As civilians, we have a different perspective of the services and how things are done there. However, the people working there have an entirely different and real perspective regarding the same. The reason being very simple, they are working there and seeing and facing the things every day. We are lucky to have a Technical Officer from the Indian Air Force, clearing out some myths that candidates have regarding their service in the IAF. We are thankful to the person for sharing the experience. We hope that it’ll be valuable for the aspirants and help them in clearing out some basic doubts.
Misconceptions Regarding The Indian Air Force
1. Short Service Commission officers do not get into Fighter Streams. No, A cadet can get into any of these streams (fighter, transport, helicopters), depending on their performance in their flying training at Air Force Academy, during Stage-1.
2. You Cannot change your order of priority of branches, once filled the Application Form of AFCAT. No, can always write to Air Force Headquarters requesting a change. But it has to be done well before the merit list is prepared. So it is advisable to clarify that soon after getting recommended at AFSB with any officer available at your AFSB or at AF Hospital.
3. No need to study much after joining forces. Unfortunately this is not the case in defence, at least not in Air Force. Irrespective of your branches, there is always a need to update yourself with the “know-how” of the system through classes. The training as such includes a rigorous evaluation through exercises and viva. So be mentally prepared to study in addition to the daily physical routine.
4. Technical Officers can never go airborne. No. Any technical officer who is responsible for the maintenance of an aircraft is also eligible and responsible to check/inspect the snags that occur in the air. To do this, he/she has to accompany the pilot or aircrew at times. There is also a special crew of technical officers called Flight Engineers/ Flight Test Engineers whose role is to go airborne and check the systems of the aircraft.
5. In case, a flying branch cadet under training (especially AFCAT-SSC) gets grounded under medical terms, he/she would be offered any other branch in the organization. No, there is no option of re-branching available for SSC cadets who get grounded under medical terms.
6. IITians and NITians are generally overqualified for the defence services and do not get recommended. No, interestingly a significant number of pilots and technical officers are alumni of IIT’s and NIT’s.
7. Technical Officers are involved in designing/manufacturing of the aircrafts. No, not exactly. Tech Officers are mainly trained for the maintenance of the aircraft fleet for operational readiness and repair them in case of any damage or snag.