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Want to join the Air Force?

Kirti Pandey | April 19, 2005

Part I: How to conquer the skies
Part II: Train to be a commercial pilot

Sou want to become a pilot but the commercial sector is not your cup of tea.

You fancy flying a Hawker Hunter F 56 or even a Douglas DC-3 Dakota?

image Well, you could be navigating these aircrafts someday, if being a military pilot is your true calling.

"Being a military pilot is much more adventurous than being a commercial pilot. You fly at a speed of nine to 11 miles per minute and that's really very exciting," says Vijay Vasudev, an ex-fighter pilot who served with the Indian Air Force for 20 years.

However, there is a catch.

"If you are looking at high salaries, a military life is not for you," says Vasudev.

More on that later. First, let's get the basics straight.

The route to being a military pilot

As a military pilot, you can work with the Indian Air Force and the aviation branches of the Indian Army and the Indian Navy.

Now, let's see if you are eligible.

i. Both males and females can train to be a military pilot, however only males can fly fighter planes in battle.

Females can work in other divisions like tranportation etc

ii. You can apply as soon as you complete your Class XII under the 10+2 system or an equivalent examination.

iii. You must have English, Mathematics and Physics as your subjects, and a minimum aggregate of 50 per cent marks.

The damages

If you get admission to a military training institute, your flying lessons cost you nothing.

Applications are invited through newspaper advertisements.

Alternatively, you could visit official web site of the Indian Air Force for more information.

How much will you earn?

Vasudev, who now flies commercial airliners with Air India, tells us that a fresh military pilot takes home about Rs 20,000 per month, much less than what a commercial pilot begins with (which could be as high as Rs 65,000 a month).

A career with military aviation lasts till between the age of 52 years to 60 years, subject entirely to medical fitness.

The highest rank a military pilot can achieve is that of a General.

Where you can train

You have several institutes which prepare you for the challenges of a military pilot. 

Part I: How to conquer the skies
Part II: Train to be a commercial pilot


Share your comments

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 6

Sub: scope for students

Sir can there be any scope for students. i think that is should be given( i don t know how much practical it is) ...

Posted by prateektanavade

Sub: What an idiot - Hunters and Dakotas?

Does the author know that the said aircraft are not in service for over a decade? Kahan se aaya re bhai ye!

Posted by Chindit

Sub: Really?

Mr./Ms. Pandey, can you tell me just how many "Hawker Hunter F 56" and "Douglas DC-3 Dakota" aircraft are in service with in the IAF? ...

Posted by High-Flyer

Sub: Some mistakes...

Let me point out some errors in this... Ladies can join the IAF as pilots... but they are not allowed for fighters, they fly only ...

Posted by Sameer

Sub: This article hasn't got its facts straight.

This article seems like a rip-off from a foreign article with Indian data superimposed on it. Some glaring errors: 1. The military pilot job is ...

Posted by Jaya


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