New Delhi: President Partibha Patil, who
plans to create history by becoming the first woman to fly in
an Indian Air Force fighter jet on November 25, is looking
forward to the "experience of an air combat aircraft" and has
already undergone a special briefing on it.
Official sources said a special audio-visual briefing was
held for the President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan recently in
which she was told how to get into the SU-30 MKI air
superiority fighter jet, how to alight and what instruments to
They said 74-year-old Patil will wear a special
anti-gravity suit called G-Suit, which helps in withstanding
high gravitational pressure during such flights.
The President was briefed by four Air Force officers,
including the pilot and the back up pilot for the aircraft, on
which Patil will take a sortie from the Lohegaon air base at
When contacted, Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Archana
Dutta said, "President is looking forward to the flight. As
Supreme Commander of the armed forces, she would like to
experience air combat aircraft."
The Armed Forces` Supreme Commander will first undergo
mandatory health checks before the sortie, which would take
The IAF at present employs about 780 women officers in
different branches of the air force service, including flying,
but they only fly transport aircraft and helicopters.
As a matter of policy, the IAF does not recruit women in
the fighter pilot stream.
Earlier, former President A P J Abdul Kalam had taken a
ride in a submarine in 2006 and followed it up with a sortie
in a Sukhoi the same year.