South’s 1st lady fighter pilot from state

Meghana Shanbhag

Chikkamagaluru is known for the finest coffee, waterfalls and the best of nature.

From now on, the central Karnataka city will have another feather in its cap. It will be known for giving India another woman fighter pilot, first from the south of the Vindhyas. All five woman fighter pilots who were commissioned in the Indian Air Force earlier hailed from the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Flying officer Meghana Shanbhag, who got her wings on Saturday at the combined graduation parade at Dundigal here, was born in Chikkamagaluru in a family of lawyers. Her father M K Ramesh is a practising lawyer and mother S C Shobha serves as a judge in the district consumer forum, Udupi. She had her schooling at Little Rock Indian School, a boarding school at Brahmavar, Udupi. She did her BE in Information Science and Engineering at the Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysuru in the 2011-15 batch.

After joining the flying branch of the Air Force Academy in January 2017, she was cleared for flying in the fighter stream in a trifurcation board in December 2017. She will be the sixth woman fighter pilot to be inducted into the IAF. After her graduation in 2015, she did basic mountaineering course in Manali and trained in paragliding at Goa during 2016, before joining the Air Force.

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South’s 1st lady fighter pilot from state

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