Flying Officer Meghana Shanbough on Saturday inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) as fighter pilot. The 24-year-old Meghana, who is hailing from Chikmaglur in Mysore of Karnataka, was among the 13 women officers out of 113 Flight Cadets , who earned their coveted wings on successful completion of their flying training from the Air Force Academy located at Dundigal here.
Meghana , the first fighter pilot from South India, will be the sixth women fighter pilot , to be inducted into the IAF. All other five women fighter pilots who were commissioned earlier in the IAF hailed from various states of MP, Rajasthan, Bihar and UP. Meghana’s father M K Ramesh, who is a practicing lawyer, said he was proud of his daughter Meghana, who inducted was into IAF as fighter pilot.
While a total of 13 women graduated as Flying Officers of the Indian Air Force, 80 young pilots, 6 navigators and 27 ground duty officers also earned their coveted ‘Wings and Brevets’, along with 6 officers of Indian Navy and 5 officers of Indian Coast Guard on successful completion of their flying training from the academy.
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa graced the solemn ceremony as the chief guest and reviewed the Combined Graduation Parade.
He gave away various awards to the Flying Officers who had 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.
The grand event was witnessed by parents of the graduating trainees, various military and civilian dignitaries and few foreign Defence attaches.