Shivangi is Awarded Women’s Pilot Scholarship

Shivangi Sharma. Picture: Jon Hewson d452760a
Shivangi Sharma. Picture: Jon Hewson d452760a

A JOY flight in a Cessna 172 sparked a drive in Cannington teen Shivangi Sharma (17) to become a pilot.

It was a major revelation for the then-11-year-old who had never considered aviation as a hobby, much less a career, but she was hooked.

By the time she turned 13, she and her family settled in Perth from Adelaide, after scouting aviation schools across the country before choosing Kent Street Senior High School.

Now an Air Force cadet and flying student at Jandakot’s Royal Aero Club, Shivangi was awarded an $8000 Australian Women Pilot’s Association flight training scholarship.

Shivangi said the scholarship was an honour that would help her continue her journey to achieving a recreational pilot’s license, and eventual commercial qualification.

“The scholarship will pay for the costs of flying so now I can focus on study,” she said.

“I need to get a good ATAR, I am doing physics, calculus and chemistry… these subjects are fundamental for flying.”

In her class of 20, she is one of three young female pilots; her goal of becoming a fighter pilot has a much more daunting ratio with just 25 female pilots out of 700 – none of whom is a combat fighter pilot.

Shivangi said she would persevere to reach her goals.

“People can put you down and I have had people tell me ‘no this isn’t for you’,” she said.

“I just go for it, I am not afraid of putting myself out there, aviation is so unique.”

Shivangi hopes 2017 will take her to the Australian Defence Force Academy in New South Wales where she would study and build on her qualifications.

“It’s baby steps, but eventually if I worked commercial I would like to do it with Qantas, definitely keep in my country,” she said.

“Flying is a part of me; I can’t imagine life without it.”