28 March 2020
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A sound mind and body and emotionally stability are essential traits for aspiring pilots, says a PAF squadron leader.

Bassem
Zubaid leads the No II multirole squadron in the Pakistan Air Force. He flies a
JF-17 Thunder aircraft.

Speaking to SAMAA Digital on Thursday, he said one must be knowledgeable to make their way into the PAF. However, being book smart will only get you so far. You need to be physically fit as well.

Have
a healthy lifestyle that includes sports, and be social,” Zubaid said.
“You have to know your craft.”

The
air force will make you reach through different milestones in order to become a
fighter pilot.

Air
force training academies first train pilots to become physically stronger, and then
strengthen their minds.

Zubaid
said trainees are first taken to primary flying school, then basic flying
school, then to jet engines and then fighter conversion before they are taught
how to fly a fighter aircraft.

“After
going through these processes and gaining experience, you become an
asset,” he said.

Zubaid
also explained that pilots begin their day with a briefing on the current environment.

Pilots
then have special sessions where they are taught about the technical aspect of
the planes and how to handle them. This is for mid-air emergencies.

Speaking
about how a PAF pilot stays calm during a combat, Zubaid credited the training
process for not letting emotions get the better of you.

“For
us PAF pilots, times of war and peace are the same.”

Abdul Gh Lone

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