How to become a Pilot? Seems very simple search query but it’s not! Before writing further on the topic I would like to mention some key points about pursuing your career in aviation as a pilot:
- There is no upper age limit to start your flying training but bear in mind that generally airlines hire fresh pilots will age 32 or less
- Getting commercial pilot licence doesn’t guarantee you a job, you need to apply for vacancies and face open competition
- Unlike colleges for pilot training you need not attend any mandatory classes for getting theoretical knowledge, but yes you need formal/informal knowledge sessions to be proficient in subjects
Pre-requisites to become a Commercial Pilot
- 10+2 with Physics, Mathematics and English
- Minimum Age 18
- Fitness Certification : Class 1 and Class 2 medical
Stages of Pilot Training – Ground Training and Flying Training
- Ground Training
In ground training one needs to clear theoretical knowledge exams in following subjects:
- Air Regulations
- Aviation Meteorology
- Air Navigation
- Aircraft Technical General
- Aircraft Technical Specific
- WPC – RTR
First 5 exams are conducted by DGCA and you can appear for same after obtaining you DGCA computer number. Exams are conducted every three month and have validity of 5 years, so one can appear as per his/her convenience.
6th exam (WPC – RTR) is conducted by WPC and has life time validity.
Regulations do not mandates any formal classes for these subjects. One can appear for these examinations based on self-study or some tuition classes.
Minimum of 70% is required to pass in any of the subjects.
- Flying Training
A minimum of 200hrs of flying experience as per DGCA syllabus is required to get commercial pilot licence. There are various academies offering flying training in India and abroad. following factors must be considered before selecting one: Previous Placement Records, Training Quality Reviews, Fees, Duration of Course, Records of Trainers, Aircraft fleet
Note: Intracting with previous gradutes from academy is also a good idea to make right selection of flying club.
Also Read: Best Flying Training Institutes in India
Aftter finishing Ground and Flying Training you need to submit your training documents to Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Government of India Office to get Commercial Pilot Licence
Thinking What Next?
Most of the people start enters aviation to become Airline Pilot but not all. Once you get your licence your interest defines your job as pilot.
Commercial Pilot Licence enables you to apply most of the flying jobs at entry level position and further growth depends in flying experience.
Career As Airline Pilot
As mentioned before most of the people dream of seeing themselves in a commercial airliner cockpit and CPL is the stepping stone for it. After getting CPL you become eligible to apply for the position of Co-Pilot (Technical Term – First Officer or Junior First Officer).
There is no fixed figures of vacancies per year as it depend on aviation business trend but still there are reasonable in number if you can stand good in competition. After getting selected in any of airlines you need to do a Type Rating Course for specific aircraft which is self sponsored. Because of the increasing number of pilots airlines have stopped paying for Type Rating Course and as per present scenerio total cost of training goes upto INR 60-65 lac.
Cadet Pilot Program
Some airlines run cadet pilot program under which you are hired (on letter of intent) before commencement of your basic flying training itself. In India Indigo Cadet Pilot Program is best option in current situation and has proved to be good for all the cadets.
Indigo Cadet Pilot Program – It is a joined venture between Indigo and CAE Gondia (NFTI) where CPL level flying training is done at National Flying Training Institute, Gondia, Maharastra after completion of which cadets are sent for type rating at different CAE simulator training centers around the globe.
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