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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Golden Girl Shivangi Singh- first woman pilot to fly Rafale

The name of the first woman pilot who will join the newly inducted most multi-role fighter Rafale Squadron in Indian Air Force is out. Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh will be the fighter pilot who is to join the Rafale fleet. A native of Varanasi Shivani was Commissioned into the IAF in 2017 as part of the batch of women fighter pilots.

During the Combined Graduation Parade of Pilots and Ground Duty Officers, she Along with another flight woman pilot Pratibha who hails from Rajasthan received wings from Chief of Naval Staff Admiral. The ceremony was held on Saturday,  at the Air Force Academy (AFA), Dundigal near Hyderabad. Her proud family attended the event. Over 100 officers including these two women pilot were commissioned.

Shivangi’s Early life and Family Background

Shivangi belongs to a very modest family in Varanasi. Shivangi’s father runs a family business of tour and travels in Phulwaria area of the city. Seema Singh, her mother is a teacher. She has a brother, Mayank Singh who studies in Class IX. She lived in a joint family along with her other relatives. She finished her schooling and B.Sc degree from Varanasi. She always had been nurturing a dream since childhood, of serving the country through Defence services by becoming a woman pilot. It was a tough job for her, convincing her parents and relatives about her dream of flying. When she declared that she wanted to join the defence forces and serve the nation, her parents and other family members were very reluctant. But determined shivangi never lost hope and started proving herself in sports and other activities. The family finally agreed. So she joined the prestigious Bananas Hindu University. Shivangi joined the 7 UP Air Squadron NCC. After she got selected for the CAT, in 2016 she went to join the Air Force Academy for her training.

Life as a Pilot

She always looks up to the women pilot of India Air Force. Her inspiration was Flying Officers Mohana Singh, BhawanaKanth and Avani Chaturvedi. 

She is currently flying a MiG-21 Bison.Flt Lt Singh is posted at the same base in Rajasthan as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Captain Abhinandan is the same person who rose to nationwide fame in February 2019,with his participation in the fight between the IAF  and units counterpart in Pakistani, which landed in his subsequent 60-hour captivity. Wing Commander Abhinandan was Shivangi’s flying instructor.

At Present

Singh is now undergoing conversion training since August 2020. This is the course pilots undertake when they change from flying one aircraft to another.

Shivangi will be soon in Ambala, to become a formal part of the seventeen Squadron, ‘Golden Arrows’.

Her family members are happy with her accomplishment. They proudly said that, ”We are very happy that our daughterShivangi has become the first woman fighter pilot from Varanasi to fly the topmost fighter aircraft in India at present.”

The Future

In India,  the number of women fighter pilots entering defence services is still subtle, the first woman pilot flying one of the most sophisticated fighter aircraft in the country, will  be seen as a motivational start.  That should grow the inclusion of women pilots and other defence services into higher numbers in the years ahead. People like Shivangi, hailing from a modest family and from a orthodox background had set the tone for other females aspiring for such opportunities.


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