Jammu: Ayesha Aziz of Kashmir realised her dream of becoming a pilot when she got her commercial licence last week. Now, the 21-year-old plans to fly a MIG-29 fighter jet at Russia's Sokul airbase. If she succeeds, she will become the youngest Indian girl to pilot the aircraft beyond the speed of sound.
"I want to reach the edge of space, for which we are talking terms with the Russian agency to fly the MIG-29 ", Ayesha said.
"So, that is going to be the next expedition - to fly the MIG-29 fighter jet," she added.
Ayesha began training while she was in school. At 16, she was given a student pilot licence by the prestigious Bombay Flying Club. In 2012, she completed a two-month advanced space training course at NASA. She was among the three Indians chosen. Her inspiration is Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams.
Ayesha's mother belongs to the Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir while her father is from Mumbai in Maharashtra.
"I am proud of her achievements. We want her to go higher and higher. She is my idol and she motives me, ", said Areeb Lokhandwala, Ayesha's brother.
Ayesha has set eyes firmly on her mission of flying fighter jets.
"My message for Kashmiri girls would be to chase their dreams, to not let anything let them down, have goals in your life and achieve them", said Ayesha.