How Commercial Pilots/CPL holders may join IAF Flying Branch

Many candidates join the IAF (Indian Air Force) with the aim of resigning from the service early and taking up the job of a Commercial Pilot! This trend has been continuing for quite some time now. Given that the CPL training process is costly, getting trained by the Armed Forces for free is an option that many aspirants tend to make use of! But, there are some folks who care to tread through the way less taken! Yes, I’m talking about the ones who are holders of the CPL and want to join the IAF! This article will be of much help to them!

So, why would anyone make such a switch, you would ask! The most common motives are- the idea to test oneself, to fly the most sophisticated Aircrafts ever built, to serve the Country etc!

IAF Fighter jet

How may CPL holders or Commercial Pilots join the IAF as Flying Officer-

Possessing a CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence) is an added advantage! But, in order to join the IAF, even CPL holders have to go through tough selection procedure that consists of written test, SSB (Services Selection Board) Interview, Medical examination etc.

A candidate must have at least a Graduation Degree from a recognized University (3 year or 4 year graduation Course). Also, he/she must have undergone the 10+2 Science stream schooling with Physics, Chemistry and Maths as the main subjects (this is also mandatory for CPL training).

Age limit is also crucial. For the Flying Branch, the upper age limit is 24 years. But for CPL holders, under the SSC (Short Service Commission) Scheme, the relaxed age limit is 26 years.

You may check out the various entry posts, based on your educational qualifications-


Become Flying Officer in IAF after B Sc

Become Flying Officer in IAF after Engineering

Become Commercial Pilot after 12th

Join IAF –


If you ask me, going for the SSC Entry would be the best choice! The age relaxation for CPL holders is definitely an added advantage!

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