New Delhi, May 15: Indian women are achieving new heights every day. Furthering this tradition, Captain Aarohi Pandit, a pilot from Mumbai became the world’s 1st woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA) on Tuesday.
Aarohi Pandit achieved this mission around midnight of Monday, when she landed her aircraft at Iqaluit Airport in Canada, after exhausting 3,000 km long flight, under various difficult and extreme weather conditions after take-off from Scotland (UK), with brief stops in Greenlands and Iceland.
On this occasion, Lynn de Souza, head of Social Access said, “This is part of her ongoing year-long global circumnavigation flight which was launched wither friend Keithair Misquitta on July 30. Aarohi continued solo from the UK to Canada, and they will return to India by July 30, 2019”. She is head of Social Access which is non-profit communications firms which organized and sponsored the expedition.
Further, Lynn de Souza said, “En route, she set another world record as the first woman pilot to fly solo above the treacherous Greenland ice-cap in an LSA, and is due for at least half a dozen other records by the time she reaches India”.
A commercial pilot and LSA license holder, Aarohi Pandit and her best friend Keithair Misquitta left India on the Women Empower (WE) Expedition in the tiny aircraft christened 'Mahi'.
'Mahi' is a tiny, single-engine Sinus 912 weighing a little of 400 kg or nearly equivalent to a Bullet motorcycle, manufactured by Pipistrel of Slovenia, and is also the first LSA registered by Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) India.
Pandit and Misquitta flew over Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, then to Pakistan, where they landed, making it the first civilian LSA flight to land in the neighboring country since 1947 and went onto to Iran, Turkey, Serbia, Slovenia, Germany, France, and the UK.
After landing in Iqaluit, Aarohi Pandit proudly displayed the Indian tricolor presented to her by the Indian Ambassador to Canada Vikas Swarup, said Lynn.
After the expedition, Pandit said, “I am so honored and grateful I could do this for my country and for women everywhere... Flying over the Atlantic Ocean is a humbling experience. It's just you and your little plane, the light blue sky above and dark blue sea or shining white ice below”.
She expressed, “beauty of the ocean and islands was breathtaking and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat”.
Aarohi Pandit is an ardent fan of the legendary American aviator, Amelia Earheart -- who became the world's first woman to make a solo transatlantic flight in a bigger aircraft, 87 years ago, on May 20, 1932.
After a brief sojourn in Canada, the WE Expedition will continue with Aarohi Pandit flying westwards to Russia, cross many a longitudes and hurdles, create or break more records, before she finally returns home by July 30, after clocking in around 37,000 km.