Bangladesh Army has set an institutional milestone by enrolling two female officers for its aviation basic course for the first time after they successfully conducted solo and dual flying modules as trainee pilots at Tejgaon Old airport runway on Wednesday.
The pioneering duos are Captain Nazia Nusrat Hossain and Captain Shahrina Bintea Anwar. They are the first women trainee pilots of Bangladesh Army since Army Aviation Flight was raised in Jan 1 in 1978 as an air arm of the security force.
Captain Nazia Nusrat Hossain and Captain Shahrina Bintea Anwar conducted solo and joint flights by Cessna 152 Aeropac training aircraft of Bangladesh Army.
Following successful completion of their flights at Army Aviation Group at Tejgaon in the city, Lt Col Shahriar, officer-in-charge of Army Aviation Basic Course, said initially they were very worried whether the quality of training and output of the two female officers would match that of a skilled male pilot.
"But now we are very confident after their performances that there is no need to think separately between male and female officers. We need more pilots. So we will recruit more women pilots through test procedures?no matter male or female," said Lt Col Shahriar.
He hoped that after completion of 120-hours' training, they will come out as full-fledged pilots. "They will go to various places across the country for the country's need flying aircraft or helicopter after completion of their course," he added.
Talking to reporters, Captain Nazia said she joined Bangladesh Army as she had cherished a dream to take up the challenge from childhood.
She said the moment when she first took off for 'solo flying' was really thrilling. "It seemed to me that I was alone in the sky as nobody was beside me?I can go anywhere like a bird even!" she added.
She thanked her family members, colleagues and instructors who have been inspiring her in this regard.
Another trainee pilot Captain Shahrina said as a female officer, she did not consider herself separately, since she hadn't faced any extra difficulty.
She termed being an army pilot a challenging job, completely different from other professions. "We do not want to go back into any other field," she added.
Captain Nazia was commissioned in Bangladesh Army in December 2009 in the corps of engineers and joined Army Aviation Basic Course-9 on Nov 16 in 2014. She completed her first solo flying successfully on June 18 this year.
Captain Shahrina was also commissioned in the Army in Dec 2009, in the Ordnance corps and joined aviation basic course-9 on Nov 16, 2014. She too completed her first Solo Flying successfully on June 30 this year.