Antra Mehta, a Nagpur native who is a flying officer with the Indian Air Force. Mehta has just become the first-ever woman fighter pilot fighter from Maharashtra. Overall in the country, she is the tenth woman fighter pilot.
Mehta, who schooled at the Mount Carmel High School in Nagpur, pursued her engineering degree from Sri Ramdeobaba Kamla Nehru College of Engineering. The national-level basketball player dreamt of joining the Indian Air Force since a young age.
Trained at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad, Mehta graduated last week and is the sole woman officer from her batch who has been selected for the fighter stream. She told a news portal that she is the first one from her family as well.
Mehta sharpened her flying skills with the Pilatus PC7 training aircraft. She followed it with the aircraft Kiran MK 1, for stage two at Fighter Training Wing. For those from her batch and others, a joint successful graduation parade with other branches was hosted in Hyderabad. For further training, Mehta will be at the Bidar and Kalaikonda Air Force Stations.
Mehta struggled to clear the Services Selection Board (SSB) exam twice, but not one to give up, she cleared it the third time. She told the portal that she kept three things in mind to clear the interview. First, to unlearn a lot of things learned before from others. She stressed the importance of starting afresh. Second, she tried and followed all the advice that she received from her preparatory academy and followed it to the T. And third, she remembered also to enjoy this journey so she could give it her best shot. “SSB is not a very difficult process it’s a basic personality test, and if you are yourself you will clear it,” Mehta said to the portal.
Aside from this, she mentions her inspiration came from her pillars of support—her parents Punam and Ravi Mehta and sister Deepshika. She has truly shown that sky’s the limit!
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