She developed her love for flying during her frequent travel to Srinagar as a child with her parents. She would undergo 5-day schooling and would train for flying at the weekends. And finally in 2012, she secured her flying license from Bombay Flying Club.
Teenage often finds youngsters toiling between education, family, love and the want for independence. One can often imagine this phase like a lone ship in a stormy sea; the captain who manages to hold a focused & steady mind, would only be able to sail through; for others, the journey might not end as smoothly.
Such a focused and steady mind is 25 years old Ayesha Aziz, who became the country’s youngest female pilot when she acquired her flying license at the age of 16. Her mother hails from Baramulla district of Kashmir and father is a businessman from Maharashtra.
She developed her love for flying during her frequent travel to Srinagar as a child with her parents. She would undergo 5-day schooling and would train for flying at the weekends. And finally in 2012, she secured her flying license from Bombay Flying Club. Motivated by astronauts like the late Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, Ayesha later completed her training in Space Shuttle mission, micro-gravity, manned maneuvering unit, multi-axis training and extra-vehicular activity at NASA, being one amongst the only three Indians selected for the programme. She also went on to fly a Mig-29 fighter jet at Russia’s Sokul airbase in January 2012.
Ayesha graduated in aviation from Bombay Flying Club and obtained a commercial pilot’s license in 2017. She was awarded with the First Ladies’ Award by the President of India in 2018 & featured amongst the country’s top 100 women achievers. Today, Ayesha flies for GoAir and is emerging as a role model for women in the Kashmir valley, often advising them on how to deal with online bullying and encouraging them to pursue aviation.
She takes pride in her Kashmiri roots and is very fond of ‘Nun Chai’ and Kashmiri food. Despite spending most of the time outside Kashmir, she knows Kashmiri language well. She has a message for the youth of Kashmir to focus on their goal and not to be bothered by what society thinks. In future, she wants to collaborate with the UNICEF to help the poor and needy. She is indeed a true inspiration for the youth around the world.