Maitri Patel, a 19-year-old girl from Surat, Gujarat has achieved the feat of becoming India's youngest commercial pilot. What makes her achievement distinct is that she is the daughter of a farmer who faced poverty and various hardships but did not let obstacles get the best of her.
The teenager pilot completed her pilot training program from the United States and underwent the 18-month course in 11 months. She now needs to undergo retraining to get an Indian license.
Speaking to India Today, Maitri said that becoming a pilot was her childhood dream. She explained that she was only 8 years old when she saw an airplane for the first time, and that was when she made it her goal to fly it one day.
The Journey So Far
Maitri's father Kantilal Patel and her mother gave her a warm and grand welcome to India at the airport after completing her training in the US. He always wanted her daughter to become a pilot and fulfill her dreams. He would watch the aircraft fly while transporting passengers for a living.
Maitri started her training in Mumbai while studying in a private school in Surat. After completing school, she went to the US for training. Her father sold a piece of his ancestral land to enroll the budding pilot in a flight training course. He works in the Olpad area while Maitri's mother is employed as ayah at Surat Municipal Corporation's health department.
Maitri now wants to fly the Boeing aircraft and will begin training for the same soon.