Pilot – Indian Airforce

You can join the flying branch of the IAF through various modes of entry depending upon your age and educational qualifications. Each entry has its own age, education and additional qualification requirements. In this topic, let us understand the various modes of entry into the flying branch if IAF.

National Defence Academy (NDA) Entry

Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE) Entry

National Cadet Corps (NCC) Special Entry

Airforce Common Aptitude Test (AFCAT) Entry

Indian Air Force is divided into three main branches of Flying, Technical and Non-Technical branches. The primary role of officers in the Flying Branch of the IAF is to operate the aircraft in flight. Flying branch is further sub divided depending on their role in operations.

Flying Branch of Indian Air Force

  • Fighter Pilots
  • Transport Pilots
  • Helicopter Pilots
  • Flight Navigators

NDA Entry for Unmarried Indian Men and Women

The entry through National Defence Academy (NDA) is open for Flying, Ground Duty Technical and Ground Duty Non Technical branches of the IAF. All cadets of Flying branch and Ground Duty Technical would be offered B Tech in NDA. Cadets of Ground Duty Non Technical Branch would be offered a B Sc degree.

You can join NDA by taking the exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This exam is conducted twice a year in all major cities throughout India. On selection, you would go through a rigorous three-year training regimen at the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla. This would be followed by specialised training at one of the training establishment of the IAF. Thereafter, you would be Commissioned as a Permanent Commissioned Officer.

Qualification for Flying Branch of IAF through NDA Entry

On completion of your 10+2 you would be eligible to join the Flying Branch of IAF through the NDA Entry. For NDA Entry, you should be between 16 1/2 to 19 1/2 years at the time of commencement of course. The best way to ensure this is to confirm that your date of birth falls between the minimum and maximum limits specified in the notification.

Educational Qualifications for joining the National Defence Academy is a 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Final year students can also eligible to apply if they provide an undertaking to submit their 10+2 Pass certificate before the stipulated date.

CDSE Entry for Unmarried Indian Male Candidates Only

Unmarried Indian men can aspire to obtain Permanent Commission in the Flying Branch of IAF through Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE) conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Men can enter through this mode of entry and will get a Permanent Commission on completion of Training. Advertisements for CDSE Examination are released by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in the months of November and August.

Qualification for Flying Branch of IAF through CDSE Entry

For CDSE Entry, you should be between 20 to 24 years at the time of commencement of course. The best way to ensure this is to confirm that your date of birth falls between the minimum and maximum limits specified in the notification.

For the CDSE Entry, you should have mandatorily passed with a minimum of 50% marks each in Maths and Physics at 10+2 level.

Graduation with minimum three years degree course in any discipline from a recognized University. Alternately, you could have a four years BE or B Tech degree from a recognised University. There is no minimum percentage requirement for CDSE Entry in your graduation. Final year students are eligible to apply provided they give an undertaking to submit their provisional or original degree issued by the University on the date stipulated in the advertisement.

NCC Special Entry for Unmarried Indian Men and Women

As an Air Wing Senior Division ā€™Cā€™ Certificate holder of the National Cadet Corps, you can apply to the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force. Men and Women can join the Air Force through this mode of entry. Permanent Commission offered for men and Short Service Commission for both men and women.

A valid NCC Air Wing Senior Division C certificate is an essential criteria to apply through this entry. You may look out for the advertisement for NCC Special Entry of the IAF in the months of June and December. You have the facility to apply online for NCC Special Entry Scheme.

Qualifications for Flying Branch through NCC Special Entry Scheme

You should be between 20 to 24 years at the time of commencement of course. The best way to ensure this is to confirm that your date of birth falls between the minimum and maximum limits specified in the notification. Upper age limit for Candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxed up to 26 years at the time of commencement of course. That means as a CPL holder, you are provided with 2 years of age relaxation.

Candidates should have mandatorily passed 10+2 examination with a minimum of 50% marks each in Maths and Physics.

Graduation with minimum three years degree course in any discipline from a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent. Alternately, you could have a four years BE or B Tech degree from a recognised University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.

Candidates who have cleared Section A & B examination of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India from a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.

Final year students are eligible to apply provided candidate should not have any present backlog and should have secured a minimum of 60% marks up to the last semester or year at the time of AFSB testing. They would give an undertaking to submit their provisional or original degree issued by the University on the date stipulated in the advertisement.

AFCAT Entry for Unmarried Indian Men and Women

You can apply through AFCAT for Short Service Commission (SSC) in the Flying Branch. Short Service Commission in Flying branch is for 14 years with no further extension. Advertisements for AFCAT are released by the IAF in the months of June and December.

Qualifications for Flying Branch through AFCAT Entry

You should be between 20 to 24 years at the time of commencement of course. The best way to ensure this is to confirm that your date of birth falls between the minimum and maximum limits specified in the notification. Upper age limit for Candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxed up to 26 years at the time of commencement of course. That means as a CPL holder, you are provided with 2 years of age relaxation.

Candidates should have mandatorily passed 10+2 examination with a minimum of 50% marks each in Maths and Physics.

Graduation with minimum three years degree course in any discipline from a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent. Alternately, you could have a four years BE or B Tech degree from a recognised University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.

Candidates who have cleared Section A & B examination of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India from a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.

Final year students are eligible to apply provided candidate should not have any present backlog and should have secured a minimum of 60% marks up to the last semester or year at the time of AFSB testing. They would give an undertaking to submit their provisional or original degree issued by the University on the date stipulated in the advertisement.