India's ace badminton player PV Sindhu flies HAL's Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas at the ongoing Aero India air show on Saturday. Media agency ANI tweeted pictures of Sindhu boarding the aircraft with a caption, "Badminton player PV Sindhu waves as she is about to take off for a sortie in the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft - Tejas in Bengaluru. #AeroIndia2019."
"Sindhu will co-pilot the Tejas aircraft as part of the Women's Day to be observed at the air show on Saturday," a Defence Ministry official said on Friday. Tejas, built by the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), is a single-engine multirole light fighter. Aero India 2019: General Bipin Rawat Takes Sortie in HAL-Made Tejas, Calls It 'A Wonderful Aircraft'.
— ANI (@ANI) February 23, 2019
The aircraft received its final operational clearance (FOC) on Wednesday from military aviation regulator Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (Cemilac) for induction into the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a weaponised fighter jet in its operational fleet.
The homegrown aircraft was flown by the Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Thursday, who hailed it as a wonderful aircraft. Women's Day, being observed on Saturday at the expo, will showcase women's achievements in the aerospace sector and all-female crews will fly a few aircraft as part of the air display.
Three women IAF fighter pilots are also expected to fly the Hawk-I advanced jet trainer of BAE Systems plc and an upgraded version of the Russian-made MiG-21. Women achievers in the sector will be felicitated on the occasion and a book and film on 'Women in Aviation' will be released.