It was in October 2015 that the Government took the decision to open the fighter stream for women. Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi became the first Indian woman to pilot a fighter aircraft when she made her first solo flight in a MiG-21 Bison on February 19 2018. On December 16, 2017 two women from the second batch to enter the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force were commissioned after graduating from the Air Force Academy, Dundigul. The MiG-21 has been one of the mainstays of the Indian Air Force for decades, and is set to be completely phased out over the next two years.
Avani, who hails from Rewa district in Madhya Pradesh, was declared as the first combat pilot along with two of her cohort, Mohana Singh, and Bhawana Kanth. The trio was inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron on June 18, 2016. Mohana Singh and Bhawana have also completed training to fly a fighter plane and will soon fly fighter planes. All three were given training in January. Well done AVANI!