How to Become an Air Force Pilot in India? | Courses, Skills, Salary and Job Profiles

How to Become an Air Force Pilot in India?: There are a total of three primary uniformed services if you are thinking about joining the Indian Armed Forces. Indian Air Force is one of them, along with the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. Indian Air Force was established way back in the year 1932 under British Rule. In the Air Force, you can either join the technical branch or the non-technical branch serving your nation and protect national pride might excite you to become a pilot in the Indian Air Force.

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Other than that, the salary and job security are other factors that might exhilarate you to pursue this career option. If you want to become a pilot in the Air Force, you want to join the technical branch of the Indian Air Force. Honestly, you can only become an Airforce pilot if you are brave, courageous and put in a lot of hard work and dedication. There is more than one way to become an Airforce pilot in India. In this article, we are going to discuss the ways by which you can fulfil your dream of becoming an AirForce pilot.

What is the Job of an Air Force Pilot?

You can only become an Airforce pilot in India after a particular training period. In this training, the aspiring Air Force pilots will learn how to fly a fighter plane and everything about air combat. After the training, the responsibility of every single Airforce pilot is the same. The main aim of an Air Force pilot is to execute the missions given to them by the Indian Air Force. The tasks mainly include attacking the enemy bases and rescuing the fellow countrymen from any kind of threat. Fighter pilots especially fly their fighter jets while on a mission and fight aerial combats with perfection.

Available Courses for an Air Force Pilot

As we have discussed earlier, you have to work hard to become an Indian Air Force pilot. The four ways to become an Airforce pilot, as we have mentioned earlier, are National Defence Academy (NDA) Examination, Combined Defence Service Examination (CDSE), NCC Special entry and finally, Short Service Commission (SSC) entry. You can follow any one of the paths to become a Flying officer or simply, we can say, as an Indian Air Force pilot. Now let’s take a look at the ways in detail.

National Defence Academy (NDA) Examination: You can sit in the NDA examination after passing the class 12 examination. NDA exam is conducted every single year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Candidates who will manage to clear the entrance test will then undergo rigorous training for three years. There are two directions that a candidate can go after the training as they can become a Permanent Commissioned Officer or an Air Force pilot at any one of the IAF stations in India. Finally, to get a fighter pilot position in the Indian Air Force, you will get flying training at any Air Force training establishment.

Combined Defence Service Examination (CDSE): UPSC also conducts another examination known as Combined Defence Service Examination (CDSE). By giving this examination, you can also become an Indian Air Force pilot. After qualifying for the said examination, the candidate will be given a chance to get admission in either one of the armed forces of India, which means they will be eligible to become a part of the Indian Military Academy or Indian Naval Academy or Air Force Academy. The training procedure is similar that a candidate needs to go through after passing the CDSE examination to the training procedure that a candidate needs to follow after the NDA examination. A candidate’s posts are also similar to what one can expect after training in the National Defence Academy, which means you will become a pilot in an IAF station.

NCC Special entry: Full form of NCC is the National Cadet Corps. This opportunity is only available for male candidates. If a candidate holds an Air Wing Senior division ‘C’ certificate, then he will be considered eligible to join the Indian Air Force as part of the NCC particular entry. The certification can be gained either from the NCC Air Squadron that the candidate is a part of or the Directorate General National Cadet Corps can also select the candidates who will join the service. In case of the particular entry, the candidates will be given the post of ‘Permanent Commissioned Officer’.

Short Service Commission (SSC) Entry: This is a temporary option. Both male and female aspirants who want to become Indian Air Force pilots can sit in the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT). This is also another option for the candidates. The SSC conducts this test to select candidates for 14 years. They will be selected for both ground duty branches as well as technical branches. AFCAT is conducted two times every single year.

Are You Eligible to Become an Air Force Pilot?

Suppose you are planning to become an Indian Air Force pilot. In that case, there are some eligibility criteria that you need to know so that it becomes easy for you to understand whether you are eligible or not.

  1. You need to be a citizen of India. You need to produce any kind of personal ids such as an AADHAR Card, Voter ID or PAN card to prove your Indian nationality.
  2. If you are looking for a CDSE or an NCC unique entry, you need to be a graduate that means you need to complete the bachelor’s degree. The aspirant needs to pass class 12 or the equivalent examination with Physics and Mathematics, which are mandatory to appear in the NDA examination. The details of this match will be released by the UPSC every year between November and August.
  3. Other than that AFCAT candidates also need to be a graduate. Applicants need to secure at least 60 per cent marks with Mathematics and Physics in class 12. Graduates who are willing to sit the exam also need to get a 60 per cent examination. The examination details are usually released between June and December. Except for this option, anyone with a B.Tech degree or any other engineering degree can also appear in the CDS examination.
  4. For the NDA examination, you need to be at least 16 and a half years old. The maximum age limit is 19 years. Other than that, for the CDSE exam, the applicant’s age needs to be between 20 to 24 years. The same goes for the NCC particular entry and AFCAT, and also CDSE.

Required Skills for an Air Force Pilot in India

We have already discussed the ways by which you can become an Air Force pilot. But other than that, there are few skills that you need to possess. Required skills are mentioned below –

  • Ability to control Complex equipment that you will be handling during an operation.
  • Need to know how to monitor complex equipment.
  • Active listening.
  • Clear thinking in critical situations.
  • Ability to solve complex problems under pressure.
  • Time Management
  • The ability of reading the situation
  • How to coordinate
  • Analysing the situation and evaluating them
  • Judgement and ability to take a decision
  • Mathematical reasoning

Things You Need to Remember To Become an Air Force Pilot

Physical fitness and psychological ability will also be considered before selecting a candidate in the Indian Air Force. To perform the task of a pilot, these two facts need to be checked.

  1. A candidate needs to be at least 5 feet 4 inches tall.
  2. While sitting, the height of a candidate needs to be between 34 inches to 40 inches.
  3. The near vision of the candidate needs to be 20/40, and along with that the rear vision needs to be 20/200.
  4. No disability in the eyes.
  5. Perfect hearing ability is required to listen to the commands.
  6. Candidates having a history of asthma or any kind of allergies after the age of 12 will be declared as disqualified.
  7. The candidate should have a healthy weight that means he or she should not be malnourished.

Salary That You Can Expect as an Air Force Pilot

Salary of an Indian Air Force Pilot is very much similar to a flying officer of the Indian Air Force. A fighter plane pilot can expect to get an annual salary between 15600 INR and 39100 INR. Other than that additionally an Air Force pilot will get grade pay every single month of his or her service. The amount of this grade pay will be 5400 Rs. per month. Other than that military service pay is going to be 6000 per month. Maintenance allowance in terms of dearness, kit as a pilot, transport will also be given.

The maintenance allowances are going to be 21600 INR per month, 500 INR per month, 3200 INR per month along with DA to travel in the major cities, and 1600 INR per month per month along with DA for traveling in other than major cities. Apart from that flying branch officers of the Indian Air Force are also going to get 11250 Rs. per month. So, it can be said that an Airforce pilot or a Flying officer can withdraw approximately a total of 66110 INR at the end of the month.

Final Words on How to Become an Air Force Pilot in India?

Now as you have gained an idea about how to become a pilot in the Indian Air Force, if you are eligible just choose the path for you and achieve your dream.

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