At the age of 25, a Kashmiri woman, Ayesha Aziz, has become the youngest woman pilot in the country. She is now an inspiration and a beacon of empowerment for other Kashmiri women.
Ayesha graduated in aviation from the Bombay Flying Club (BFC) and procured a student pilot license at the age of 15 years, making her the youngest student pilot to ever get the license. She also underwent training to fly a MIG-29 jet at Russia’s Sokol airbase the following year.
After getting the commercial pilot’s license, Ayesha was also trained at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The 25-year-old underwent training for a Space Shuttle Mission, specifically learning to manoeuvre spacecraft in microgravity, multi-axis training and extra-vehicular activity.
Ayesha also lauded how the women in the Valley are progressing as she says, “I think Kashmiri women are doing very well, especially in education. Every other woman in Kashmir is doing her Masters or her doctorate. People of the Valley are doing great,” she said.
Despite the odd timing and the dynamic work culture, Ayesha says she is happy to take on the challenges that is different from “normal 9-5 desk job”.
“In this profession, one’s mental state should be very strong because you’ll be carrying 200 passengers and it is a great responsibility,” she added.
Ayesha also expressed gratitude towards her parents as she says, “My father is my greatest role model.”