Meet Tanvi Raina, the youngest commercial pilot from Jammu and Kashmir. Being born and brought up in Delhi, Kashmir always remained close to her heart. After completing her +2 from Convent Jesus and Marry, New Delhi, Tanvi started training for flying. She took her flying teaching at the prestigious Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation, Karnal. After passing six written exams, and a gruelling training period of attaining 200 flying hours and 150 hours of Command, Tanvi received her commercial pilot license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation which made her eligible to fly commercial planes. Tanvi Raina is the daughter of Capt. Kapil Raina, senior Commander/Check Pilot on the Airbus fleet of Air India.
“Whenever you want to move on and progress there won’t be many hands to pull you up but at least a million and counting to pull you down. You have to gather your inner strength, ﬁnd just one reason to take the ﬁrst step and then you’ve got it.”, says Tanvi.
A trained Kathak dancer too, Tanvi believes in the power of dreams and is now working on for an advanced training course in to fulfil her flight.
In conversation with the leading lady Tanvi:
Q: When did you dream of making this as your career choice? Who was your inspiration?
Well honestly, I wanted to become a pilot since I can remember. As in it was always my ﬁrst choice. Though like any other teenager I had other options which came and went as time passed, like oncologist, ﬁeld agent, fashion designer and what not, but pilot always stayed.
Q: What is your most favorite thing that fascinated you about this career?
Everything! There isn’t a thing that never fascinated me about being a pilot. Though my favorite would be.. thinks hard* zones out* Nah.. Everything! can’t choose..
Q: How and when did the preparation start? What were your other interests during your student life?
Honestly, there wasn’t really a time you know. As in it was like when I went for my ﬁrst air experience at 16 and while I was in the air, I got this feeling in my stomach. The feeling..umm.. it’s like as if I’ve got the key to the Beast’s library! and when I landed back, I missed that feeling and I knew that I would want to feel like forever and well rest is history. Oh I was child who pursued various activities. Dancing, Singing, Art, Social Service, Debating, Research Works on my favorite History phases, Learning new languages, Theatre, Basketball and what not. Basically I liked learning new things and having new experiences , new interactions and that has played a huge role in making me who I am.
Q: You had to pass 6 written exams to receive your commercial pilot licenses besides attaining your ﬂying hours and hours of command. What preparation strategies did you follow? What is your success mantra?
Well my preparation strategies are a sacred secret which is a million years old and can only be used if you chant the mantra. As in seriously, I still keep chanting this mantra in my mind and it has been very helpful and hasn’t ever let me down. And well the mantra is “Fuck it and Focus”. Pardon my language but seriously. A lot of shit happens in everyones life. People get worried and their reasons are many. Whenever you want to move on and progress there wont be many hands to pull you up but at least a million and counting to pull you down. You have to gather your inner strength, ﬁnd just one reason to take the ﬁrst step and then you’ve got it.
Q: What do you think is the right time for the aspirants to start preparing for this?
The right time is whenever you want to learn. See, it’s like any other knowledge. You don’t have an age for learning a new subject or learning how to drive. But if you’re seeking it as a profession then ﬁrst of all you should love this and be genuinely interested in it. The reason I’m saying this is because there are many pilots who are in here for the pay and not for the interest, and that honestly isn’t a very good and healthy thing. Not only for this profession but for any. I started preparing for it after 17 and got my license at 19. You can start it after 12th or after graduation.
Q: Tell us about the ﬂying training that you went on through? Tell us something about your ﬁrst ﬂying experience.
Oh my ﬁrst ﬂying experience was with my CFI (Chief Flying Instructor) Capt. K. Kishore and it was phenomenal. It was that moment where my thoughts were clear and I could see what I want. It has been the turning point in my life because, had I not gone to the ﬂying club and had my air experience I would have probably done graduation and have a desk job of 9 to 5,which is so not me. And about the time, I spent training in the ﬂying club, I can never forget it. My instructors Capt. Anil Gill and Capt. Rahul Saharan, every advice given by them to me is engraved in my mind. Their work was the toughest because they had to teach a child how to ﬂy and then give her the courage and the conﬁdence to ﬂy solo. I can never be enough grateful to these two people.
Q: What were the struggles faced in its accomplishment?
There were’t many struggles. Actually I didn’t see them as struggles because I knew I had to do it. I didn’t give myself an option. My aim was to be a pilot and whatsoever came by the way, may it be my studies or physical health or relations, I knew I couldn’t sit and crib about it because it wouldn’t solve a thing. I had to move my butt, use my brain, work hard and get the results that I wanted. Simple.
Q: What are your future plans?
My recent future plan is stuck on my bulletin board. It states ‘Study for ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot License’;’Get a job’:’Get in Shape’:’Make new additions to the library’.
Q: What is your message to today’s youth, and especially to the young girls who are willing to pursue a career in the aviation sector?
Do it! People who tell you ‘your married life is gonna be in shambles’ , ‘you can’t ﬂy an aircraft’/‘ you can’t do (whatever profession you want to pursue’ and what not. Smile at them, nod your head (agree because you can’t argue with stupid people) and then do whatever you want to do and when you’ve attained your goal buy them a popsicle and tell them that they suck. See, like I’ve said earlier, if you really wanna do it the just go for it. If your passion is true you always ﬁnd a way despite how hard, how strong and how tall the tides are, you get the power, the courage and the strength to swim against them and reach your destination. Also, most importantly, though it’s completely out of context but this world would be a great place, you would be an amazing person( if you’re awesome now) if the people started reading. Read books, newspapers, increase your vision, broaden your perspective, learn how to accept people for who they are rather than shunning or changing them into something that the society would accept, because only then can we give each other the space, the respect and love that each one of us deserve and help to make this world not habitable but livable.