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How to Become an Airline Pilot in India

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Have you ever wished about earning lots and lots of easy money? Then read on because here is a list of steps that can help you get really close to your dreams. A commercial pilot is one of the highest paying professions in the country today. The path that will lead you to your destination is bit of a rocky terrain but once you are there, your career will scale new heights.

The life is of an airline pilot is very exciting, glamorous, and a highly rewarding one. To get to that level, one must show utmost dedication, fitness and self- control. The course also requires a certain level of investment as the training is quiet costly but then eventually it can easily be covered by the handsome pay packages the airline pilots are offered.

Basic Eligibility for Pilot Career in India

1. Candidates must have passed the 12th class board examination of 10+ 2 from a recognized Central or State board or its equivalent with a minimum of 50% in maths and physics.

2. The candidate should have completed 17 years of age.

3. Candidates must have a perfect eyesight. In general medical terminology, it is called 6/6 eyesight. In the other eye, you could have an imperfection of 6/9, which must be correctable to 6/6.

4. Candidates must be physically fit, if they are suffering with any disease which affects normal functionality, then they will not be eligible for the same

Easy Steps for a Pilot Career in India

1. As a first step, the candidate needs to get a Student Pilot License (SPL)

  • To get an SPL license the candidates will have to present a certificate of physical fitness from an approved medical practitioner designated by the Director General of Civil Aviation. Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), New Delhi and the Institute of Aviation Medicine, Bangalore, are the only two bodies that are authorised to give you a medical fitness certificate.
  • The candidate must also clear the theory examination (oral test) in Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology and Air Navigation and Air Technical to be eligible for the SPL license.
  • The candidate will also have to clear the aptitude test to be eligible for the SPL.
  • Only after you get medical clearance and clear the examination will you be granted the Student Pilot License.

Cost for obtaining SPL: Rs 10,000

2. After getting an SPL, the next for step to becoming a pilot includes getting a Private Public License (PPL)

  • Once you are granted the SPL, you will have to take flying lessons as per the instructions of the flying instructor.
  • After a candidate completes a total of 15 hours of flying with an instructor (dual flying), he/she is eligible to fly solo and go cross- country as well.
  • To attain the PPL, the candidate needs to have flown for 60 hours, out of which a minimum of 20 hours need to be solo and a minimum of 5 hours need to be cross-country flights.
  • The candidate will have to appear for a written theory examination in subjects like Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Aircraft Engines and Seamanship.
  • Candidate will have to clear the medical examination from the AFCME and IAM.

Cost for obtaining PPL: The per hour cost of flying is quite steep: about Rs 3,500. For obtaining a PPL one needs a minimum of 60 hours of flying which sums up to Rs 2 lakh (Rs 200,000)

3. Next and the most crucial step is obtaining a Commercial Pilot License (CPL)

  • Candidates seeking to apply for the CPL must be above 18 years and below 30 years of age.
  • Candidates must clear theory examinations in Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Technical and Planning are other important parts of the process.
  • Candidate will have to clear the medical examination from the AFCME and IAM.
  • To attain a CPL, candidates need a minimum of 250 hours of flying. Out of the 250 hours, 150 need to be solo flying, 25 hours of cross-country flying, 10 hours of instrument flying (which means you rely only on the plane’s instruments for flying without looking at the horizon or external assistance), and 5 hours of flying in the night.
  • Post completion of 40 hours of flight training with 15 hours of solo flying, the candidate is eligible to get the Private Helicopter License. In addition to the flying lessons, the candidates need to clear written exams on basic aviation subjects.
  • To get a Commercial Helicopter Pilot License, candidates need 60 hours of flight training as in addition to clearing a written exam.

Cost for obtaining CPL: Rs 9 lakh (Rs 900,000). For a Commercial Helicopter Pilot License, the cost could go up to Rs 13 lakh (Rs 1.3 million)

4. The licenses mentioned above help candidates in becoming a co-pilot. If they plan to fly as captain, the candidates need the Airline Transport Pilot’s License (ATPL), which is the highest aviation license available.

  • In addition to clearing the written examination, the candidate needs to fly a total of 1,500 flying hours.
  • Candidates also need to clear medical examinations.

Cost for ATPL: Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per hour. Often, the airline you work for may sponsor the training costs.

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