Military pilots are highly trained to fly supersonics and heavy aircraft. These pilots are often highly sought after by civilian flight departments due to the nature and amount of flying involved in their military training and sum it up with the military skills and discipline, you get an ideal pilot for civil aviation.
As a military pilot, you get to travel a lot and gain flying hours quickly while serving their country. But everything has a downside and so does flying fighter jets, like:
- Getting into the Air Force is not easy to let alone being a fighter pilot. The physical training and requisites, the medicals and several other attributes required make it hard for anyone to get in.
- Fighter pilots need to refuel their jets every 12 hours after full tank refuelling (as in case of Su-30). The more speed you gain, the more will be fuel consumption and the more frequent you need to refuel.
- As cool as it might sound taking off and landing a jet, its way scarier and dangerous than that. During take-off, the jets go from 0 to anywhere in between 150-200 kmph. That’s manifold the acceleration of the fastest car in the world! The factor here again is G – you may pass out.
- Fighter pilots don’t get to fly very much. Pilots who flew the jet planes spent most of their time hanging around on the ground waiting for either enemy attack or a training session.
- Air Force has a bond that compels the pilot to be in service for a minimum period of time like 14 years in case of Short Service Commission.
- Being fighter pilot come with risks of casualty. The bad guys try to shoot you in a dogfight.
- But, dogfighting is not about chasing and killing the bad guys, it’s more about staying conscious and not passing out with multiple of Gs exerted on you. And with that, you need to take care of the enemy chase.
- Pilots are not as scared of enemy fire as they are scared of the plane going out of control. The controls malfunction at times forcing an ‘Emergency Landing’.
- Finally, ejecting. It may be the nightmare for many fighter pilots. When the pilots eject their seats due to any factor, it exerts 20 times more force on the body than they are on earth. Anything can happen in those 5 seconds – a 70 kg man will be of 1,400 kg, the pilot may be crippled, he may break his spine and in worst cases, he may die.
So, for those willing to work hard and sacrifice a little, military flying is a great option. And if becoming a fighter pilot is your goal, a military flying career will get you there pretty easily.
Are you up for it?