The Process of Building an IAF Pilot

The Indian Air Force has the task to secure the airspace of the nation and monitoring the activities going around. The soldiers of the Air Force are trained enough to carry out relative tasks in decided manner. Every department has specific duties to perform and all the departments and operating bodies work together in maintained coordination to reach to perform any task. Talking about the duties of the fighter pilots, they have to stay active and ready to take action with high accuracy. It is easy to be a pilot, but it is a tough job to be a fighter pilot. The fighter pilots are trained in a separate and different manner. The Indian Air Force has selected 3 women officers to turn them into a fighter pilot, which was a great step in the history of Indian Defense.  The sequence of building a pilot in Indian Air Force is described below.

 

First Step

The selection procedure of a fighter pilot is very long and precise. The Indian Air Force has laid down some entries to induct pilots. The entries are

  • NDA – NDA exam is for 10+2 appearing and passed candidates, who have maths and physics as permanent subjects. They have to score minimum 60% marks in 10+2 to be eligible for applying for the Air Force in NDA.
  • CDS – CDS is another entry for the graduates, which gives chance to candidates to join the Indian Air Force as pilot. The candidates must have scored 60% marks in graduation and must have Maths and Physics in 10+2.
  • AFCAT – AFCAT is the exam conducted by the Air Force authorities, which is held for recruiting officers from various departments of Indian Air Force. It also gives opportunity to graduates to join IAF as pilot.
  • NCC – Candidates having Air Wing Senior Division ’C’ Certificate can apply for the direct entry that is released to recruit pilots of the Indian Air Force.

Second Step – The candidates who have either passed the qualifying exams, or have been shortlisted in the direct entries, will be called for the interview at any of the SSB centers establishments in Mysore, Gandhinagar, Dehradun and Varanasi.

The candidates called for the interview at SSBs will have to go through stage 1 (screening) and stage 2 (Interview, Psychology and GTO). The candidates, who clear the stage 1 will go to the next stage and those, who fail to cross the stage 1 will be set free to go back. Screened in candidates will be analysed and accessed in next stage. After recommendation at SSB, the candidates are sent for the medical check-up and PABT test which they have to pass in order to become a pilot.

Then a final merit list is prepared which gives out the names of the candidates who have finally made it to the Indian Air Force. The candidates are further called for training at Dundigal for initial training.

Third Step

The training of the pilots is further divided in three stages, where the toughness increased proportionally. The cadets are totally trained from flying a fighter jet to handling it at every possible situation.

  • 1st Stage – At this stage, the cadets are given basic details and information about the aircraft. This training stage lasts for 6 months and cadets have to experience 55 hours flight in this stage. The cadets get the chance to fly Pilatus PS-7 to get the overview of handling skills of the fighter plane.
  • 2nd Stage – It is also known as intermediate training and last for a period of 6 months. Here the hours of flight, the aircraft and the knowledge level is increased. The candidates have to perform well to go thought this stage. The cadets are provided Kiran mark-III aircraft and they have to cover 87 hours of compulsory flight hours. Cadets are trained to perform actions in the air, taught about the maneuver and perfect handling of the aircraft and other new technologies and techniques.
  • 3rd Stage – It is the last stage of 12 months in which, the cadets are trained in hawk advance training aircraft, which is sufficient to teach them the all fighting tactics. The training is made tough with time and they are also given training on Jaguar, Mig, and other aircrafts.

Conclusion – After completion of these stages, the cadets are given the license and they are deployed in respective squadrons. It costs 13-15 crores to train a pilot, which is a huge amount. The judgement level, controlling and handling skills and endurance make a fighter pilot a bold soul. The selection and training of an Indian Air Force is a crucial process where the selectors have to select the right for this right job. The training process makes the pilots bold and tough to deter the enemies at the blaze speed.

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