Antara Mehta becomes first woman fighter pilot from Maharashtra

Antara Mehta

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Shikha Chaurasia

Nagpur/Hyderabad, June 21, 2020: From the basketball court to cockpit, Antara Mehta has aced it all. A national-level basketball player, Flying Officer Antara Mehta, who will soon fly fighter jets, always wanted a ‘life of adventure’ and learn from experiences.

“So, I joined the IAF in the flying branch and got commissioned in the fighter’s stream,” the newly commissioned officer, who hails from Nagpur, said. She is the first woman fighter pilot from Maharashtra and 10th in the country. “I will be the first one from my family as well,” said Antara, daughter of Ravi and Poonam Mehta.

Yesterday, she graduated from the Air Force Academy, Hyderabad. She is the only woman officer from her batch who has been selected for the fighter stream.

Antara cracked the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview in her third attempt through AFCAT Entry from 2 AFSB Mysore. She has shared her story on how she prepared for her interview. She had enrolled in Armed Forces Preparatory Academy (AFPA) in Nagpur just before her SSB interview.

Antara has shared on how she prepared for the interview, she said, “Earlier I had appeared for SSB twice but I couldn’t make it. Three things that I kept in my mind for the SSB are – the first thing was to unlearn what I had learned before from other people outside. It is very important to start fresh. The second thing was to follow every advice that has been taught here (AFPA) and blindly trust them. The third was, during my SSB course I remembered to make the most of it, enjoy and give my best shot. SSB is not a very difficult process it’s a basic personality test and if you are being yourself you will clear it.”

Antara has set an example for many other women aspirants out there that if you are dead set on doing something then the sky is the limit for you.

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