All About Pilot Aptitude Battery Test By IAF

Hello Defence Lovers, PABT means Pilot Aptitude Battery Test. It is conducted for the candidates who aspire to join flying branch of Indian Air Force. Pilot Aptitude Battery Test is aimed at assessing a candidate’s aptitude to be trained as a pilot. many Defence and IAF aspirants are not fully aware about the technical specs associated with PABT. With this article, we will help lift the mystery and lack of information surrounding this topic.

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What PABT Is All About ?
  • PABT stands for Pilot Aptitude Battery Test. In simple terms, PABT is a test that has been designed to check the Psychomotor skills of a candidate.
  • This is specially designed by DRDO scientists mainly, is to find the candidate’s ability, presence of mind, control of his limbs and nerves, fast response, judging power. i.e. Its overall aim is to find our attitude and mind set potential by nature to become a pilot.
  • This test aims at judging the basic skills needed by a person to qualify as a pilot.
  • PABT determines whether you are Fighter pilot material or not. It evaluates a candidate, in terms of the above mentioned skills and lets the authorities know whether you can be trained to become a good Fighter pilot or not.
  • It is a once in a lifetime test. It means that a candidate can face PABT only once in his/her life. If on fails in this test, then one will not be eligible to join IAF as a Fighter Pilot!
  • If one clears PABT and for one or the other reason fails to make it to the IAF and later decides to appear for IAF recruitment again, then there is no need to appear for PABT again!
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Why they are conducting this PABT especially for Pilot branch?
  • Well, earlier, candidates were recruited for Fighter Pilot training without them being put through PABT.
  • While this seemed okay at first, it proved to be blunder later on! Lots of mishaps resulted, which forced authorities to probe the reason behind these accidents.
  • It was discovered that Pilots’ lack of skill and errors were the primary reasons responsible for a majority of the accidents reported. These accidents resulted in loss of Fighter Jets as well as Pilots.
  • Soon, it was decided that Pilot selection must be done through a much more scientific and effective method.
  • That’s how the plan to design a strict and skill-assessing test was born. After much research and refining, the final product- PABT- came into existence.
PABT Test Procedure :

This test is conducted in 2 parts:

(1.) Written Test.

(2.) Computer Based Test.

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(1.) Written Test :

This test itself consists of 2 parts –

(a.) Apparatus Reading Test: In this test the 6 basic measuring instruments of an aero plane are shown and explained to the candidates. These are:

(1.) Magnetic compass

(2.) Artificial Horizon

(3.) Altimeter

(4.) Turn or Bank Indicator

(5.) Climb and Descent indicator

(6.) Airspeed Indicator

  • These instruments are explained in complete detail containing each and every point needed for successfully qualifying the test.
  • Hence, the candidates should listen to the officer with very receptive mind and make sincere efforts to understand every detail that is being imparted to them.
  • Also they should keep away from silly questions and also try their level best to clarify whatever doubt they have, whenever the Officer asks them.

(b.) Plane position test: In this test, the candidate is explained various positions that the plane travels and the regions of the plane that are visible from the front when the its travelling in these positions. These are:

(1.) East, West, North, South, NW, NE, SW, SE.

(2.) Climbing up(elevating), Descending(moving down)

The different parts of the plane that help in identification are:
Nose(painted white)
T(at the tail)
Black dot(tail)
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Now, once he has explained to you the various portions of the plane, he’d show you   the different positions that the plane travels (the different directions mentioned earlier).  Remember some points very well:
  • If you see the nose of the plane, the plane is coming towards you and it is taken as moving towards south.
  • If you see the black dot of the plane, the plane is going away from you and it is taken as moving towards north.
  • If you see the plane moving in such a way that the nose is to your right and tail to your left, than the direction is taken as moving towards east.
  • If you see the plane moving in such a way that the nose is to your left and tail to your right, than the direction is taken as moving towards west.
Now, when the direction has been identified, the next observation is ascent/descent.
For East-West movement –
  • If the nose is at a lower horizontal level than the tail, than the plane is surely losing height or descending.
  • If the nose is at a higher horizontal level than the tail, than the plane is surely gaining height or ascending.

For North-South movement –

North (you see the black dot or the tail):

  • If you see the belly of the plane, than the plane is losing height.
  • If you see the entire top portion of the plane than the plane is gaining height.

South (you see the nose):

  • If you see the belly of the plane, than the plane is gaining height or ascending.
  • If you see the top of the plane, than its losing height or descending.
  • The same information can be extended to identify movement in NW, NW, NE, SE, SW directions.
  • The candidates that come out as successful in the written test are taken for computer based testing.
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(2.) Computer Based Test :
  • This test judges the reflexive capabilities of a candidate in response to external stimuli. In this test, the locomotive and sensory abilities of the candidates are put to examination.
  • Each of the two comprising tests aims to find the eye-ear-hand-feet coordination of the person. Hence, you can come out successful only when you grasp the maximum in the shortest time and also apply the same within the short time duration.
  • In each test, the candidate is given 3 chances to come up with good scores. The best score is counted of all the three. Each turn is of 90 seconds in test 1 and 60 sec in test 2.

Light Control Test:

  • This test judges the reflexive capabilities of a candidate.
  • In this test, a spot of light (ball) is to be maintained in the centre of 2 concentric squares.
  • The spot of light, if left, moves across randomly all over the screen. Also, there are 2 lights, yellow and red which come up in the top left and top right corners of the screen intermittently.

Now, the devices needed to control the spot are:

  • A hand operated stick: This stick controls the movement of the stick in up and down direction. It is of the shape of the gear-changer in cars. Moving the stick back moves the ball up and moving it in forward direction moves it towards the bottom of the screen.
  • Foot pedals: The operation of the pedals moves the spot of light (ball) to right or left.
  • Light lever: A hand lever is provided which when moved forward puts off red light and when backward puts off yellow light.
  • Beep button: A button on the top of the stick is used for putting off the beep sound in the headphones.
Also Read, Eligibility Criteria For Joining Indian Air Force After Graduation

Control Velocity Test:

  • In this test, a spot of light (red) is to be superimposed on a series of yellow lights running on the screen from top to bottom.
  • Whenever there is a successful superimposition, there is a small blip in the headphone.
  • The more times you succeed in superimposing the red ball on the yellow balls, the more points you get. 
Jai Hind

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