Indian Air Force Officer Bhavana Mehra Is A Woman Of Many Firsts With An Inspirational Journey
- IWB Post
- January 26, 2019
Indian Air Force (IAF) officer Bhavana Mehra grew up with the stories of her grandparents fighting for freedom for our country from the British. Her mother inculcated the spirit of empowerment in her and her two younger sisters with the inspiring stories of her classmate – Kiran Bedi.
With these stories, her dreams took a powerful shape since her childhood and growing up years were filled with mountaineering, cycling, and skydiving. And, when the IAF opened its doors to women in 1992, she knew it was calling for her. In the year 1996, Amritsar-based Bhavana was commisioned to the administrative branch of IAF.
Since then, she has set and broken many records. She was the deputy leader of the mountaineering expedition to Mt Everest in the year 2011 and a participant in several arduous mountaineering expeditions to Mt Nun, Mt Stok Kangri, Mt Bhagirathi, Mt Kedrdome, to name a few. She planned and led an IAF’s first-of-its-kind, all-women bicycle expedition from Pathankot to South East Ladakh region, where nine women officers crossed seven high passes, cycled about 1,500km in high altitude. She was entrusted with planning and leading the first ever 23-member cycling team to reach Daulat Beigh Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground, at the base of Karakoram Pass in Ladakh and finish the expedition at India Gate. Incidentally, this was the first IAF team to reach DBO by way of the land.
This year, after 22 years of her joining, she found a place in the Limca Book of Records for being the only non-pilot who has flown 140 hours, including several hours of aerobatic sorties and ferries as co-pilot of IAF nine aircraft aerobatic team, Suryakiran. And, she is the first woman officer and the only officer of the IAF who has been a commentator for both the Suryakiran Aerobatic team and Sarang Helicopter Display team.
Along with her primary duties, the officer is committed to contributing to the field of adventure, not only by participating but also inspiring and creating an opportunity for others as well.