New Delhi: Among the 113 flight cadets, who graduated as flying officers of the Indian Air Force on Saturday, is Meghana Shanbough, who has become the first woman fighter pilot from Karnataka. She has joined the club of five other women fighter pilots of the IAF, who hail from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Born in Chikmagalur in Karnataka in a family of lawyers, Meghana pursued engineering in Information Science and Engineering from Sri Jaya Chamarajendra College of Engineering in Mysuru from 2011 to 2015.
After the completion of her graduation in 2015, Meghana did basic mountaineering course form Manali and Para gliding at Goa in 2016 before joining the Indian Air Force. She joined the force in January 2017 in the Flying branch at Air Force Academy. She was cleared for flying in fighter stream in a trifurcation board in December 2017.
Meghana’s father MK Ramesh is a practicing lawyer and mother SC Shobha is presently serving as a judge in the District Consumer Forum in Udupi. She did her schooling at Little Rock Indian boarding school in Brahmavar area in Udipi district.
The News Minute quoted the Meghana as saying that she got inspired to become a fighter pilot in June 2016 when she read the stories of Indian Air Force’s first fighter pilots Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh.
On Saturday, 113 flight cadets, including 13 women officers graduated as Flying Officers of the Indian Air Force at the Air Force Academy. Apart from this, 80 young pilots, six navigators and 27 ground duty officers earned their coveted ‘Wings and Brevets’, along with six officers of Indian Navy and five of the Indian Coast Guard, who successfully completed their flying training.
Various awards were also given on the occasion to flying officers who excelled in their training. Flying Officer Tarun Nair from the Flying branch was awarded President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff ‘Sword of Honour’ for standing first in Overall Merit in Pilot Course.
Flying Officer Abhishek Bajpai and Flying Officer Banti were awarded President’s Plaque for being first in overall merit in Navigation and Ground Duty branches respectively.