Air India came back home just before its 89th birthday. The announcement that Tata Group won the bid to purchase national carrier Air India came as a pleasant surprise. Bhuj airport witnessed history on 15th October, the birthday of Air India, then called Tata Air Mail. Aarohi Pandit, the world’s first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean in a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA), flies solo to Juhu Airport.
In 1932, JRD Tata, the father of the Indian civil aviation sector, completed the first commercial flight of Tata Airlines from Karachi to Mumbai.
The Indian Woman Pilot Association took over this initiative. Aarohi repeated that flight making minor changes in the flight’s departure destination since Karachi is a part of Pakistan. Aarohi arrived at Bhuj after refuelling the plane from Ahmedabad airport.
Aarohi flew the same capacity aircraft that was used 89 years ago by Tata by the same route to reach Mumbai. For a range of about 500 nautical miles and a journey of 5 hours, less than 60 litres of petrol was utilised. During this period, GPS, auto-pilot or computerized equipment was not used.
The climbers had reached Bhuj on October 11, and on the other day, a trial flight was also conducted.
Aarohi’s endeavour is much more important as the runway from which the flight took off was destroyed by Pakistan during the war in 1971 that was rebuilt by women of Madhapar village in the miraculous time of just 72 hours. The women were also honoured and gifted saree.