Lt. Harita Kaur Deol was the first woman in the country to fly solo in the Indian Air Force. She was born in a Sikh family in 1971 in Chandigarh. Deol completed her schooling and college from Punjab itself and she always wanted to join the Indian Air Force. Her journey towards her goal is a very memorable one.
There was a time in the country where females were not equally respected as much as men. Now the scenario is better but it is still not the best. The Indian Air Force in the year of 1992 advertised for a women pilot, with only eight vacancies. There were 20,000 applications from all over the country. 500 qualified for the written test. Then there was a second written test and only 10 to 12 candidates were selected from the three centres which at that time appeared to be qualifying.
Lt. Harita Kaur Deol was one of them and it is absolutely evident that how much amount of hard work she must have put into this to come in the top 13 candidates. Deol was then recruited by the Indian Air Force as a Short Service Commission Officer from one of the seven cadets. Kaur completed her training from the Air Force Academy of Dindigul which is near Hyderabad.
This is the time when her hard work paid off just at the age of 22, what a normal person does is completes college and prepares to get somewhere, get started. Lt. Harita Kaur Deol in an Avro HS-748 flew high and touched the heights of 10,000 without a co-pilot, solo. History was made on that day as she was the first Indian female to fly alone. This was a demonstration which she had to complete and she passed it with flying colours.
Just after two years of creating history, Lt. Harita Kaur Deol died in a plane crash on the 25th December 1996 at the young age of 24 along with other 24 Air Force Personnel. Their plane crashed near a village of Andhra Pradesh.
Such was the story fo the first female to fly solo in India, who worked hard with just one conviction that she wanted to achieve something and she believed in it.
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