IPOH: Four women created history when they became the first female pilots in the police air wing operations unit.
Inspectors Nur Hidayah Mohd Aisa, 33, Wan Aulia Hami Fariheen Wan Azulkefeli, 31, Siti Nabilah Abdullah, 33, and Yeoh Yee Chee, 31, were among 12 trainees who received their private pilot licence.
The official pinning of honorary wing badges on the recipients was carried out by Deputy Inspector-General of Police Comm Datuk Seri Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay during the wing’s training base 44th-anniversary event here on Monday (Sept 11).
The four women had served on the police force for several years in different departments and states before applying for the air wing programme.
Insp Nur Hidayah from Ipoh, who was based in Kapit, Sarawak prior to her training, was also named the best female trainee for the flying course.
“The training started in 2021 and ended in July this year.
“I encouraged myself to apply for the programme, as I knew it was now or never.
“After fulfilling the criteria and being selected, the challenge for me, and the rest of the women was to show our abilities and capabilities.
“The only condition set for us during the (18-month) training was that we were not allowed to get married during that time,” she added.
Insp Yeoh, who hails from Penang, was attached to the Commercial Crime Department for seven years in Kedah.
She decided to take up the challenge when she first saw the opening for women pilots.
“After meeting all the requirements, I decided to apply and went through all the necessary stages before being picked.
“This is indeed a proud moment for me, and I actually cannot wait for my first official working flight,” she said, adding that after this she could think about starting a family.
Insp Siti Nabilah, who has been in the police force for the past six years, said the most terrifying moment for her was during her solo flight training.
“‘During the first solo flight, I was excited, but at the same time nervous, as part of the training was to take off and land safely.
“Since our training is over now, those of us in a relationship can start thinking about marriage, and having a family,” she quipped.
Insp Siti Nabilah said the trainees were eagerly awaiting their first mission.
During a press conference earlier, unit commander Deputy Comm Datuk Noor Sham Md Jani said there were previously numerous constraints in taking in female pilots, including pregnancy.
“But we decided to come up with terms and conditions before selection for female trainees, including not getting married during the training period.
“From 36 applicants, the final four were picked, and they are the pioneer pilots for the air wing.
“Currently in training are six women pilots for the wing’s helicopter unit.
“We are encouraging more women to join the training programme,” he added.