Teacher Moved to Tears on Realizing Pilot of Her Flight Is a Boy She Taught 30 Years Ago

June 25, 2019 Updated: July 1, 2019

When a young pre-schooler introduced himself to his teacher, he called himself “Captain.” Thirty years later, that dream has become a reality, and his former teacher was there to surprise him.

Rohan Bhasin was just 3 years old when he envisioned himself as a “captain.” That’s not surprising though when you realize that he comes from a family of aviators that spans three generations—his late grandfather, both parents, his sister, including himself, have clocked up nearly 100 years of flight time. Pretty impressive credentials!

“I was appearing for an interview for KG class when I introduced myself as Captain Rohan Bhasin. Somehow I felt that since both my parents were captains then I must also  be one. I was obsessed with aircraft,” now-29-year-old Rohan told India Times.

Fast-forward 30 years, former preschool teacher Sudha Satyan then recognized Rohan’s name during an aircraft announcement and asked the air hostess to arrange a meeting with the pilot. The former teacher was on board an Air India flight from Delhi to Chicago on March 24, reported India Times.

Pilot Rohan then came down to meet her, and it was a tearful reunion as the pair hugged.

Rohan’s mom, Nivedita Bhasin, then tweeted about the special moment, along with a photo of the boy and his teacher from almost 30 years ago.

The Bhasin family are extraordinary, with a rich history of aviators. Rohan’s grandfather Captain Jai Dev Bhasin became a commander in 1954—one of the first seven pilots in India to do so. His son Rohit eventually married Nivedita—both became pilots, and Nivedita has accumulated many distinctions to her name.

“Flying fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Maybe when I was as young as six or seven,” said Nivedita, wrote the Hindustantimes.

One day, 35 years ago, she received news that dreams are made of: “I was at a friend’s birthday party when my father came running with an appointment letter for me from Indian Airlines. The day is etched in my memory. It was June 29, 1984,” she said.

Jai, Rohit’s father and Rohan’s grandfather, had plenty of good advice for his children: “He was very particular that we be fit and rested before any flight. He would tell us to sort our differences before going to sleep and not get ruffled before a flight. The other thing he would often say is respect the weather,” Rohit told Business Line.

Nivedita—at just 26 years of age and mother to her first child—became the youngest female pilot in world civil aviation history to command a commercial jet aircraft in 1990.

While both her two children Rohan and Niharika are also now members of that elite flying club, her daughter Niharika is to be married soon—you guessed it—to a pilot. Talk about keeping it all in the family!

Rohan has been flying for Air India for the last decade and became a commander on the Boeing 777 aircraft in 2017. Both his parents fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner but have not yet flown together. However, Rohan and his dad have been together in the cockpit 10 or more times. Maybe it’s a good way of catching up on family news!

Most parents worry about their children when they fly, and being an airline pilot doesn’t change that.

“We are anxious and protective sometimes. We often advise them not to be tempted to land when the weather is bad, to carry extra fuel, not to be in a hurry,” Rohan’s father said.