To become a fighter pilot is the dream of every young lad of the country but for most of them it remains a dream forever. There are only a few lucky one’s that can reach the most cherished cock-pit of the fastest flying machine on this earth. The machine that can even beat the speed of the sound. Armed Forces offer excellent career opportunities to the adventurous young candidates to become pilot. It is a career that offers immense facilities, a privileged lifestyle and of course, honor in serving the country.
Air Force Pilot Eligibility
To become an IAF Pilot you can avail one of the following Opportunities.
To join the NDA you need to fulfill the following requirements:
1. Educational Qualification
To be eligible for joining NDA you should be passed/appeared 10+2 with Physics and Mathematics as subjects.
2. Age : 16-1/2 years to 19 years
3. Nationality : Indian
4. Gender : This is applicable only to men.
5. Physical Standards
General physical requirements common for all candidates.
You must be in good physical and mental health and free from any disease/ disability, which is likely to interfere with efficient performance of duties. There should be no evidence of weak constitution, bodily defects or overweight.
The height and weight standards for men and women differ.
Your chest should be well developed. The minimum range of expansion after full inspiration should be 5 cm.
There should be no disease of bones and joints of the body.
You should be free of any past history of mental breakdown or fits.
Your hearing should be normal without any evidence of present or past disease of the ear, nose and throat.
There should be no sign of functional or organic disease of the heart and blood vessels. Your blood pressure should also be normal.
The muscles of the abdomen should be well developed without any enlargement of the liver or spleen. Any evidence of disease of internal organs of the abdomen can be a cause for rejection.
An un-operated hernia can make you unfit for selection. If operated, this should have been done at least six months prior to the present examination and healing should be complete without any potential for recurrence.
There should be no hydrocele, varicocele or piles. If operated for hydromel and/or varicocele, this should have been done at least six months prior to the present examination and healing should be complete without any recurrence.
Urine examination will be done and any abnormality, if detected, can be a cause for rejection.
Any disease of the skin, which is likely to cause disability or disfigurement, will also be a cause for rejection.
Vision will be tested. You must have good binocular vision. In case you have undergone or are detected to have undergone Radial Keratotomy, or any other procedure to improve the visual acuity, you will be permanently rejected.
You should have sufficient number of natural and sound teeth. A minimum of 14 dental points will be acceptable. When 32 teeth are present, the total dental points are 22. You should not be suffering from severe pyorrhea.
To join threw CDSE you need to fulfill the following requirements:
1. Educational Qualification
First Class Graduation (min 60% aggregate marks) in any discipline (Three Years Course) with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level.
First Class (min 60 % aggregate marks) B.E./B.Tech. (Four years).
Final Year students can also apply, provided they don’t have any backlog and min 60 % aggregate marks in the previous year/ semester.
2. Age : 19 years to 23 years
3. Nationality : Indian
4. Marital Status : Single.
How to be an IAF Pilot
To become an IAF Pilot one has to follow the below given steps
Step 1 -Scrutiny of Applications
After scrutiny of application for the eligibility-sent by you to the IAF-you will receive a call letter with further instructions.
For seeking entry into the Flying Branch through the NDA or CDSE, your applications need to be sent to UPSC, New Delhi. It conducts a written test twice a year in April & August (NDA) and April & September (CDSE). Advertisements for the examinations are released about six months in advance. Qualifying in these exams take you to step two. If you apply for Short Service Commission Flying (Pilot) or as an NCC Senior Division ‘C’ Certificate holder, your application is processed by Air HQ and call letter issued by AFSBs.
Step 2 -Testing Officer Like Qualities
After successfully clearing Step 1, you will receive a call letter to report to any one of the Air Force Selection Boards located at Dehradun, Varanasi and Mysore. At the Air Force Selection Boards, you undergo a number of psychological tests, an interview and group activities, which are collectively called the Officer Like Qualities (OLQ) Tests. These tests are designed to gauge your potential and suitability as an officer in the Armed Forces.
Short Description of the Test
The Psychological Tests are written tests that are conducted by a Psychologist. The Group Tests are interactive indoor and outdoor tests. We expect active physical participation from you. The Interview involves a personal conversation with our Interviewing Officer.
The following is the schedule for OLQ Tests:
Schedule for Flying Branch
Day 1 Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (Most Important Test)
Day 2 Phase I & Psychological Tests
Day 3 Group tests
Day 4 Group tests Interview
Day 5 Interview
Day 6 Conference
Most Important test to become an IAF Pilot
Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT) is a unique test. It is aimed at assessing a candidate’s aptitude to be trained as a pilot. PABT is being used as an independent selection device to induct potential officers into Flying Branch of Indian Air Force. PABT comprises three tests viz Instrument Battery Test (INSB), Sensory Motor Apparatus Test (SMA) and Control Velocity Test (CVT). Instrument Battery Test (INSB) is a paper pencil test and other two are machine tests. The Instruments Battery Test (INSB) comprises two parts.
This test assesses assimilation of the briefing and the ability of an individual to read and interpret the dials of an instrument panel of an aircraft. The candidates who score the minimum laid down criteria are subjected to the machine test. The machine test includes Sensory Motor Apparatus Test (SMA) and Control Velocity Test (CVT). These tests measure the psychomotor co-ordination skill of the individual. These tests are conducted on a single day and administered only once in life time.
Only those candidates who qualify in Phase I shall be retained at AFSB for further testing of Phase II Those recommended by the AFSBs will require to fill up certain documents at the Boards and subsequently move to the next step.
Step 3 -Conducting of Medical Examinations
IF found suitable by the Selection Board, you would be sent to the Air Force Central Medical Establishment, New Delhi or the Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Bangalore for a thorough medical examination.
Step 4 -Preparing All India Merit List
An All India Merit List is compiled on the basis of your performance at the AFSB and subject to being medically fit. Based on the vacancies available, Air HQ would issue joining instructions to join Air Force Academy for the training of a Pilot.
The Flying branch includes Fighter pilots-the elitist bunch of persons of the Air force) who fly combat or fighter planes (like Mirage 2000, MIG 29, MIG 27, Jaguar, MIG 25, MIG 23 and MIG 21) carrying ammunition and missiles; Transport pilots who fly planes (like huge IL 76 (Gajraj) and AN 32 ) which carry men and materials, and Helicopter(like MI-17) pilots who provide air support to a moving army, or are used for para-dropping men and supplies. It depends upon your performance in the training which plane you will be flying of after completing your training in the academy.
Air Force Pilot Career Options
Once inducted in the IAF as pilot you can move on to the following given position with the ability and experience of your services.
Air Vice Marshal
Air Chief Marshal- Top most post of Indian Air Force-
Air Force Pilot Salary
Indian Air Force Pilots are one of the highly paid personnel in the armed forces. Even during the training they start earning a monthly stipend of Rs.21,000.
After commissioning as a Flying Officer they are entitled to the following Pay/Allowances
Pay in Pay Band
(Common to all Branches)
Rs.15,600 Per Month
(The officer will be placed in PB 3 - 15600-39100)
Military Service Pay
Dearness Allowances @ 35 Percent
Kit Maintenance Allowance
Rs.3200 + DA (major cities)/Rs. 1600+ DA (Other cities)
@ Rs 9000 PM
Approximately Rs.50,170 as the gross amount to start with.
In addition they are also entitled to various Government provided facilities like accommodation, healthcare, recreational facilities and education for your children etc.