Rangana Weerawardhana and Pavithra Gunaratne, the first women pilots in Sri Lanka’s air force, expressed gratitude to the Indian Air Force on Friday for helping them script military history in the island nation.
The two pilot officers were commissioned as military pilots in Sri Lanka earlier this week, a year after they completed a crucial part of their flying training at the Dundigal-based Air Force Academy near Hyderabad in 2018-19.
“Becoming a military pilot was a childhood dream,” said Weerawardhana. “We never thought we would get an opportunity to pursue flying training at AFA, Hyderabad. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to IAF for helping us achieve our dreams,” she said.
“Watching the Su-30 and other fighter aircraft was like a dream come true. It further strengthened our resolve to become military pilots,” she said, recalling a study tour to Pune where they saw the IAF’s Sukhoi-30 fighter planes for the first time.