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Why Air Force Pilots Are Called by Their Nickname?


If you look closely at the pilot's suit, you will find that the nameplate, in addition to the real name, also has a short name called a 'call sign'. Pilots proudly carry the given call sign.

And the question arises that why are the pilots called by their call sign? Or is it simply the result of following some tradition? Or is there any bigger reason behind allotting the call sign to the pilot?

Concept of allotting "call sign" (Nicknames)

During flight operations, a senior pilot may be flying along with a junior pilot, or a junior officer may be flying with a senior pilot in the same aircraft as a co-pilot or WSO (weapon system officer), So maybe the junior officer has to give instructions or some information to his superior. But since the senior officer has to give instructions, it can become a bit hindrance for the junior officer, and it will have a direct impact on the operation. So by rising above the senior and junior concepts, nicknames or call signs are used to make required and correct decisions. Using the call signal, an ATC officer (air traffic controller) or even a flight controller can access a pilot in operation without thinking about the rank of the pilot. the younger lot of pilots from the IAF feel that call signs are a safer bet when dressing their superior. IAF pilots frequently exercise with Airforce pilots from other countries, and in such a situation, if the pilots of both the countries address each other by their real name, there will be a lot of chances of creating confusion, whereas the call sign is usually short and easy to remember.

How call signs assign?

Words are played with to assign call signs to the pilot and, finally, a name is finalized which is either a shortened version of the pilot's real name or describes the character of the pilot. while in flight, The pilot being serious, They call each other by call sign while in flight, and under normal circumstances they use call signs to pull each other's leg.

Whereas the formation call sign is an operational squadron concept where the commanding officer of the squadron has a call sign blent with the entire tea of the call sign office. Multiple call signs are allotted to each squadron so that there is no call sign conflict and no call sign repeats throughout the IAF.

So, These are the actual reasons why pilots are allotted with call signs?

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Jadoo on September 03, 2021:

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