Life of Indian Naval Pilot is very interesting as well as risky also.
The first time you fly a plane its terrifying because you’re scared of doing something wrong. What happens if I press a wrong button by mistake? But by the end of the first few sorties, that phase will also go away. Once you get used to it, flying becomes completely natural, almost like driving. Leave alone getting used to it, you start getting addicted to it!
You are exposed to experiences that you can’t have access to normally. The thrill and the adrenaline rush is unmatchable. Adventure is incomparable. Then, there’s something called an aviator’s rainbow – when you’re flying over clouds, and there’s a ray of sun cutting through your canopy, it creates a halo of seven colours on the clouds below you, around your aircraft. Your aircraft is entrapped in a rainbow that moves along with you. It’s breathtaking. And you can go on and on.
On an average day it’s quite busy. It’s very normal to work for more than 8-10 hours ( at times including weekends also). Preparing assignments of where to fly and when to take off takes a lot of time depending upon the nature of the assignment. After flying you have to sort out data’s and relevant things and analyse over everything. You look over things that might have gone wrong or could have gone wrong so that you don’t repeat it. (Experience teaches you everything).
To relief yourself, you play sports and watch TV and everything.
To unwind, they normally play sports – and there are lots of options. Stations are normally in small towns, so your life is usually restricted to your base. Then there’s always television, reading books, good music and stuff. You can’t drink before flying, so that’s restricted mainly to the weekends.
In Navy, Pilots have to do Sea Duties in addition to Flying Duties and Surface Navy dominates. In the Navy, a Pilot will have to serve under officers of other branches. Even Naval Flying Squadrons can be commanded by Observers whereas Air Force Flying Squadrons are always commanded by Pilots (never by Navigators).
Naval Fighter Pilots have to land on deck of Aircraft Carrier at Sea which requires more skill and also Navy Helicopter Pilots have to land on ships which too requires special skills.
To sum up – work-wise the job of a Navy Pilot is tougher – but career-wise the job prospects of an Air Force Pilot are better. Naval pilot primarily operates from a deck, flies mainly for superiority over the ocean, and engages sea-borne targets.
However, landing a fighter on a deck certainly demands more accuracy and skill than landing it on a 3000 yard runway.
Talking about military pilots:-
As a military pilot, you can work with the IAF and the aviation branches of Indian Army and Indian Navy. Being a military pilot is much more dangerous than being a commercial pilot, since your job is essentially to defend the country from enemy attack.
If you are stationed in a ‘tense’ area, you may be called on duty anytime. A pilot who has flown some 300-odd hours over the Drass-Kargil-Batalik axis during India-Pakistan tensions, says he had evacuated numerous casualties and been shot at many times.
You need to keep your exposure time (to enemy fire) to the minimum and get out fast. Many times you have to land under enemy fire.
A military pilot leads a military life, following orders, risking bodily harm and using lethal weapons. These aren’t things to take lightly, so if you are considering the military, then explore it thoroughly and see if this is really what you want. It is an excellent option for many people.