Tale Of 2 Women Who Went Round The World In A Record Time

There is nothing stronger than a woman with a goal and her desire to achieve it. No matter what they do, they pour their 100% effort and dedication to the given job. This is affirmed by two young pilots who despite all the challenges accomplished an expedition and became India’s first female pilots to do so.

They were chosen

A private firm named Social Access Communication and The Ministry of Women and Child Development collaborated to accomplish a month long world expedition across 22 countries. The aim was to raise funds to provide scholarship to train underprivileged girls living in areas connected by Udan, India’s regional connectivity program, to learn and earn from flying. For this purpose they needed two young pilots and that’s when they encountered 22-year-old Aarohi Pandit and 24-year-old Keithair Misquitta. Both were trained at Bombay Flying Club and specialized in flying light sport aircraft in Serbia. Impressed by their skills they were selected to pull off this challenging task. 

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We were looking for young pilots to do this and we identified them. The small size of the plane makes it a challenge,” says Debkanya Dhar from Social Access Communications.

The glorious journey began

On July 30, 2018, they took off from Patiala in a light sport aircraft named Mahi with food, drinking water and other flight equipment. The very first challenge was to fly over the Indian ocean. Aarohi had to encircle it alone because with two pilots, a full fuel tank and the rest of the cargo it became heavy. But she did fly with grace and became the first female pilot to do so for which an extra feather was added to her cap. 

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It was beautiful to have the sparkling blue ocean everywhere. When the engine fails while flying on land, you can still land, but flying over the ocean, you have nowhere to land. In the flight that lasted five and a half hours, I saw land only for 40 minutes while landing and take-off,” says Aarohi.

Challenges were bound to come

Together they flew across Iran where they crossed the ceiling of the aircraft which is 10,000 feet. They also crossed LoC and spent a night in Karachi. But it wasn’t a piece of cake because in Turkey they had to take a detour due to bad weather condition and the turbulence could have costed them their lives. So they had to land at the military airstrip.

They first wondered what we were doing there with an India registered aircraft, but later gave us chocolates and juice,” says Aarohi.

The expedition plan was also to skirt Canada, USA and Russia but it was aborted it Greenland due to poor weather conditions. For now, Aarohi and  Keithair have returned home and will be visiting Delhi to meet the Women and Child Development Minister Meneka Gandhi. They were also honored by the Women Pilots Association for their commendable journey. The expedition will resume in March 2019.

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