IAF mulls gathering data on women pilots
The Indian Air Force is examining a proposal to gather data on the performance of its first female fighter pilots, potential difficulties due to physiological attributes and cultural issues in the male-dominated military, HT has learnt.
The proposal, made by a leading woman aviation psychologist and accident investigator in the IAF, is under consideration of the force’s crucial inspection and safety wing, sources said. (From left) Mohana, Bhawana and Avani are in line to be the country’s first women combat pilots.
Three women are currently taking a shot at becoming fighter pilots after the government approved a plan in October
“We propose to carry out a longitudinal study capturing every aspect of fighter flying,” said Kuhu Ganguly, a senior scientist in the inspection and safety directorate.
“The idea is to track how well they are progressing as they break into a male bastion,” she said. Such studies can stretch for years as subjects are repeatedly observed on specific parameters.
The three women are in the final stage of their training on British Hawk advanced jet trainers at an IAF facility in Bidar, Karnataka. The trailblazers — Bhawana Kanth, Mohana Singh and Avani Chaturvedi — will begin flying supersonic fighter planes from June 2017, considered a watershed in the IAF’s 84-year history.