Indian Air Force Pilot Exams

Career in Indian Air Force as a pilot is very challenging and a rewarding one too. After selection, one is trained either as a Fighter Pilot, or a Helicopter Pilot, or a Transport Pilot and are a part of various peace and wartime missions.


(Also read: Various career options in the Indian Air Force)

There are different exams you can appear for (depending on your educational qualification), to become a pilot in the Indian Air Force:

A) After 10+2: Through NDA exam

The UPSC conducts the NDA (National Defence Academy) exam, clearing which you undergo a 3 year training at NDA, Khadakwasla, followed by flying training at Air Force Training establishments. Post this, you will be commissioned as "permanent commission officers" and may be posted as pilots at any Air Force station.

Learn more about the eligibility criteria, exam pattern, dates for the NDA exam: UPSC National Defence Academy (NDA) and Naval Academy (NA) Examination

B) After Graduation

As a graduate, you can join the flying branch as a pilot by joining the "Air Force Academy" in any of the following ways:

  • CDSE (for men only)

UPSC conducts the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam for admission to either one from Indian Military Academy / Indian Naval Academy/ Air Force Academy (AFA). After training from AFA, you get permanent commission as pilots. Learn more about the eligibility criteria, exam pattern, dates for the CDS exam: Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam

  • NCC Special entry (for men only)

You can apply to the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force if you are an Air Wing Senior Division ’C’ Certificate holder of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) . Only men can join the Air Force through this mode of entry and will be given a Permanent Commission.

  • AFCAT (for men & women)

This exam (Air Force Common Admission Test - AFCAT) allows both men & women to get into the flying branch for Short Service Commission (SSC) i.e. for 14 years. Learn more about the eligibility criteria, exam pattern, dates for the AFCAT exam: All about AFCAT - Air Force Common Admission Test


Contact Details:

Indian Air force
Air Headquarters
Vayu Bhawan, New Delhi - 110 011
Tel.: 23012579, Fax: 23018981

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