Mariam Mukhtiar (January 1, 1992 – November 24, 2015) was a Pakistani fighter pilot. She was Pakistan’s first female fighter pilot to die in the line of duty.
Maryam Mukhtiar Shaikh was the daughter of Col. R. Mukhtiar Ahmed Shaikh, and her ancestors were from Pano Akil, Sindh. She spent her early life in Karachi. She chose to join the armed forces, despite having previously pursued civil engineering.
Mariam graduated as a fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in 2007 with seven other female Pakistanis who also graduated as pilot officers. On 6 May 2011, she joined the Pakistan Air Force in 132 GD Pilot course.
Here is interview video of Marium Mukhtiar Pakistan First Female Fighter pilot Died in F-7 Crash with BBC news
On Tuesday 24 November 2015, Mariam Mukhtiar Shaikh and Squadron leader Saqib Abbasi were on their routine operational training mission when their plane FT-7PG crashed near Kundian, Punjab.
Both occupants ejected from the cockpit and the plane crash-landed.
Abbasi suffered minor injuries in the accident, however Mukhtiar died of her injuries in a military hospital.
Marium Mukhtiar ejected along with her co-pilot, but at too low an altitude, an air force spokesman said.
She was losing height so when she ejected, she did not have an appropriate height that is necessary for ejection,” the spokesman said.
Her co-pilot, Squadron Leader Saqib Abbasi, survived with minor injuries, possibly because he managed to eject seconds earlier.
Mukhtiar’s death was declared a martyrdom by the PAF, which said both pilots “handled the serious emergency with professionalism and courage and tried to save the ill-fated aircraft until the very last minute.
Flying Officer Mukhtiar could save her life had she ejected herself before taking PAF FT-7PG out of populous area but both pilots decided to take the risk to keep flying the downing jet for taking the jet out of the densely populated area, especially saving a school.
The delay in ejection caused martyrdom of Marium Mukhtar, said PAF experienced and retired officers.
She is buried in Malir Cantonment Graveyard