Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Flight Lieutenant Mohana Singh, one of the three women fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force, made her air show debut at Aero India 2019.
Flt Lt Singh, who is undergoing advanced training, flew a Hawk-I in front of a cheering crowd, making quick flypasts and manoeuvres.
“I was told I would be flying at Aero India just a few weeks ago. I was super excited to fly the Hawk-I. I have already flown Hawks, but flying Hawk-I, which is an advanced version of the Hawk with different radar and avionics, was an amazing experience,” she tells The Quint.
Flying at an air show was a different experience for Flight Lt Singh. Pointing out the difference between flying in a squadron and participating in an air show, the pilot says, “The primary task becomes the display; that the people should be looking at it and should be wondering that this is what this aircraft can do. Also, there is associated glamour with that aircraft.”
Flt Lt Singh and her two fellow pilots had made history when they were selected to be the first women fighter pilots of the Indian Air Force. She says that that when she had joined the air force, women pilots could only choose between transport and helicopters units.
“Honestly, I had opted for the transport wing, but during training, when the choice was given to us, we realised that it’s a great opportunity. Another thing that led to this was the need for speed,” Flt Lt Singh says with a smile.
Flt Lt Singh is currently undergoing advanced training, after which she will join one of the frontline fighter squadrons of the IAF.
I Want to Fly All of Them
When asked which aircraft at Aero India did she want to fly, she says: “There have been many eye candies here, and honestly, each of them are equally capable and versatile in their roles. I don’t think I would say I have eyes on just one of them. Given a choice, I would like to fly all of them.”
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