When Captain Jai Dev Bhasin became one of the first seven pilots to become a commander in 1954, little did anyone guess that his family would take his legacy forward. Today, his son's family is flying high after clocking nearly 100 years of flights together.
The five members of the Bhasin family — the late Captain Jai Dev Bhasin, his son and daughter-in-law Captain Rohit Bhasin and Nivedita Jain, and their son and daughter Rohan and Niharika, have together reached this milestone.
When Nivedita joined the Indian Airlines, she was the third woman to do so. In a report by Hindustan Times, she recalls,
Flying has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Maybe when I was as young as six or seven. I was at a friend’s birthday party when my father came running with an appointment letter for me from Indian Airlines. The day is etched in my memory. It was June 29, 1984, she says.
At 20 when she started to fly, a glorious career of 11 years awaited her. At 26, the mother of a one-year-old, Nivedita became the youngest woman captain of a jet plane in the world.
Rohit Bhasin, Niharika Bhasin, Nivedita Bhasin, and Rohan Bhasin, Source: Hindustan Times
Among her many achievements is becoming a commander on an Airbus A300, then one of the bigger aircraft in the world, and when she co-piloted the world’s first ever all-women-crew flight with a Fokker Friendship aircraft on the Calcutta-Silchar route in 1985.
Niharika, who has grown up seeing her mother clad in the white uniform, has been flying Indigo for the last four years. She says,
As a child, I used to keep looking at her while she was getting ready for work and I really wanted to dress up like that one day. I realise now how difficult it would have been to coordinate flying and bringing up two children. They made it seem so smooth, but in all honestly, it’s not.
Rohan, who has been employed with Air India for 10 years, flies the Boeing 777 as a commander, and has shared the cockpit with his father on at least 10 flights, adds the report.