Thursday, October 25, 2012

U.S. training helps Afghan female pilot go solo

From AirForceTimes:  U.S. training helps Afghan female pilot go solo

After completing her first solo flight in a Cesna-182, Afghan Air Force Lt. Nilofor Rhamani walks down the flight line of Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, on Sept. 30. Rhamani is the first Afghan female pilot to conduct all of her pilot training in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Melissa K. Mekpongsatorn / Air Force After completing her first solo flight in a Cesna-182, Afghan Air Force Lt. Nilofor Rhamani walks down the flight line of Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, on Sept. 30. Rhamani is the first Afghan female pilot to conduct all of her pilot training in Afghanistan.
 
 
The Taliban has been waging a brutal war against women, but at least one woman is trying to even the odds.
Lt. Nilofor Rhmani recently became the first female pilot in the Afghan air force’s pilot training program to fly solo, officials said. She is receiving training by both U.S. and NATO advisers.
The pilot training program at Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, is a joint effort between NATO and the Afghan Ministry of Defense, said U.S. Air Force Maj. Jeremy Ponn, Afghanistan country director. It’s the first such program in Afghanistan in more than 30 years.
“Lt. Rhmani is the first Afghan female to participate in the new pilot training program in Afghanistan,” Ponn said in an email. “She graduated introductory flight training on 19 July and began the formal undergraduate pilot training program 28 July.
“She is one of five pilot trainees in UPT Class 12-03 — the class has months of training ahead prior to receiving their wings and will graduate next summer. She has received accolades from the Afghan public and is viewed as a positive role model for Afghan females.”
Following her first solo flight, Rhmani participated in a U.S. Air Force tradition when her American and British advisers threw her into a pool of water known as the “dunk tank.”

 

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