Parent and child pilots on airliners are relatively common but the Indian air force may have scored a first with a father-daughter formation flight. Air Commodore Sanjay Sharma and his 24-year-old daughter Ananya achieved the distinction on May 30. “The father-daughter duo created history on 30 May 2022, when they flew in the same formation of Hawk-132 aircraft at Air Force Station Bidar, where Flying Officer Ananya Sharma is undergoing her training before she graduates onto faster and more superior fighter aircraft of the IAF,” an air force news release said.
The air force is claiming a first for the flight but the Air Commodore called it years ago according to his daughter. “As a child, I would often ask my father why there were no women fighter pilots. He would tell me in his characteristic style—Don’t worry, you will be one,” she told the Times of India. The Indian air force now has 15 female fighter pilots flying MiG-21s, Sukhoi-30MKIs and Rafales.