Harita Kaur Deol

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Harita Kaur Deol
Born(1971-11-10)10 November 1971
Died24 December 1996(1996-12-24) (aged 25)
Bukkapuram, Prakasam, Andhra Pradesh, India
Service/branchIndian Air Force

Flight Lt. Harita Kaur Deol (10 November 1971 – 24 December 1996) was a pilot with the Indian Air Force. She was the first woman pilot to fly solo in the Indian Air Force. The flight was on 2 September 1994 in an Avro HS-748, when she was 22 years old.[1][2][3][4]


Hailing from Chandigarh in a Sikh family,[1] in 1993, she became one of the first seven women cadets inducted into the Air Force as Short Service Commission (SSC) officers. This also marked a critical phase in training of women in India as transport pilots.[5] After initial training at Air Force Academy, Dundigul near Hyderabad, she received further training at Air Lift Forces Training Establishment (ALFTE) at Yelahanka Air Force Station.[6]


She died in an aircrash near Nellore on 24 December 1996, at age 24.[5] She was one of 24 Air Force personnel to die when an Indian Air Force Avro aircraft crashed near the Bukkapuram village in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b "All time inspirational women personalities of India". India TV. 8 March 2013.
  2. ^ Shobana Nelasco (2010). Status of Women in India. Deep & Deep Publications. pp. 13–. ISBN 978-81-8450-246-6.
  3. ^ Year Book 2009. Bright Publications. p. 559.
  4. ^ Documentation on Women, Children, and Human Rights. Sandarbhini, Library and Documentation Centre, All India Association for Christian Higher Education. 1994. p. 2.
  5. ^ a b Limca Book of Records. Bisleri Beverages Limited. 2003. ISBN 9788190114868.
  6. ^ Soma Basu (4 September 1994). "IAF flies into a new era". SikhWomen.com. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  7. ^ India: A Reference Annual. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 1998. p. 686.
  8. ^ "Woman IAF flying cadet killed in trainer crash - Indian Express". 13 May 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2014.