Srinagar: A 17-year-old Mumbai girl, who traces her origin to Kashmir, has achieved the distinction of being awarded a student pilot licence and is now determined to realise her dream of becoming a commercial pilot.
Ayesha Aziz, whose mother hails from Baramulla district in north Kashmir, has already attained what many girls her of age only ponder -- she was awarded a student pilot licence by the prestigious Bombay Flying Club when she was just 15.
She has also earned Flight Radio Telephone Operator`s Licence (FRTOL) and is a member of Indian Women Pilots Association (IWPA).
"I only had one dream and that was to become a pilot. It was the only thing that was in my mind and I was focussed and determined to realise my dream," Ayesha told PTI.
While she was studying in class 12 at Christ Church School in Mumbai, a NASA team visited the school and selected her, along with two boys, for a space training programme.
"NASA was an awesome experience. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It felt great....I do not have words to describe my feeling," she said.
During the two-month course, she received advanced training in space shuttle mission, multi-axis training, micro-gravity, manned manoeuvering unit and extra vehicular activity (EVA), Ayesha said.
Although she is eligible to sit in the examination for qualifying as a commercial pilot in November this year, Ayesha said she will appear in the test next year as "I don`t think I am ready yet."
She is proud of the support extended to her by her parents. "It is because of my parents that I stand where I am today."