How To Be a Philippine Air Force Pilot: An Ultimate Guide

Young boys and girls usually dream about becoming a pilot.

However, only a few eventually become pilots when they reach adulthood. The most common reason for not pursuing this occupation is the cost of studying and training to become a pilot.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that it’s entirely possible to go to flight school without spending millions of pesos. One of the best ways to study flying at little to no cost is by joining the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

At PAF, qualified students will be trained to fly without paying tuition fees, plane rentals, instructor fees, and more. Students who will train under the Philippine Air Force will also receive monthly allowances.

Sounds exciting? Let this guide walk you through the procedures and requirements you must fulfill to get one step closer to your dream of becoming a Philippine Air Force pilot.

Go back to the main article: How to Become a Pilot in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

 

At a Glance: Latest Updates for Aspiring Philippine Air Force (PAF) Pilots

  • As of November 17, 2021, there’s still no scheduled Airmen Qualifying Exam (AQE) for aspiring applicants for the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate Course. The PAF Human Resource Management Center (PAFHRMC) is still processing the successful applicants for the 2020 AQE.
  • For announcements and updates about the next AQE, regularly check the official PAF Human Resource Management Center Facebook Page.
 

Becoming a Pilot in the Philippine Air Force: An Overview


If you want to become a pilot in the Philippine Air Force, you have two options to apply:

  • Enter the Philippine Military Academy once you’re at least 17 years old
  • Get a bachelor’s degree first and then apply for the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate Course (PAFOCC). After completing the PAFOCC, apply for the PAF Flying School Military Pilot Training.

If you prefer the first option, you should apply to PMA and choose Air Force as your preferred branch of service if you’re between 17-22 years old. If you choose the second pathway, then finish any four-year course at your chosen school and then apply to the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School when you turn 20 to 25 years old1.

Take note that your chances of getting accepted are higher if you have already acquired a Private Pilot License (PPL) before your application.

Also, before you become eligible for application to Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate Course (PAFOCC), you have to pass the following qualifying examinations2:

  •  AFP Service Aptitude Test (AFPSAT) is a pre-entry examination required for qualified applicants who want to join the armed forces. The passing score is 80 out of 150 items for PAFOCC applicants. The exam score is valid for 3 years.
  • Philippine Air Force General Classification Test (PAFGCT) is a required qualifying examination every time you apply to the Philippine Air Force.  The passing score is 60 out of 120 for PAFOCC.

Aspiring pilots won’t be allowed to apply for the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate Course without first passing the aforementioned two qualifying examinations. 

After accomplishing the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate Course (PAFOC), you may now apply for the Philippine Air Force Flying School Military Pilot Training (MPT).

Regardless of your chosen pathway, you’ll enjoy government-subsidized pilot training, which includes a monthly allowance throughout the program. In exchange, PAF pilots are required to render at least 12 years of service with a monthly salary that is significantly lower than a commercial pilot’s.

 

Philippine Air Force Pilot Salary: How Much Do PAF Pilots Earn?

philippine air force pilot salary
Photo Credit: Philstar.com

Since officers should at least have a 2nd Lieutenant rank before they can undergo aviation training, it’s safe to say that the monthly salary for PAF pilots starts at PHP 48,8293.

Compared to commercial pilots, Philippine Air Force pilots are severely underpaid. But remember, the government pays for their training, and nothing beats the fulfillment of serving the nation.

In addition, your experience as an Air Force pilot will open the doors to more lucrative career options should you decide to quit flying as a military pilot. For instance, if you want to become an airline pilot, you can apply for a conversion of pilot licenses at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

 

How To Become a Pilot in the Philippine Air Force: Two Ways

Option 1: Through the Philippine Military Academy (PMA)

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Single and has never been married or pregnant
  • At least 17 years old but not a day older than 22 years old on June 1 of the year following the examination date
  • Filipino citizen (natural born)
  • No administrative or criminal case
  • Physically fit
  • Has good moral character
  • Passed the PMA Entrance Examination
  • Height requirement for both males and females: At least 5 feet tall
  • At least high school graduate or will graduate not later than June 1 of the year following the examination date (for Grade 12 students)

Step-by-step Guide

  1. Download and fill out the application form.
  2. Go to the Office of Cadet Admission (OCA) and submit your application.
  3. Get the Acknowledgment Receipt or the test permit for the Philippine Military Academy Cadet Qualification Test (PMACQF).
  4. Report to the examination center on the date indicated on the test permit. Successful examinees will receive a written notice with instruction to report to AFP Medical Center (AFP MC).
  5. Undergo Complete Physical Examination (CPE) to assess if you are physically, mentally, and emotionally conditioned for military training. You will stay in the AFP MC for several days to complete your CPE.
  6. (If successfully passed the CPE) Report to the PMA Liaison Office in AFP MC for final processing.
  7. Once officially accepted, choose the Air Force as your preferred branch of service.
  8. After graduating from the PMA, you’ll get a 2nd Lieutenant (2Lt) rank in the Philippine Air Force, the lowest rank accepted in the Philippine Air Force Flying School. You have to undergo another series of medical, physical, and psychological exams when you apply to the PAF Flying School. You also have to take and pass the Military Pilot Aptitude Test (MPAT).
  9. If you pass all the exams and meet the qualifications, you’ll get the chance to enter the Philippine Air Force Flying School and undergo military and aviation training.
  10. After graduating from PAF Flying School, you’ll be assigned to one of the flying units of the PAF.

Option 2: Through the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate Course (PAF Officer Candidate School)

Requirements and Qualifications

1. Qualifications

philippine air force pilot 1
Photo Credit: Philippine Air Force Human Resource Management Center
  • Single and has never been married; never borne or sired a child
  • Natural born Filipino
  • At least 20 years old but not over 25 years old upon admission (no age waiver)
  • Baccalaureate degree holder
  • Height requirement (for both males and females): At least 5 feet (or 152.4 cm). Applicants who do not meet the height requirement must obtain a certification issued by the National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP)
  • Physically, mentally, and psychologically fit for active military service (P1 Profile)
  • Has Good Moral Character
  • A raw score of 804 or higher in the Armed Forces of the Philippines Service Aptitude Test (AFPSAT)
  • Passed the Special Written Exam (SWE) and Army Qualifying Exam (AQE) given by the Philippine Army
  • Passed the Physical Fitness Test and Physical Medical Exam conducted in the Philippine Army through PAOSC

2. Requirements

  • PSA-issued birth certificate
  • Two pieces 2 x 2 ID picture with white background
  • 3 x 5 whole body picture with white background (the applicant must wear a white polo shirt, maong pants, and rubber shoes)
  • Transcript of Records (TOR) and diploma
  • AFPSAT Individual Results Form (IRF) 

How To Apply for the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate Course (PAFOCC): A Step-by-Step Guide

philippine air force pilot 2

1. Check if you meet all the qualifications and requirements

If you do, proceed with the application process. You may check the schedule for the PAF Officer Candidate Course application via the PAF website, the PAF Human Resource Management Center Official Facebook page, or through printed advertisements

2. On the dashboard of the PAF Online Recruitment System, click JOIN NOW, then create an account using your email address.

3. Verify your account by clicking the link sent to your email address.

4. Log in to your account and change your password. 

5. Complete the PAF Online Registration Form by providing your basic personal information.

Make sure that you have electronic copies of your documentary requirements because you need to upload them to the portal. Also, keep the hard copies of these documents since you must present them on the examination date for verification.

Important Note: If the PAF Online Recruitment System is unavailable, there is still no scheduled date for PAF Candidate Officer Course Examination. Walk-in applicants will not be accepted due to the pandemic situation.

6. Submit the online application form

7. Wait for confirmation from the PAF Human Resource Management Center.

8. Download and print the PAF General Classification Test Permit.

9. Report in your designated test center (indicated in your permit) on the day of the examination.

Make sure to wear a white polo shirt and a maong pants during the examination. Bring the following requirements on your examination date:

  • Printed Examination Permit
  • Original Copy of Transcript of Records
  • 2 x 2 ID Picture with white background (one copy)
  • Mongol Pencil #2
  • Valid IDs

Take note that you will take the AFP Service Aptitude Test and the PAFGCT on the same day. 

10. Undergo Limited Physical Examination

You will be assessed to check whether you have physical deformities or not. Take note that the following might disqualify your application:

  • Cross-eyed
  • Bow-legged/Knock-kneed
  • Lacking fingers
  • Tattoo
  • Ear/Facial piercing (male) or multiple ear/facial piercing (female)
  • Harelip

11. Wait for the results

Usually, the results will be released 15 days after the last examination day. Once you have been notified by the PAF that you passed the examination, you need to undergo the Physical Fitness Test.

The Physical Fitness Test includes a 2-minute sit-up, 2-minute push-up, and 3.2 km run.

philippine air force pilot 3
Photo Credit: Philippine Air Force Human Resource Management Center

12. Undergo a 45-day Physical and Medical Examination in the Air Force General Hospital, CJVAB, Pasay City

You also have to submit additional requirements such as:

13. Take the Special Written Exam (SWE) and undergo Board Interview. 

The exam will be administered by the PAF Human Resource Management Center (PAFHRMC).

14. Wait for the announcement from the PAF to know whether you have made it to the quota for the current recruitment cycle.

You will be notified either via SMS or email. Successful applicants will be turned over to Air Education and Training and Doctrine Command (AETDC), located in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City, Batangas, for the conduct of LPE. You’ll then undergo 15 months of officer pre-entry training at the PAFOCS.

15. After completing the initial training or the PAFOCC, you can apply to the PAF Flying School.

The application process will require you to undergo another series of medical, physical, and psychological exams as well as take and pass the Military Pilot Aptitude Test (MPAT).

If you pass all the exams and meet the qualifications, you’ll get the chance to enter the Philippine Air Force Flying School and undergo military and aviation training.

After graduating from PAF Flying School, you’ll be assigned to one of the flying units of the PAF.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the eyesight or vision requirements when applying to the Philippine Air Force?

Aspirants must have a vision not worse than 20/40 (which can be corrected to 20/20). Furthermore, you’ll be disqualified if you are color blind, have problems with depth perception, or have undergone any eye surgery. 

2. What is the best college degree program to take if I aspire to become a Philippine Air Force pilot?

Although you can take any 4-year degree program before applying to the Philippine Air Force, STEM degrees such as engineering, physics, and computer science can give you some advantages. 

3. I am unable to complete my undergraduate degree. Can I still apply for the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate Course (PAFOCC) and have a chance to become an Air Force pilot?

No, you are only eligible for the PAFOCC if you have a bachelor’s degree.

4. What is the difference between a Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate and a Philippine Air Force Candidate Soldier?

A Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate (PAFOC) will be conferred with a 2nd lieutenant rank after 15-month training and is eligible to apply to be a Philippine Air Force Pilot in the PAF Flying School. Furthermore, a PAFOC will be an officer of the Philippine Air Force (equivalent to a managerial position in a corporate).

On the other hand, PAF Candidate Soldiers will only be enlisted personnel of the Philippine Air Force after the completion of their training (equivalent to “rank and file” personnel in a corporate). Unlike PAF Officer Candidates, they cannot apply to the PAF Flying School after their training. 

5. What would be my rank if I complete the second track (accomplishing the Philippine Air Force Candidate Course/School)?

Upon completion of the PAFOCC, you will be conferred the rank of a 2nd lieutenant5.

6. Which track to being a Philippine Air Force Pilot is more difficult to take?

In terms of duration, taking the first track (enrolling in the PMA) will take a shorter time than the second track (being a PAF Officer Candidate) since, after your PMA education, you will be conferred with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, which makes you eligible for application to the PAF Flying School. On the other hand, if you take the second track, you have to take a four-year baccalaureate degree first before you can apply as an officer candidate of PAF. You will be conferred only with a rank of 2nd Lieutenant after you complete the PAF Officer Candidate Course. 

However, it still boils down to which of these options you think is more convenient and practical for you. If you want to have military experience immediately and be exposed to the military environment, it is advisable to take the first track. On the contrary, if you are planning to take a non-military career in case you change your mind in the future (and realize that you don’t want to be a pilot anymore), it is advisable to take the second track. 

7. How long is the training in the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate Course?

The training duration is 15 months and is conducted at the Air Education, Training, and Doctrine Command in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City, Batangas.

8. Can someone with a criminal record apply as a Philippine Air Force Pilot?

No, applicants must be with no record of any administrative or criminal case filed against them.

9. After completing the Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate Course (PAFOCC), will I start flying a PAF airplane unit?

Not yet. To fly a plane, you must complete the Military Pilot Training at the Philippine Air Force Flying School after completing the PAFOCC. For more details about the Philippine Air Force Flying School, kindly visit their Facebook page.

Go back to the main article: How to Become a Pilot in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide

 

References

  1. Philippine Air Force Human Resource Management Center. (2021). What are the Qualifications for a Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate (PAFOCC) and a Candidate Soldier (CS)? [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=1069536930182134&set=a.933040533831775
  2. Philippine Air Force Human Resource Management Center. (2020). Dagdag Kaalaman [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/392429341226233/photos/a.392745531194614/822097208259442/?type=3&theater
  3. Morallo, A. (2018). Duterte signs resolution hiking military, police pay. Retrieved 17 November 2021, from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/01/09/1776288/duterte-signs-resolution-hiking-military-police-pay
  4. Philippine Air Force Human Resource Management Center. (2021). What is the Passing Raw Score for CS & OC? [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=1069536946848799&set=a.933040533831775&_rdc=1&_rdr
  5. Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School (PAFOCS). (2017). Ranks of the Philippine Air Force Personnel [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/PAFOCS/posts/1904262029895240?_rdc=1&_rdr

Anna Pamela Capistrano

Anna Pamela R. Capistrano is an experienced content writer who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in multimedia studies at the University of the Philippines – Open University. She has been working as a freelance writer for over 6 years and has created a wide range of content for various websites. Aside from writing, she also loves cooking, baking, dancing, and watching K-dramas. As an Aquarius woman, she’s passionate about making the world a better place one step at a time.

34 thoughts on “How To Be a Philippine Air Force Pilot: An Ultimate Guide

  1. If ever I want to work in an Airline. How many years will it take me to do so? Undergrad is 4 years plus PAF(How many years will this take me?)

  2. i want to become a pilot in paf but not in fixed wing aircraft. i want to get into helicopters. hows that?

  3. My 17 yo son ultimate dream is to become a pilot someday. Its been his dream since childhood no matter how i discourage him as i told him we, his parents CANNOT afford to do so. I wonder why he has not grown up his dream???. He has been reading this too.

    I find this very insightful esp. for young aspirants.
    thank you so very much for this write up ms capistrano. GBU

    by hermie

    1. Hi Dodong. We have already republished the article with new updated information, including the age requirements.

    1. We have already answered this in the FAQ section. See FAQ #6 to find the answer to your question.

  4. Will my eyesight be considered or is there an required eyesight or some sort of thing that includes my eyesight?

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