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18 Aug 2019, Edition - 1496, Sunday

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Ayesha soars high to be on top

Indrani Thakurata

Ayesha Aziz is among the very few who has succeeded in realising her dream. At 20, she got her pilot licence just yesterday and marked her space as the commercial youngest pilot in the country. She had always wanted to fly. “I wanted to be a pilot from a very young age. Every take off would give me goosebumps and every landing would calm me. My frequent trips to Srinagar were the starting point,” says Ayesha. More than the destination, it was the trips to the airport that gave her a thrill.

It was this love for airports, planes and everything around them that made her enrol in Bombay Flying Club. From there, it was single-minded dedication that got her here. A resident of Mumbai, Ayesha who hails from Khawaja Bagh in north Kashmir’s Baramulla, at the age of 16, got licensed as a pilot.”I took flying lessons over the weekends, attending school during the rest of the week. I currently pilot single engine Cessna 152 and Cessna 172,” says Ayesha.

Asked about her fears before flying, she just dismissed them. “No, I have no fears. I love the adventure associated with flying. The gush of wind, the expanse, they all add to the experience of flying. The scenery from the top is marvellous,” she says. Her unconventional choice of profession was supported by her parents and it never mattered that flying still remains largely male-dominated. “I couldn’t have achieved my goal without the support of my parents. And though it is male-dominated, it is definitely looking up.”

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