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Monday, March 21, 2011

First Indian Woman Airline Pilot


Women are currently eligible for a permanent commission only in the medical, nursing and dental services of the Indian armed forces. They are also eligible for short service commissions in these services, as also in the supporting but non-combatant arms of the armed forces. Currently, 5,137 women officers serve in the armed forces. They include 4,101 in the army, 784 in the air force, and 252 in the navy.

Durba Banerjee, the first woman pilot in Indian aviation history, started her career flying a Dakota as an Air Survey pilot in 1959. She joined Indian Air Lines in 1966. It is heard that when she approached then Central Aviation Minister Mr. Humayun Kabir to apply as a commercial pilot he was reluctant and instead offered her the post of a flight attendant.
Coincidentally, after many years Humayun Kabir while disembarking from a certain flight came to know that the captain of the journey was the same lady once he snubbed off. She became a full fledged commercial pilot when she took a flight of the wide-bodied Boeing in 1987. The iron lady touched the sky with maximum flying hours of 185000hrs to her credit.

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