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Best Ways To Become Indian Air Force Pilot

Indian Air Force Pilot Is A Dream Career:

You can fulfill your dream choosing a career in the flying branch of Indian Air Force (IAF). You can join as an Indian Air Force Pilot in the initial stage.

To be a pilot in Indian Airforce is the most glamorous, adventurous and challenging job for a Young Guy. Further, the pay scale and perks associated with the job is also good.

An IAF Pilot enjoys many facilities and services after becoming a family member of Indian Air Force.

These benefits include housing facilities, free ration, medical facilities and schools for your children etc.

IAF (Indian Air Force) takes care of all your needs. And, you continue to avail some of these benefits even after your retirement.


How to Become Indian Air Force Pilot


In this article, I will tell you in details about various process of joining Indian Air Force Pilot:

  1. You can join Indian Air Force Pilot through NDA
  2. Join IAF Pilot after Graduation through CDSE and AFCAT
  3. You can Join IAF Pilot through NCC special entry
  4. The process to Indian Air Force Pilot for Women



Career Options for Air Force Pilot:

There is a huge scope of promotions for you in IAF.

You can move on to the highest position with the ability and experience of your services.

The reputed positions of Indian Air Force Pilots are as below-

  1. Flying Officer
  2. Flight Lieutenant
  3. Squadron Leader
  4. Wing Commander
  5. Group Captain
  6. Air Commodore
  7. Air Vice Marshal
  8. Air Marshal
  9. Air Chief Marshal

If you are interested in joining Indian Air Force as a Pilot, you can give a try after your completion of the 12th class or even after your graduation.

Here, I am discussing all the 04 ( four) selection processes to be a part of the ‘Flying Branch’ of IAF. No. 04 is both for male and female candidates.



# 1 How to Join Indian Air Force as a Pilot After 10th (NDA):

Eligibility Conditions:

  • Qualification:

You can join IAF as a Pilot after clearing or when studying in HSC or 12th Class Science stream.

  • Age:

Your Age must be between 16½-19 years

  • Nationality:

This entry is available for only Indian Male Citizens



Selection Process of Indian Air Force Pilot:

  • To become a pilot in Indian Air Force after 10th you should pass in an entrance exam conducted by UPSC.

The UPSC conducts exams for entrance into the National Defence Academy. The exam is conducted twice a year, generally in April and in September.

It consists of two written papers of objective type. The exam is for a total of 900 marks.

The first paper is for 300 marks for Mathematics and the second paper is for a total of 600 marks for General Ability Test. Pathfinder For NDA & NA Entrance Examination is a guide for candidates preparing for the entrance exam to gain admission into the NDA or NA.

  • After successfully completing the entrance exam there will be a training course for three years at the National Defense Academy at Khadakwasla.
  • After Qualifying the NDA training, there will be a flying training at Air Force Training establishments.
  • You will be commissioned as a Permanent Commissioned Officer and posted as a Pilot on successful completion of the training.

Also read : How to join Indian Air Force after 12th class.



Recommended Physical Standards for NDA:

1. You must free from any disability of mental or physical health.

2. Your chest must be expand minimum 5 cm after full inspiration

3. Your Spinal Conditions should be good.

4. Your Eyesight must be as per requirements.

5. You should have Ocular Muscle Balance

6. You must be free from any disease of bones and joints.

7. Your hearing capacity should be normal.

8. You should have adequate numbers of normal and sound teeth.

9. You should not be suffering from disease like severe pyorrhea.




#02 How To Become Indian Air Force Pilots Through CDS Exam :

Through UPSC Combined Defense Services Examination, a graduate person can join Become Indian Air Force Fighter Pilot.

Indian Air Force Pilot’s Eligibility for CDSE:

  • Qualification:

You must be a Graduate in Three Years Course (with Physics and Mathematics in 10+2) in any discipline from a recognized University.

You must be a BE or B Tech (Four Year Course).

  • Gender:

Only male candidate can apply for UPSC CDSE Exam.

  • Age:

Your age must be between 19 years to 23 years at the time of commencement of course.

  • Nationality:

Only Indian Students can apply for this exam.



Selection Procedure of Indian Air Force Pilot:

  • At first you have to qualify in the written examination conducted by the UPSC. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination twice in the month of February and September for recruiting officers into various Technical and Non-Technical grades of the forces. Pathfinder CDS Entrance Examination will help you to learn more.
  • After qualifying in the written CDS examination, you will have to appear for an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).
  • After qualifying in all the above tests there will be another test called Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT). This PABT Tests your control over your movements and your mental strength. You can appear for this once in your lifetime.
  • If you qualify in the PAB Test, you will be selected and admitted to the Air Force Academy for training.
  • After successful completion of AFA, you will be posted as a commissioned pilot of the Indian Air Force if you are found medically fit.



#03 How To Become Pilot in Indian Air Force Through NCC Special Entry:

You can apply to the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force, if you are an Air Wing Senior Division ’C’ Certificate holder of NCC,

Eligibility Conditions:

  • Qualification:

You must be a Graduate in Three Year Course (have passed Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) in any discipline with minimum 60% marks or equivalent
You must be an B.E. or B. Tech in Four Year Course with minimum 60% marks or equivalent

  • Age:

Your age must be between 19 to 24 years at the time of commencement of course

  • Nationality:

Only an Indian male Citizen can apply through this entry.

You must have an NCC Air Wing Senior Division ’C’ certificate.



Selection Procedure :

  • For NCC Entry, you should apply through your NCC Air Squadrons/DG NCC
  • After that there will be an SSB Interview. You must pass in the SSB Interview. The SSB interview will be same as for the NDA and the CDSE candidates.The SSB or Services Selection Board is used to recruit candidates to the Indian Armed Forces, based on their potential and suitability.

There will be screening tests, psychological tests, group testing, personal interview, service-related information, geographic, politics and national issues etc.

SSB Interview: The Complete Guide are comprehensive books for candidates appearing for the interview conducted by the Services Selection Board of India.

  • After qualifying in the SSB Interview, there will be a Pilot Battery Test and you must pass in the PBT. This PBT will test your ability to read instruments, mental strength and control over your movements.
  • After qualifying in the PABT and the medical examinations as per schedule, you should complete a training course at the Air Force Academy.
  • After that you will be commissioned as a pilot of the Indian Air Force.




#04 How To Be an Indian Air Force Pilot Through AFCAT (SSC):

After your graduation, you can apply for IAF Pilot through AFCAT. This is a Short Service Commission and only for 14 years.

Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) allows both men & women to get into the flying branch of IAF.

Eligibility Conditions:

  • Qualification:

You must be a Graduate (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level.) in Three Year Course in any discipline with minimum 60% marks or equivalent


You must be a BE or B Tech (Four Year Course) from a recognized university with minimum 60% marks or equivalent.

  • Age:

Your age must be between 20 to 24 ( upper age limit is releasable as per rule) years at the time of commencement of course.

  • Nationality:

You must be an Indian citizen to apply for this post.

  • Gender:

Both male and female candidates can apply for AFCAT to join air force.



Selection Procedure :

You should qualify in the written examination conducted by AFCAT.

  • Then, after qualifying in the AFCAT, the second stage of the tests are conducted at the Air Force Selection Boards (AFSBs) to test your Intelligence. After that a psychologist will conduct a psychological test and a personal interview.
  • After these tests, there will be a Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT) followed by a medical examination.
  • Qualifying in all the above process you are eligible for training course at the Air Force Academy.
  • On successful completion of the training, you will be a commissioned as a pilot of the Indian Air Force for the next 14 years.


  • Syllabus for AFCAT:

To crack the written test of AFCAT, you should have knowledge of the following topics.

General Awareness: History, Sports, Geography, Environment, Civics, Basic Science, Defense, Art, Culture, Current Affairs, Politics etc

Verbal Ability in English: Comprehension, Error Detection, Sentence Completion, Synonyms, Antonyms and Testing of Vocabulary.

Numerical Ability: Decimal Fraction, Simplification, Average, Profit & loss, Percentage, Ratio & Proportion and Simple interest.

Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test: Verbal Skills and.




An important Book for Indian Air Force Pilot Exam:

  • Practice Guru AFCAT Target

AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) Exam Guide is specially developed for the candidates of AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) for Flying & Technical Branch. This book includes Study Material & Previous Years Papers (Solved) for the purpose of practice of questions based on the latest pattern of the examination. Detailed Explanatory Answers have also been provided for the selected questions for Better Understanding of the Candidates.


This is how you can be a part of Indian Air Force as a pilot. Join IAF and fulfill your dream.


What is Next?

Indian AirForce takes care of the employees all the time, even after retirement. After leading a very active life in Air Force, ex- Air Force personnel find a suitable job in govt. sector. The Placement Cell of Air Force Association offers employment assistance to fulfill the need of the retired personnel. The Cell acts as a facilitator between the employer and the employee. Retired Air Force Personnel can register themselves for employment through the website.

So, what is your decision? If you have any confusion feel free to ask in the comment section about Indian Air Force Pilot Recruitment.

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