Soaring high

An Indian Air Force official explains the flying simulator to students.

An Indian Air Force official explains the flying simulator to students.  

The Indian Air Force is on a drive to spread career-related information and enthuse school and college-goers.

Vijitha Menon, Anshika Satendra, Anushree S., and Bhavika Badra were excited about getting to operate the controls sitting in the simulated cockpit of an Air Force aircraft that made them “fly” through the clouds. Were they getting trained to become pilots? No. They are class XII students of Kendriya Vidyala, Coimbatore, who got to enjoy the “real life experience” of sitting in a customised Volvo bus — Induction Publicity Exhibition Vehicle — that had travelled to Coimbatore as part of the road show organised by DISHA, the publicity cell of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The vehicle is on a road drive — ‘Guardians of the Sky’ (GOTS) — to spread career-and-induction-related information for the officer cadre in the IAF, among school and college students. The drive, flagged off from Delhi on August 18, is expected to reach its origin on February 17 next year, after covering nearly 7,000 km across 23 cities, towns and reaching out to students from 250 institutions.

The air-conditioned vehicle, inducted into the IAF in 2015, provides a wholesome experience about the IAF through its various zones — flight simulator, air traffic control, aircraft models, flying accessories, pictorial and knowledge zones.

It was in Coimbatore from November 7-11 and was stationed at four nodal centres — Kendriya Vidyala, Hindusthan College of Arts and Science, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetam, and Karunya University.

“Choosing tier-2/3 cities is a conscious decision. Awareness about the defence is comparatively higher in the metros and tier-1 cities. The aim is not as much as to attract students in terms of numbers, but quality. Awareness about the Air Force is less in the South — what we do, who can join, how to apply, and basic doubts about wearing spectacles, height, weight, and so on. That is why, along with the pictorial presentation provided by the vehicle, we also conduct motivational lectures at every nodal centre,” says Wing Commander Sangeeta Kathait, Publicity Officer, DISHA.

College students felt that it was an eye-opener, and gave them an opportunity to consider the Air Force as a career option. The sessions were interesting with students asking relevant questions on the difference between a commercial pilot and an Air Force pilot, physical attributes, qualification, advantages, and also information about joining ground duty branches like administration, education, logistics, and accounts, if one did not want to become a pilot.

As the drive moves on to a different city in a different State, it hopes to attract the crème-de-la-creme for the world’s fourth largest Air Force.

The air-conditioned vehicle, inducted into the IAF

Recommended for you