Military Pilot

Military pilots are highly trained professional pilots who work for the air force or army, flying military aircraft.

Military pilots perform a variety of duties and may, for example, transport military cargo and passengers. They may conduct reconnaissance where high-flying photographically equipped aircraft are used. They could be involved in aerial combat where fighter aircraft are used as weapons’ platforms.

The duties of military pilots depend to some extent on the type of aircraft on which they were trained. More experienced military pilots could train new recruits as well as be involved in the conversion training of qualified pilots.

There are usually two pilots on board during military aircraft operations, the pilot-in-command (captain) and the co-pilot (first officer). There may, however be more, depending on the type of aircraft and the specific operation.

The captain is responsible for the safety of the aircraft, passengers, crew and cargo. The captain supervises the crew, giving instructions, making decisions, checking the aircraft, route, weather and specific operational orders before take-off. The co-pilot assists or relieves the captain in the operation of the aircraft. The co-pilot also monitors flight instruments.


  • SA Air Force

  • self-employment, as a freelance pilot with charter companies or with an instructor’s rating work at flying schools on a freelance basis.

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or voluntary work at an airport or in the Airforce

  • make an appointment to speak to a military pilot about this type of career

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