India navy gets its first woman pilot to fly Dornier aircraft

Photo: Indian Navy’s Sub Lieutenant Shivangi (second from left) receiving the coveted pilot ‘wings’ from Southern Naval Commander Vice Admiral A. K. Chawla in Kochi today.

New Delhi: Indian women are breaking the barriers in the armed forces and are set to fly high, literally. The Indian Navy today said a woman officer has qualified as a pilot for the Dornier aircraft in its aviation wing.

The feat was achieved by Sub Lieutenant Shivangi after she emerged the first and the only woman in a batch of three trainee officers of the seventh Dornier Conversion Course and was awarded the coveted goldenr ‘wings’ at a simple ceremony at INS Garuda.

Indian Navy’s Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Vice Admiral A. K. Chawla presented the ‘wings’ to the three passing out officers, including the woman officer, signifying their qualification as naval aviators.

File Photo: Indian Navy’s Dornier maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

Sub Lieutenant Shivangi also created history by winning the FOC-in-C South Rolling Trophy for standing first in the overall order of merit on successful graduation from the course.

The award of the ‘wings’ marks the culmination of a year-long flying training at the Air Force Academy (AFA) at Dundigal and the Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 550 at INS Garuda in Kochi. From here on, the pilots will join the ‘Dornier Operational Flying Training‘ course at INAS 550 from mid-January 2020, prior to joining an operational maritime reconnaissance squadron.

Sub Lieutenant Shivangi, a native of Muzaffarpur in Bihar, was inducted into the Indian Navy under the Short Service Commission (SSC) Pilot entry scheme, and was part of the 27th naval orientation course at the Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala in Kerala.

She was commissioned into the Indian Navy in June last year. As part of her training, Shivangi has flown Pilatus PC-7 MkII Basic Trainer Aircraft at the AFA and completed the Dornier Conversion with the Indian Navy at Kochi.

She will continue her training at INAS 550, the Dornier squadron at INS Garuda, to become a fully operational pilot on maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

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