Let me touch the sky and I shall fly.
The feeling I got as I have been meeting and interacting with the women pilot and crew members of Air India for the last two days, in the series of events organised by the company. I was affirmed that there is absolutely nothing anyone can’t do.
My first inspiration was meeting India’s only woman Jumbo Jet pilot Trisha Mohan who has been flying high the jet for last 4 years.
She has been flying with Air India for last 20 years and when asked if she has ever got nervous considering that she is the only lady pilot, she smiled and said “Just keep doing your work. Always believe in yourself and know that you are the best. Why to feel nervous then?”
Air India operated more than 10 all women crew flights on its international and domestic routes from 26th February to 08th March 2017. It also created a record of operating a non-stop round the world flight on Delhi-SFO-Delhi by all women crew.
The non-stop flight from Delhi to SFO travelled via the Pacific Ocean and returned via the Atlantic Ocean completing a round trip of the world with 16 crew members and 250 passengers on-board. With the travelling time of 15 hours and ten minutes, the Boeing 777-200LR aircraft covered 15,300 kms from Delhi- SFO at a speed of more than 1000 kms/hour. The flight while on its way to create history traversed 13 time zones. On return, the aircraft covered nearly 14000 kms and took 15 and half hours
Another inspiration came when I boarded the special all women crew ATR-72 to Agra, to travel along with 52 other women on International Women’s Day yesterday. The flight was special because I was travelling with the women who have never been on an airplane despite working in the aviation industry of more than 15 years.
And believe me seeing them was an eye opener. It was the day of realisation. I was reminded again to be grateful of even the smallest things that exist in our lives. Because those smallest things could mean world to someone else. Travelling on a flight would have been never a big deal for me until I realised yesterday that it could be a small nourished dream of many like them. Those who have dreamt of getting a chance to experience the airplane.
I spoke to Suman who has been working with Air India as a ground staff for last 15 years and she told me that “whenever I saw those huge crafts landing, I always used to secretly wish if I can ever get to sit and fly with them. I wanted to see if the earth is really round as we are told and I wanted to touch the clouds. I am so happy that I will be experiencing it for real”
I have seen the excitement and happiness on their faces. Some of them didn’t sleep the entire night. Few were preparing for this ‘grand’ day for over a week. And all of them came best dressed with only a small desire of experiencing the sky only once
The flight which was scheduled to roam in the air around the Taj Mahal in Agra couldn’t reach the destination because of bad weather at Jaipur. But for Swati it was all about the experience “We want to touch the sky and want to be in the air. We don’t want to land. It is so surreal up here”
The excitement of these ladies was so high that while the aircraft landed at the International airport, someone from the back shouted “once more”. They surely didn’t want to end and wanted more
The day was also unusual because we were flying with Captain Urmila Yadav. Yes the lady who averted an air tragedy of aircraft AI-9760 saving 48 passengers on-board and five-member crew members back in 2012. She landed the airplane on one wheel in Guwahati. Her aura was magnetic as she consciously kept guiding the ladies of our whereabouts in the air. As we speak to her on flying this 72 seater aircraft she joked “It’s a small flight” 😉
I never believed in celebrating these special days because I believe men and women, both are at par. You don’t need a day to justify your existence. But if someone gets to live their dream for even a second, yes the day has to be special
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