She fulfilled her dreams by successfully graduating from the alma mater of Heli-lift and joining IAF.

Each of these women have been able to create a place from themselves in a profession which were thought to be suitable only for men. It is women like these who are a shining example of what women can achieve if they are ready to challenge the status quo and break the barriers. These women took a courageous step, moved out of their comfort zone and proved to the world that women can be successful in professional arenas as well. Women can stand shoulder to shoulder and in many cases can also outshine their male counterparts.

A big salute to all these 3 women officers and other females like them who are an inspiration to other women. They remind me of the quote form Atticus,

“She was powerful, not because she wasn’t scared, but because she went so strongly, despite the fear”

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