Scotland Current Affairs - 2019
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India’s Captain Aarohi Pandit became world’s first woman to cross Atlantic Ocean (AO) solo in a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA) named Mahi.
- Aarohi Pandit is a 23 year old commercial pilot and LSA licence holder from Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- About: This achievement is part of her ongoing Women Empower (WE) Expedition in the tiny aircraft called ‘Mahi’. This one year-long global circumnavigation flight was launched with her friend Captain Keithair Misquitta on July 30 and both began their trip in August 2018. According to which she continued solo from UK to Canada, and will return to India with her friend by July 30 this year.
- Sponsor: The expedition is organised and sponsored by Social Access, a not-for-profit communications firm.
- Achievements: Both Pandit and Misquitta flew over Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, and then to Pakistan, where they landed as well. This makes it first civilian LSA flight to land in neighbouring country since 1947. Then they went onto to Iran, Turkey, Serbia, Slovenia, Germany, France and UK.
- Other Records: En route her solo journey, she has set another world record as first woman pilot to fly solo in a LSA above treacherous Greenland ice-cap. She is also due for several other records by the time she will reach India.
- Itinerary: She took-off from Wick, Scotland (United Kingdom), with brief stopovers in Greenland and Iceland and continued journey under adverse and extreme weather conditions. After an exhausting 3,000 km long flight she landed her tiny aircraft at Iqaluit Airport in Canada.
- After a brief stop in Canada, Women Empower (WE) Expedition will continue with Aarohi flying westwards towards Russia. After clocking a flight of about 37,000 km she is scheduled to return home by July 30 2019.
- It is a tiny Sinus 912, a single-engine, ultralight motor glider.
- Sinus 912 weighs a little of 400 kg (nearly equivalent to a Bullet motorcycle)
- It is manufactured by Pipistrel of Slovenia.
- It is also the first Light Sports Aircraft (LSA) registered by Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) India.
Tags: Aarohi Pandit • Canada • Commercial Pilot • DGCA • Directorate-General of Civil Aviation • Global Circumnavigation Flight • Greenland • Iqaluit Airport • Keithair Misquitta • LCA • Light Sports Aircraft • Mahi • Scotland • Sinus 912 • Social Access • UK • Women Empower Expedition
According to reports, India is in talks with the United Kingdom (UK) for building a new state-of-the-art aircraft carrier that would be replicate (copycat version) of Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier as part of ongoing ‘Make in India’ negotiations. It will be named ‘INS Vishal’ in 2022 and will become Indian Navy’s largest warship.
- As talks are underway for Indian Navy to buy detailed plans for British Warship, an Indian deputation have already paid a visit to Rosyth dockyard (in Scotland) where HMS Queen Elizabeth was assembled. Currently second supercarrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is being built there.
- The design for UK aircraft carriers is owned by British and French aerospace giants BAE and Thales. They have begun discussion with India and proposed that carrier’s design can be modified to meet Indian Navy and local industry requirements.
- Once agreed upon deal, the new warship would be built in India (under Make in India initiative) but UK companies could supply many of its parts.
- The new Naval carrier would serve alongside India’s INS Vikramaditya (a 45,000-ton carrier which was bought from Russia in 2004) and INS Vikrant (a 40,000-ton carrier which is currently under-construction). This could give India a larger carrier fleet than Britain.
- The India-UK Naval deal which is yet to fructify would follow sale of Britain’s Falklands War carrier HMS Hermes to India in 1987, which was later renamed INS Viraat (it was decommissioned in 2017).
HMS Queen Elizabeth
It is a 65,000-ton British warship. It is largest warships ever built for Royal Navy and is capable of carrying up to 60 aircraft (or up to 40 F-35B fighter). It was named in honour of Queen Elizabeth I.