search slide
search slide
pages bottom

Thai Air Force's first female pilots begin training

The Royal Thai Air Force's first female pilots made history on Wednesday, starting their training in an altitude chamber.

The five women are the Air Force's first female recruits in its over 100-year history, as one of Asia's earliest established air forces in 1913.

The women were announced earlier this month: two of them, Sireethorn Lawansatian and Chonnisa Supawannapong, are civilians. The other three — Karnchanok Janyarak, Peerasri Jalpaisarn and Chanakarn Sornjarn — are officers in the Air Force.

The two civilians have obtained commercial pilot licences already, and are required to undergo a month of military training, after which they will receive the rank of pilot officer, said The Bangkok Post.

The three officers were in non-combat roles before this. Janyarak was a language teacher in the Air Force's education department; Jalpaisarn was a financial and welfare officer; and Sornjarn was also with the education department.

The chamber they started training in is used to simulate the effects of high altitude on the body, which fighter pilots are often subjected to during flight.

It marks the start of a year-long training course at Wing 6 Air Force headquarters in Bangkok, after which the pilots will fly transport aircraft and helicopters.

Their appointment to the air force was hailed as a win for equal rights in the male-dominated aviation industry. According to the Thai Office of Civil Aviation, 5,000 men obtained commercial pilot licences from 2003 to present, while only 92 women have done so in the time.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Captcha image