How to Become a Pilot: It is the dream of the youth to join the Indian Air Force.  To become a pilot in the Indian Air Force, one has to join the flying branch.  How is recruitment done for this, what is the qualification required, what is the age and how much salary is given.  Complete details are given here.

 How to Become a Pilot: Becoming a pilot in the Air Force is not an easy task.  Such a job requires dedication, strong will and courage.  An IAF pilot has to undergo rigorous training while flying fighter aircraft which includes air-to-air combat.  The main responsibility of an IAF pilot is to complete a mission that involves attacking an enemy base and rescuing soldiers/civilians or both.  In many cases, pilots also have to perform some peacekeeping missions, but in most cases, they are trained to fight with their fighters.

Course to become a pilot in air force :

 It is not so easy to join the Indian Air Force as a pilot.  There are four ways through which candidates can become an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot.  National Defense Academy (NDA), Combined Defense Services Examination (CDSE), NCC Entry and Short Service Commission Entry (SSC) are the courses that are the only way to get into IAF as a Flying Officer.  Candidates can join NDA after completing the 12th class.  While to apply for other courses candidates must be a graduate

National Defense Academy (NDA) :

 To join the ‘Flying Branch’ of the Indian Air Force, candidates must appear for the National Defense Academy (NDA) examination.  The NDA exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).  Candidates who qualify for the exam will have to undergo three years of training at NDA and then undergo flying training at Air Force training establishments.  After completion of training, candidates will be appointed as ‘Permanent Commissioned Officers’ or can be posted as pilots at any IAF station.

Combined Defense Services Examination (CDSE) :

 Apart from NDA, UPSC also conducts CDSE exams for men who aspire to become pilots.  After qualifying for the CDS examination, candidates are entitled to admission to the Indian Military Academy/Indian Naval Academy/Air Force Academy (AFA).  Like the training of NDA, the candidates here will have to undergo training in the Air Force Academy.  With the completion of training, candidates will get permanent commission officers or can be posted as pilots at any IAF station.

National Cadet Corps (NCC) Special Entry :

Talking about NCC special entry, it is only for men, candidates holding Air Wing Senior Division ‘C’ certificate are eligible for National Cadet Corps (NCC) special entry.  Joining will be done through the Directorate General National Cadet Corps or your respective NCC Air Squadron.  This is a special entry case where candidates will be given the post of ‘Permanent Commission Officer’.

Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) :

 The Air Force Common Admission Test – AFCAT is open to both male and female candidates.  This examination is conducted by the IAF for admission to the Short Service Commission (SSC) for 14 years.  These candidates are appointed to technical branches and ground duty branches.  This examination is conducted twice a year.

Eligibility Criteria to Become a Pilot in the Air Force :

 1. To become a pilot in IAF, candidates must be Indian by nationality.

 2. To appear for the NDA exam, an applicant must have passed 12th with either Physics or Mathematics.

 3. Candidates for CDSE, NCC Special Entry and AFCAT must be graduates.  Engineering degree holders can also apply for the CDS exam.

 4. To become a pilot in the Air Force, the age limit should be 17-19 years and 20-24 years.

 5. The age limit to appear for the NDA exam should be between 16-1/2 to 19 years.

 6. To appear in CDSE, NCC Special Entry and AFCAT, the age limit should be between 20 to 24 years.

Pilot salary in IAF :

 According to the information given on the AFCAT website of the Indian Air Force, the starting salary of an Air Force officer is Rs 56100 per month.  The pay scale of a Flying Officer is Rs 56100-110700.  Apart from the military service pay of Rs 15500 per month, flying officers get a flying allowance and technical branch officers get a technical allowance.  Other allowances also include transport, children’s education, HRA etc.