Pune woman sets record by ‘flying like a bird’ over Spain

Pune, Sep 20 (IANS) Pune sportswoman Shital V. Mahajan-Rane ‘flew’ like a bird over Spain and successfully created a new Indian record of jumping from an aircraft at 13,000 feet, an aide said here Monday.

Attired in a costume known as ‘wing suit or a birdman-suit’ with attached wings, she jumped from the aircraft late Sunday and soared in the skies like a bird till 4,000 feet.

Later, she opened her parachute and had a safe, normal landing on the ground below as hundreds of assembled people clapped and cheered her.

‘Such a jump has not been tried by any Indian woman so far and it has become a national record for me,’ Shital told IANS by phone from Spain.

Describing her experience, she said: ‘It was too great to describe in words.’

‘I got to know how birds can fly in the air and I am really happy that I did it successfully,’ she said.

Shital, born and brought up in Pune, is no stranger to creating records around the world.

On April 18, 2004, she made an amateur jump over the North Pole in minus 37 degrees Celsius from a height of 2,400 feet.

Two years later, Dec 16, 2006, she travelled to Antartica and jumped on the South Pole from a height of 11,600 feet in minus 38 degrees Celsius.

These two records, Shital said, make her the only woman in the world to have jumped over the earth’s both poles.

Shital and her husband Vaibhav Rane set another record April 19, 2008, by wedding in a hot air balloon, India’s first.

The priest and some family members travelled for the marriage rituals – which were conducted in the huge hot air balloon hovering 700 feet in the sky above Pune.

After their marriage, Shital and Vaibhav Rane have settled in Finland and the couple has a pair of twins.