Indian Navy’s Sub-lieutenant Shivangi became the first woman pilot for the naval force on Monday. Coming from Muzzafarpur, Shivangi would be operating the Naval Dornier surveillance aircraft.
A dream is now a reality
Born in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Shivangi as a kid was influenced by a chopper pilot who used to fly a VVIP Helicopter for a politician addressing a public rally at her native village Fatehabad.
The little girl, who could not distinguish between a commercial plane and a defense aircraft, wanted to fly high and become a pilot. It’s fifteen years now, the same girl -Shivangi on Monday became the first woman pilot of the Indian Navy.
She will be flying Indian Navy’s Dornier surveillance aircraft for maritime reconnaissance, search and rescue operations.
“Women were always there in the Navy. They were not in the cockpit but were just observers. Being the first to be the pilot in the navy ‘would create more opportunities for other women who wanted to join the defense force,” she said.
Coming from a poor background
Shivangi comes from a common farmer’s family. Her father is a school teacher and principal of a government high school for girls, and her mother is a home-maker.
“I was in B.Tech (mechanical) fourth year at the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, Sikkim when the Indian Navy came up with the university entry scheme. An officer came to our college and showed us a video about life in the Indian navy,” she said.
“That was my first exhibition to the Indian armed forces through the navy. The navy had then begun induction for women pilots. As a 10-year-old child, who nurtured a dream of becoming a pilot after seeing one, I seized the opportunity with both hands. And here I am now,” she said.
Shivangi has previously flown Pilatus PC 7 Mk II, Basic Trainer at AFA and completed Dornier Conversion with the Indian navy in Kochi. She would proceed with her training at INAS 550, the Dornier squadron at INS Garuda, to grow a fully operational pilot on Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) aircraft.