New Delhi, India
|Died||15 March 2008|
|Spouse(s)||P. D. Sharma , R.P Thakral|
Sarla Thakral (1914 – 15 March 2008) was the first Indian woman to fly an aircraft. Born in 1914, she earned an aviation pilot license in 1936 at the age of 21 and flew a Gypsy Moth solo. She had a four-year-old daughter. After obtaining the initial licence, she persevered and completed one thousand hours of flying in the aircraft owned by the Lahore Flying Club. Her husband, P. D. Sharma, whom she married at 16 and who came from a family which had nine pilots, encouraged her. While Sharma had been the first Indian to get his airmail pilot's license, flying between Karachi and Lahore, his wife would be the first woman in India to attain her "A" license, when she accumulated more than 1,000 hours of flying.
Tragically, Captain Sharma died in an airplane crash in 1939. After some time, his young widow tried to apply to train for her commercial pilot license, but World War II had begun and civil training was suspended. With a child to raise, and needing to earn her livelihood, Thakral abandoned her plans to become a commercial pilot, returning to Lahore and attending the Mayo School of Art where she trained in the Bengal school of painting, obtaining a diploma in fine arts.
Thakral was a dedicated follower of the Arya Samaj, a spiritual community dedicated to following the teachings of the Vedas.Within this community, remarriage was a possibility for Thakral.
Arya Samaj is a monotheistic Indian Hindu reform movement that promotes values and practices based on the belief in the infallible authority of the Vedas. The samaj was founded by the sannyasi (ascetic) Dayanand Saraswati on 10 April 1875. Members of the Arya Samaj believe in one God and reject the worship of idols.
After the Partition of India, she moved to Delhi with her two daughters, where she met R. P. Thakral and married him in 1948. Sarla, also known as Mati, became a successful businesswoman, painter and began designing clothes and costume jewellery.She died in 2008.
The partition of India was the partition of British India in 1947 which accompanied the creation of two independent states, India and Pakistan. The Union of India is today the Republic of India and Dominion of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The partition involved the division of two provinces, Bengal and the Punjab, based on district-wise Hindu or Muslim majorities. It also involved the division of the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury, between the two new dominions. The partition was set forth in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Raj, or Crown rule in India. The two self-governing countries of India and Pakistan legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.
Bessie Coleman was an early American civil aviator. She was the first woman of African-American descent, and the first of Native American descent, to hold a pilot license. She achieved her international pilot license in 1921.
Iris Louise McPhetridge Thaden was an American aviation pioneer, holder of numerous aviation records, and the first woman to win the Bendix trophy, alongside Blanche Noyes. She was inducted into the Arkansas Aviation Historical Society's Hall of Fame in 1980.
Nancy Harkness Love, born Hannah Lincoln Harkness, was an American pilot and commander during World War II. She earned her pilot's license at age 16. She worked as a test pilot and air racer in the 1930s. During World War II she convinced William H. Tunner to look to set up a group of female pilots to ferry aircraft from factories to air bases. This proposal was eventually approved as the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. Love commanded this unit and later all ferrying operations in the newly formed Women Airforce Service Pilots. She was awarded the Air Medal for her work during the war and was appointed lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force Reserve in 1948.
Raymonde de Laroche, is thought to be the first woman to pilot a plane. She did became the world's first licensed female pilot on March 8, 1910.
Winifred Evelyn Spooner, daughter of Major Walter B Spooner and Annie Spooner, was an English aviator of the 1920s and 1930s, and the winner of the Harmon Trophy as the world's outstanding female aviator of 1929. She died aged 32 from pneumonia.
Nancy-Bird Walton, was a pioneering Australian aviatrix, known as "The Angel of the Outback", and the founder and patron of the Australian Women Pilots' Association.
Nivedita Bhasin of Indian Airlines became the youngest woman pilot in world civil aviation history to command a commercial jet aircraft on 1 January 1990 at the age of 26. Bhasin piloted IC-492 on the Bombay-Aurangabad-Udaipur sector.
Hilda Beatrice Hewlett was an early aviator and aviation entrepreneur. She was the first British woman to earn a pilot's licence. She founded and ran two related businesses: the first flying school in the United Kingdom, and a successful aircraft manufacturing business which produced more than 800 aeroplanes and employed up to 700 people. She later emigrated to New Zealand.
Helen Harrison-Bristol was a pioneering Canadian female civil aviation instructor and the first Canadian Air Transport Auxiliary ferry pilot during Second World War.
Phoebe Jane Fairgrave Omlie was an American aviation pioneer, particularly noted for her accomplishments as an early female aviator. Omlie was the first woman to receive an airplane mechanic's license, the first licensed female transport pilot, and the first woman to be appointed to a federal position in the aviation field.
Betty Skelton Frankman Erde was a land speed record holder and aerobatics pilot who set 17 aviation and automobile records. She was known as "The First Lady of Firsts", and helped create opportunities for women in aviation, auto racing, astronautics, and advertising.
Margaret Mary "Peggy" Kelman, OBE was an Australian pioneer aviator.
Katherine Sui Fun Cheung was a Chinese aviator. She received one of the first private licenses issued to a Chinese woman and was the first Chinese woman to obtain an international flying license. She became a United States citizen after attaining her licensing.
The Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation (HICA) is a Government of Haryana undertaking that operates 3 flying clubs in the state of Haryana to impart pilot training.
Women have been involved in aviation from the beginnings of both lighter-than air travel and as airplanes, helicopters and space travel were developed. Women pilots were also called "aviatrices". Women have been flying powered aircraft since 1908; prior to 1970, however, most were restricted to working privately or in support roles in the aviation industry. Aviation also allowed women to "travel alone on unprecedented journeys." Women who have been successful in various aviation fields have served as mentors to younger women, helping them along in their careers.
Saarah Hameed Ahmed is an Indian pilot from Bangalore, Karnataka. As of March 2015, she worked for SpiceJet. According to a news report published by Hindustan Times, Saarah was the only known woman Muslim pilot in Indian aviation sector as of March 2015. The Hindu lists her as the first Muslim woman pilot in Karnataka.
History of women in early Australian aviation
Élisabeth Thérèse Marie Juliette Boselli, was a French military and civilian pilot. She was the first female fighter pilot to serve in the French Air Force, and held eight world records for distance, altitude and speed.
Hazel Jane Raines was an American pioneer aviator and flight instructor with the Civilian Pilot Training Program. During World War II, she was part of the first group of United States women to fly military aircraft, which they did in a war zone for the civilian British Air Transport Auxiliary. She was later a member of the civilian contract labor Women Airforce Service Pilots. After the war, she taught instrument training in Brazil. When President Harry S. Truman authorized the integration of women into the military, she served with Women in the Air Force and was based in Texas, Alabama, and finally London until her death. Raines was the first woman in Georgia to earn a pilot's license, and has been inducted into both the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame and the Georgia Women of Achievement.
Lydia Vissarionovna Zvereva was a Russian aviation pioneer who is credited with being the first woman in Russia to earn a pilot's license. Although she only lived to the age of 26, Zvereva is recognized for her feats as a female aviator. She competed in air shows in Eastern Europe, and later, with her husband Vladimir Victorovich Slusarenko, Zvereva operated an aircraft manufacturing factory in Riga.