Shital Mahajan Rane, is an Indian extreme sportsperson, skydiver and the holder of five world records and 14 National records in the sport. She is known as the first woman to perform first parachute jump of life without training over the Geographical North pole in minus 37 degree Celsius from 2400 ft, and first accelerated free fall jump without any trials over the Antarctica - South pole from 11,600 feet, in minus 38 degree Celsius the youngest woman to jump over both the North and South Poles, and the first woman jumper to perform it without trials. The Government of India honored Mahajan in 2011, with the fourth highest civilian award of Padma Shri.
Early Life and Family
I wanted to do something different. Many women players have performed well in other sports, but none in para jumping. My achievement will inspire other girls to take up the sport, says Shital Mahajan.
Shital Mahajan was born on September 19, 1982 at Pune in the Western Indian state of Maharashtra to mother Mamta Mahajan, a housewife, and father Kamalakar Mahajan, a machine worker at Tata Motors. She received a BSc in geology from Fergusson College in Pune. Inspired by the feats of a friend's brother, she developed a fascination with para jumping. Her first jump was on 18 April 2004, and she is reported to have completed 652 jumps since then.
Shital is married to Vaibhav Rane, a software engineer working in Finland. The marriage ceremony was performed on a hot air balloon, 600 feet above ground, on 19 April 2008, a feat which has been recorded in the Limca Book of World Records. The couple has two sons.
Shital Mahajan has performed first jump over Geographic North Pole on 18 April 2004 without any practice.
She has perform accelerated free fall jump over the Antarctic - South Pole, which was completed on 15 December 2006 without any practice. These attempt also made her the youngest woman to achieve the feat at the age of 23.
In 2007 Shital Mahajan got engaged with Finland-based NRI Mr. Vaibhav Rane and on 19 April 2008 the couple got married in the mid of the air in hotter balloon this was a unique wedding to place in India. Immediately after the wedding Shital went to the USA to Arizona for skydiving training which was sponsored by Government of Maharashtra. In this training Shital Completed 250 jumps along with 6 hours of wind tunnel training and she achieved United States Parachute Association’s Skydiving licenses.
The first Indian woman to perform a wing suit jump, Mahajan is a US certified A, B, C and D skydiver and trainer and is the first Indian civilian woman skydiving coach. Shital has done skydiving from 6 different aircraft and skydiving from various heights from 2400 ft to 18000 ft.
After maternity break Shital did a comeback with wing suit jump on 19 September 2010. She completed 25 jumps with her Instructor Jari Kuosma.
Shital Mahajan have Received Padmashri award for her achievements of skydiving sport since 2004 to 2010. After that Shital went for skydiving training in USA where she completed her 334 jumps in total she completed 634 jumps. During this training Shital got her USPA D license. During this she participated in US Open National Skydiving Championship. And also Shital Mahajan’s husband Mr. Vaibhav Rane achieved United States Parachute Associations B licenses.
On 23 October 2011 Shital Mahajan did skydiving from Hotter Balloon from Highest altitude 5800 ft. All who have done parachute jump from hot air balloon they have performed it below 5500 ft.
Shital Mahajan participated in P3 skydiving formation camp in California. Shital was the only women who participated in this skydiving camp and Shital is first Indian woman who made it to 100 way skydiving formation.
In India for civilian people, skydiving sport was not authorize to play but now due to popularity of the sport in our country this sport has started getting recognition and has started for civilians too. In 2013, Shital has given opportunity to 57 Indian students to pursue skydiving sport in India, and has trained 30 of them in India herself.
Shital has made many records for herself now she wants to create more 100 Shital Mahajan’s from society to increase performance in the skydiving sport. In 2014, Shital has given opportunity to 89 Indians to do their life first skydiving jump in Spain. In addition, she has made this 89 Indians create world record in this sport. 35 Indians from same group has achieved one additional National record too.
Shital has participated in US Open National Skydiving Championship in 2011 in discipline of 16 way sequential formation in the guest team name was epic-awesome.
Arizona hallowing boogie in 2011 .
Shital Mahajan is the founder of Phoenix Skydiving Academy, a skydiving training centre based in Pune. The academy, established in 2012, provides training facilities for aspiring students and prepares students for skydiving competitions around the world.
Shital Mahajan is the first woman in the world to perform a static line jump from 2400 ft over Geographic North Pole on 18 April 2004. she is a first woman in the world to perform accelerated free fall jump over the Antarctice - South Pole, which was completed on 15 December 2006. She also became the first woman to perform successful jumps over the North and South Poles, without any trials, when she completed her jump over the South Pole. The attempt also made her the youngest woman to achieve the feat at the age of 24. The first Indian woman to perform a wing suit jump, Mahajan is a US certified A, B, C and D skydiver and trainer and is the first Indian civilian woman skydiving coach. shital has done skydiving from 6 different aircraft and skydiving from verious heights from 2400 ft to 18000 ft.
Mahajan was a leader of the team that created a world record as the first team to perform free fall parachute jump over Antarctica. She has also led a team of 89 Indian skydivers to achieve a record for maximum tandem jumps in one day and also 35 tandem jumps in one hour, the jumps performed on 25 August 2014 at Spain. She is also credited with a free fall jump from a hot air ballon at 5800 feet and a jump at 24000 feet. shital mahajan and her husband Mr. vaibhav rane also has achieved first Indian civilian couple to get skydiving licences. as a couple shital and vaibhav has 2 National records and 1 World record. shital mahajan was part of 79 way skydiving formation in California in 2012. she was the only Asian woman who participated in that skydiving formation attempt.
in total shital has 14 National and 5 World records in her credit till September 2015.
Awards and recognition
Shital Mahajan was awarded Godavary Gaurav Puraskar in 2005. The same year, she received the Shiv Chatrapati Maharashtra State Sports Special Award which was followed by the Venutai Chavan Yuva Puraskar. In 2004, after her successful jump over the North Pole in 2004, Mahajan was awarded the Tensing Norgay Award, making her the first civilian to receive the award. In 2001, Mahajan was included the list for Republic Day honours for the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.