First Nepali woman pilot Rakshya Rana
Born on 7 November 1967 to mother Ganga Rana and father Noor Pratap JB Rana, Rakshya Rana is the first female pilot of Nepal. At the time when a Nepali woman becoming a pilot seemed like an abnormal idea, Rakshya Rana decided she wanted to become one. The decided it during her teens that she wanted to be the first Nepali woman pilot to acquire a Commercial Pilot License when she came to know that there weren’t any women pilots in Nepal.
Although most of her friends wanted to go into the conventional professions like medicine, engineering and teaching, she wanted to do something that no one else had done. It was the challenge to prove women as strong and as good as men that motivated her to choose the profession that was often considered as synonymous to danger and men.
She received her training for private pilot license from Hoffman Pilot Center in Broomfield, Colorado and then moved to Addison, Dallas, Texas where she completed rest of the training and obtained her FAA Commercial Pilot License with Muli Engine and Instrument Rating in April of 1988. The total completion of the course took her eleven months and she was twenty four years old when she flew professionally for the first time with the domestic airlines named Everest Air. It was the support and encouragement her parents gave to her which helped her come through the hard times.
She flew with Everest Air for more than a year and was married to a pilot, a Captain for Royal Nepal Airlines for two years by then. However, their flight schedules rarely gave them chance to spend quality time with one another and because of that, she decided to stop flying. She is now a full time wife and mother spending quality time with her husband and two children, a daughter and a son.
Although she quit flying so soon, she does not regret it as she had fulfilled her mission and objective which was to prove that the women are as capable as any male. This was what she had wanted and not a lifelong career as a pilot.
Her efforts and determination had cast a way for the Nepali women in the field that was usually thought of as off limits for them. It was her efforts and beliefs that led way to producing more women pilots in Nepal including the former Miss Nepal 1998, Niru Shrestha who is also the fifth Nepali pilot. The first Nepali woman pilot Rakshya Rana broke proved that the Nepali women are as capable as male and there isn’t anything they cannot accomplish once they set their mind on it.