How to become a pilot in Singapore Part 1/3 – (RSAF)

How to become a pilot – Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

How to become a pilot in Singapore? This is a question posed by many young aviation enthusiasts. To do that, you can either (1) join the RSAF, or (2) Join a commercial airline.

If you do not see yourself flying professionally, you can simply pay for your own Private Pilot Licence (PPL). However, attaining a PPL is extremely expensive. For someone who cannot afford that, the RSAF or commercial airlines are pretty much their only options to have a shot at pinning on those coveted pilot “wings”!

Want to know how to become a pilot by joining the RSAF? The diagram below provides a step by step illustration:






















Basic Requirements (Military Pilot)

  • Candidates must be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident.
  • They must be at least 18 years old.
  • Candidates must possess a full Degree, diploma, or GCE ‘A’ levels equivalent certification.

Medical Requirements

  • Candidates must be between 1.62m to 1.90m.
  • Certified combat fit by the SAF.
  • Must have good eyesight:
    • myopia not more than 500 degrees per eye (correctable to 6/6 vision).
    • astigmatism not more than 200 degrees per eye.
    • no other eye deficiencies.

Computerised Pilot Aptitude Screening System (COMPASS Test)

  • Candidates have to complete a 5-hour computerised assessment that evaluates their aptitude to become a military pilot.
  • Areas tested include psychomotor skills, multitasking, performance under stress, spatial awareness, and decision making etc.

Interview Board

  • The interview panel comprises 3 to 4 Singapore Air Force officers and at least one psychologist.

  • They will assess the suitability of candidates for military flying.


  • Candidates will undergo a 6-week flying training course comprising approximately 15 hours on a single engine light propellor aircraft.

  • This phase will assess the cadet pilots’ potential and aptitude in handling an aircraft and their ability to handle stress.

  • This phase is exempted for PPL holders. 

Basic Wings Course

  • After completing OCS, cadet pilots will complete a 3-month long ground school course.

  • The ground school covers flying theory and survival training (e.g. G-force training and water survival drills).

  • Cadet pilots will subsequently spend 34 weeks in Perth.

  • In Perth, they will train on the PC-21 turboprop trainer aircraft.

  • Of note, they will fly approximately 100 hours in this phase.

Advanced Pilot Training

  • At the end of BWC, cadet pilots will be streamed for their advanced military pilot training.

  • Depending on their performance and assessed aptitude, they will be chosen to attend either the Fighter Wings Course (FWC), Rotary Wings Course (RWC), or Transport Wings Course (TWC).

  • FWC is held in Cazaux, France, while RWC and TWC are held locally in Singapore.

  • Advanced military pilot training courses usually take 6 to 12 months to complete.

  • Finally, the coveted RSAF military pilot wings will be awarded to those who successfully completed the advanced courses.

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