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IAF Father-daughter team of fighter pilots makes history

Father and daughter pair Flying Officer Ananya Sharma, who was commissioned as a fighter pilot in December 2021, and Air Commodore Sanjay Sharma, an experienced fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF), made aviation history by flying in the same jet formation. At Air Force Station, Bidar, they flew in the same formation of Hawk-132 Advanced Jet Trainers (AJT).

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KEY POINTS:

  • According to an IAF officer, Father and daughter pair Flying Officer Ananya Sharma, who was commissioned as a fighter pilot in December 2021, and Air Commodore Sanjay Sharma, an experienced fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF), made aviation history by flying in the same jet formation.
  • At Air Force Station, Bidar, they flew in the same formation of Hawk-132 Advanced Jet Trainers (AJT).
  • Air Commodore Sanjay Sharma received his commission in the Indian Air Force’s fighter stream in 1989. He has vast expertise in fighter operations and has held the command of both a frontline fighter station and a Mig-21 Squadron.
  • Ananya observed her father, a fighter pilot, foster this very link with his other squadron pilots while she was growing up, the officer added, referring to the closeness and camaraderie a fighter pilot shares with one’s wingman, which is brilliantly shown in the Hollywood blockbuster Top Gun.
  • He said that having practically grown up in the IAF, there was not a single profession that she could envisage being a part of.
  • Ananya recognised that her longtime goal may finally take flight when the IAF’s first female fighter pilots entered duty in 2016, he said.
  • After earning her B.Tech in Electronics and Communication, she was chosen for IAF flying branch training and received her fighter pilot commission in December 2021.

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