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Mom, did you really fly a plane!

Who would have thought that two civilian women could have co-piloted an AN-32 of the Indian Air Force.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2006 12:04 IST

Reality they say is stranger than fiction. Who would have thought that two civilian women -- one a mother of two -- could have co-piloted an AN-32 of the Indian Air Force!

Thanks to the day and age of reality television, two civilian women not only got a taste of the Forces life up-close and personal, but also a chance actually to be in the pilots seat and fly.

"I think my brush with the Forces has changed my focus from me to us. I think, as a civilian you don't have an agenda beyond yourself or your family. I think I've become a little more patriotic now," says Anuradha Rana who was among the top five finalists on National Geographic's 'Mission Udaan'.

'Mission Udaan' was a reality show, giving the civilian world a peek-a-boo into the IAF, where the finalists underwent 40 days of training with the air-warriors.

"I have learned to be prepared for any eventuality," says this 23-year-old who is pursuing MSc From Delhi University.

The Airforce has given her a talisman to follow in every activity that she does.

"This helped me during two challenging mission. One of them required us to jump into the sea and be pulled up my a helicopter. I didn't know how to swim. I conquered my fear and completed the task with top honours," she said.

The other point where the mantra came to the rescue was the parajump from 4,000 feet. "I'd have to admit that it isn't easy to get off the ramp into thin air. But I did it and felt like a bird in flight".

First Published: Jan 30, 2006 11:57 IST