Bengaluru: They are called the Air Warriors of the Indian Air Force. And very aptly so as the team of five women skydivers led by Wing Commander Asha Jyothirmasi made a jump from 5,000 feet over the Yelahanka airspace as part of Aero India 2019 leaving people below gasping in admiration.
Trained by Wing Commander Vishal Lakhesh, the event celebrated the theme of ‘Women in the aviation sector.’ All the five intrepid women skydivers are from the flying, education and technical departments of the IAF. Wing Commander Jyothirmai hails from Hyderabad and was a national athlete before getting commissioned into the Indian Air Force as an accounts officer on December 20, 1997.
She started skydiving in 1999 and has since made 864 jumps, the highest by any woman skydiver in the country. She holds a record for being the first woman officer to skydive from a microlight aircraft in 2001 and led the first Indian women services team in a parachuting event at the 35th world military parachuting championship.
Team member and flying officer Tuhina Gaur is a second generation officer with over 350 flying hours to her credit. Explaining the risks, she says, “There is always the possibility of the parachute refusing to open and your ankles getting hurt. If we got hurt we couldn’t fly” Besides skydiving, she flies the Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. Wing Commander Sangita Paulraj is a post graduate in psychology from Bengaluru. She began her sky adventures in 2009 and has 307 free-fall jumps to her credit .
Squadron leader Seema Sheoran was commissioned in the flying branch of the helicopter stream in 2011 and is now posted at the Helicopter Training School, Hakimpet. A second generation air warrior, she hails from Sonipat in Haryana and has flown over 1500 hours on the Chetak/Cheetah helicopters.
Squadron leader Isha Gill was commissioned on July 9, 2012 as a technical officer and trained in basic para jumping at PTS, Agra....