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Additional Requirements

Officer, Australian Defence Force Academy, Graduate Pilot Scheme (Female)

The role of Air Force Pilot is about as far from an ‘ordinary’ job as you can get. So there are a number of additional requirements for acceptance into our training courses.

The most obvious is that you must have a real interest in the Air Force, and a driving ambition for a life behind the visor. Other requirements are as follows:


Abilities and Aptitudes

You’ll be assessed to check that you are:

suitable for commissioning as a Pilot,

suitable for Pilot training,

able to demonstrate common sense and good judgement,

able to process new information quickly and accurately and apply learned procedures under pressure,

able to allocate priorities amongst competing sources of incoming information,

able to think and act quickly and appropriately in stressful situations (e.g. in unusual or emergency situations),

able to perform cognitive tasks and manual activities simultaneously, and

spatially aware.


Personal Qualities

You’ll be expected to have:

the personal attributes to accept the status and fulfil the responsibilities of an Officer, and

appropriate personal attributes for training and subsequent employment as a Pilot.


Physical Requirements

Weight and height requirements are important due to cockpit and ejection seat ergonomics.



For Air Force Pilots, the acceptable BMI range is 18.5 to 29.9.

Applicants must have a body weight of between 55kg and 100kg (measured in underwear) to comply with the design of ejection seats and parachutes.



Height - 163cm to 193cm

Sitting Height - 100cm max.

Buttock to knee length - 67cm max.

Buttock to heel length - 122cm max.



Good communication is critical in the Air Force. Your speech must be clear and free from impediment.



Military flying is in many ways, very different from civilian flying. Therefore the Military Pilots course has a different training philosophy to that of many civilian flying schools.

You’ll be expected to progress on course at a rate that confirms your suitability for subsequent operational conversions to front-line military aircraft. Therefore previous flying experience in a civilian environment does not necessarily provide an advantage.

There is no Recognition of Prior Learning with ADF Pilot courses. All successful applicants will fly exactly the same syllabus sorties regardless of previous experience.

The Air Force neither encourages nor discourages potential applicants to consider flying lessons.


Detailed evaluation

A detailed evaluation of your suitability to become an Air Force Pilot will take place at the Australian Defence Force Pilot Selection Flight (ADF PSF).

The ADF PSF is part of the Australian Defence Force Basic Flying Training School (ADF BFTS) located in Tamworth, NSW. The BFTS runs the Pilot selection process for the Air Force, as well as the Navy and Army.

The process begins after recruitment, when the suitability of applicants is assessed. Those deemed competitive will be invited to undertake the Flight Screening Program (FSP) and Officer Selection Board (OSB). 

The FSP is designed to evaluate Pilot applicants in an airborne environment, in order to determine their suitability to undergo ADF Officer and Pilot training. The program syllabus involves a range of mass briefs and up to 12 flying hours. 

The OSB stage follows completion of the FSP. It involves a series of group activities, problem-solving exercises and verbal presentation exercises plus a formal interview. This gives applicants an excellent opportunity to display their true potential to be an Officer and Pilot.

The OSB is made up of members of all three Services plus a Psychologist.


Choosing the Air Force

During this whole process you’ll be considered to be a general ‘ADF Pilot applicant’, though your preference to join the Air Force will be recorded.

This preference will be honoured if you are considered to be suitable. But you should be aware that, in the highly competitive ADF Pilot selection process, a willingness to nominate, and possibly accept, a second or third preference will greatly expand the opportunities available. 

After OSB you’ll be informed of the Pilot Selection Flight’s recommendation on your suitability for each Service, and their relative competitiveness. However a recommendation at this stage does not guarantee an offer of employment from the Service.

The ADF PSF distributes their recommendations to the individual Services several times a year. The single Service Personnel Agency then reviews all recommended applications and makes an offer of employment to those that are competitive to meet the Service’s requirements.

That means it may take up to three months for you to receive an offer.

After each distribution, those remaining in the pool of successful applicants compete on an equal basis with those newly entering the pool. Applicants may remain in the distribution pool for up to 12 months. 

For detailed information on the Flight Screening Program visit the ADF PSF website:

Australian Defence Force Pilot Selection Flight