I’m Not Scared of Flying in Fighter Jet: Prez

President Pratibha Patil, who is scheduled to fly in a two-seater Sukhoi-30 of the IAF next week at Pune, has said that she is not scared of undertaking a sortie in the frontline fighter jet plane.

“Why should I? I am the Supreme Commander (of the Armed Forces),” 74-year-old Patil said, when asked if she was scared to be air-borne in a warplane.

Patil may set a world record by becoming the oldest woman to fly in a fighter jet aircraft at a speed close to the supersonic level and looks fully confident of undertaking the journey from the 30 Squadron Base of the Air Force.

At a function in New Delhi yesterday, the President said that she was ‘looking forward’ to her maiden flight in a SU-30 MKI on November 25.

For the flight, Patil will don a special ‘G-Suit’ worn by the fighter pilots to counter gravitational effect due to any high speed air manoeuvres and be sitting in the co-pilot’s chamber in the cockpit.

The 30-minute flight has been designed specially for her with the aircraft being flown by Wing Commander S Sajan at sub-sonic speed of 0.9 Mach which is less than 1,000 km per hour whereas the supersonic levels start at Mach one, which is about 1,236 km per hour.

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