Narrative on social media
A Facebook page, Mollywood Connect shared an image of a woman pilot claiming that she is the first woman aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The post contains caption in Malayalam that translates as such: “Aren’t these the posts that need to be shared so that everyone can come to know…” The image of the woman pilot also bears Malayalam text that reads as follows: “India’s 23 year old Lady pilot captain Asha Pandit is the first woman in the world to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.” The post shares such an incredible achievement that would make any Indian proud, but it also invokes curiosity about the fact that how this 23 year old did became the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean? When did she achieve this feat? Was there anyone else who has achieved this feat before her or is the claim made in the post a fact? Let’s find out…
|archived link||FB post|
Our Fact Check
We tried searching online for news reports on this event using keywords such as ‘Asha Pandit’ and ‘first woman to fly across Atlantic’ but we did not find any news articles related to the image or the claim made by the post. However, we did come across similar news related to Aarohi Pandit becoming the first woman in the world to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA). The Economic Times report published on May 14, 2019 reports that Aarohi Pandit, a 23 year old pilot became the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in a Light Sports Aircraft. The report further states that, “She achieved the feat around midnight Monday-Tuesday (May 13-14) when she landed her tiny aircraft at Iqaluit Airport in Canada, after a gruelling 3,000 km long flight, under adverse and extreme weather conditions following take-off from Wick, Scotland (United Kingdom), with brief stopovers in Greenland and Iceland.” Aarohi can be seen boasting her medal which was awarded to her by Indian Ambassador to Canada, Vikas Swaroop after she landed on the shores of Canada. She had to wither bad weather conditions and several other issues in order to achieve this feat. This flight is a part of her ambition of circumnavigating the globe along with her friend Keither Misquitta. They launched this campaign on July 30 last year. Both of them will reach India on July 30 this year after completing the campaign.
So, Aarohi Pandit is the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic ocean in a LSA. So who is the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean?
It is the legendary Amelia Earhart who flew across the Atlantic Ocean in April 1927 when she flew from Trepassy Harbour, New Foundland, Canada to Southampton, England.
The legendary pilot disappeared mysteriously near Howland Island, 3100 kms south of Honolulu while she was on her way to circumnavigate the World. To this day, nobody knows what happened to her. She was declared dead in absentia.
The post is somewhat true as Aarohi Pandit is the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in a Light Sports Aircraft but she is not the first woman pilot to fly an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean. The first woman to do so was the legendary Amelia Earhart.
Title:Fact Check: Is Aarohi Pandit the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean?Fact Check By: Harish Nair