Aiming for Pilot-Combat or Fighter Planes-By NDA

Armed Forces provides adventurous young candidates an option to become pilot (combat or fighter) -offering immense facilities, a privileged lifestyle and of course, honor in serving the country.

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.

  • Flying Officer
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Squadron Leader
  • Wing Commander
  • Group Captain
  • Air Commodore
  • Air Vice Marshal
  • Air Marshal
  • Air Chief Marshal

Air Force Pilot Eligibility

To become an IAF Pilot you can appear for either NDA or CDS.

Through National Defense Academy (NDA)

Eligibility Criteria

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: 16-½ years to 19 years

  3. Nationality: Indian

  4. Gender: This is applicable only to men.

Physical Standards

  1. Good physical and mental health and free of disease/disability that interferes with efficient performance of duties. No evidence of weak constitution, bodily defects or overweight are permitted.
  2. The height and weight standards for men and women differ.
  3. Well developed chest and minimum range of expansion after full inspiration should be 5 cm.
  4. No disease of bones and joints of the body.
  5. Free of any past history of mental breakdown or fits.
  6. Normal hearing without any evidence of present or past disease of the ear, nose and throat.
  7. No sign of functional or organic disease of the heart and blood vessels with normal blood pressure.
  8. Well developed muscles of the abdomen without any enlargement of the liver or spleen, any defect can be a cause for rejection.
  9. Un-operated hernia is considered unfit for selection. If operated, it must be at least six months prior to the present examination and healing must be complete without any potential for recurrence.
  10. No hydrocele, varicocele or piles. If operated for hydromel and/or varicocele, it must be at least six months prior to the present examination and healing should be complete without any recurrence.
  11. Urine examination will be done and any abnormality can be a cause for rejection.
  12. Any skin disease that is likely to cause disability or disfigurement can be cause for rejection.
  13. Have good binocular vision. In case of Radial Keratotomy detection or surgery to improve the visual acuity there would be permanent rejection.
  14. Have sufficient number of natural and sound teeth with minimum of 14 dental points. With 32 teeth, total dental points are 22.
  15. Should not suffer from severe pyorrhea.

The procedure of selection through CDS is disscused in the CDS section on the website.

How to be an IAF Pilot?

To become an IAF Pilot one has to follow the below given steps

Scrutiny of Applications: Call letter will be received with further instructions. For 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 then processing of application is done by Air HQ and call letter is issued by AFSBs.

Testing Officer: After clearing written exam, call letter to report to any one of the Air Force Selection Boards located at Dehradun, Varanasi and Mysore is sent. At the Air Force Selection Boards, there are number of psychological tests, interview and group activities, which are known as Officer Like Qualities (OLQ) Tests in totality and aimed to gauge candidates potential and suitability as an officer in the Armed Forces.

  • 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 Officer Like Qualities (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

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 thorough medical examination.

All India Merit List: Judged based on performance at the AFSB and subject to being medically fit. Based on the available vacancies, Air HQ would issue joining instructions-Air Force Academy for the training of a Pilot.

Flying branch includes personnels who fly combat or fighter planes (like Mirage 2000, MIG 29, MIG 27, Jaguar, MIG 25, MIG 23 and MIG 21) carry ammunition and missiles; transport pilots flying (huge IL 76 (Gajraj) and AN 32 planes) and carrying men and materials, and Helicopter (like MI-17) pilots for air support to a moving army, or para-dropping men and supplies. Based on performance in the training, it is decided which plane will be alloted to fly.