The Indian Air Force is all set to take stock of the performance of the first three female fighter pilots who were recently inducted. Mohana Singh, Avani Chaturvedi and Bhawana Kanth are the three women who have cleared the process of becoming fighter pilots.
The performance data will examine the struggle the women fighter pilots due to physiological parameters and social and cultural difficulties from a male-dominated society. The data proposal has been made by a female aviation psychologist and accident investigator in the IAF and has currently undergone a check by the organisation’s scrutiny and safety department.
“We propose to carry out a longitudinal study capturing every aspect of fighter pilots. The idea is to track how well they are progressing as they break into a male bastion,” Kuhu Ganguly, a senior scientist in the inspection and safety directorate, told HT.
The women pilots are at the last stage of their training process on the British Hawk advanced jet trainers at an IAF facility in Bidar, Karnataka. They are going to officially fly from June 2017, which will be a first in the 84-year-long history of Indian Air Force.
Women-centric researches are not an unprecedented move in the air force. US and Australia already have done studies on women pilot programs much before India but it is an on-going process since one really needs to re-observe various aspects of the training. Some of the areas that have been taken for research are tolerance to gravitational forces, disorientation and motion sickness, pregnancy, use of “piddle packs” and ejection safety.
The IAF demands that the women fighter pilots delay pregnancy for at least four years as they start their job.
Picture credit- NDTV