Indian politicians who flew in Su-30

Jodhpur: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in front of Sukhoi 30MKI at Jodhpur Air Force Station in Rajasthan on Jan 17, 2018.

New Delhi, Jan 17  Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday became the second woman politician to fly in a Su-30 fighter jet. Here is a list of political leaders who earlier flew in the Sukhoi 30 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam — When then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam flew in a Su-30 in June 2003, he became the first head of state in India to fly in a fighter aircraft. Kalam, who was an eminent scientist, had flown the plane along with his co-pilot, and later said he became a scientist only because he could not become a pilot. He was 74 years old at the time.

George Fernandes — In June 2003, then Defence Minister George Fernandes put on the flying suit and took off in a Su-30 fighter jet from Lohegaon Air Force Station near Pune. He was 73 years old at the time.

Pratibha Devisingh Patil — Then President Pratibha Patil flew in a Su-30 in November 2009 from the Indian Air Force Base in Lohegaon.

Rao Inderjit Singh — Then Minister of State for Defence, Rao Inderjit Singh flew in a Su-30 from Hindon air base, near Delhi, in August 2015.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy — The BJP leader, who is a trained pilot, flew a Su-30 in February 2015 at the Aero India show in Bengaluru.

Kiren Rijiju — The Minister of State for Home flew in a Su-30 from Halwara airbase in Punjab in May 2016.

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