Who doesn’t want to wear a crisp uniform, travel to new locations, and at the end of every month, take home a great salary?
The sad part is most of us know how to become an engineer or how to become a doctor but the information on how to become a pilot knows what that value which is why flying a plane remains a dream for most of us but that is something that we are going to change today.
1. What does it take to be a Pilot?
A pilot is someone who needs to have multiple skills. they need to be good at their maths and physics, need to have great communication skills but more than that they need to be emotionally stable, physically fit and mentally sound.
Types of Pilots
There are two different types of pilots one who joined the Indian Air Force and the second are the commercial pilots. Commercials pilots are again divided into 2 types
(a) scheduled flights
Scheduled flights are something that we normally take like indigo, Vistara, Air Asia so on
(b) Non-scheduled flights
Non-scheduled flights are air ambulances, charters, corporates flights.
2. Basic Requirements
We are going to talk about how to become a commercial pilot because joining the Indian Air Force comes with a different set of requirements. before you even think about education and training to become a pilot in India, you first need to meet 7 basic criteria.
Your age at the time of applying should be between 18 to 30 years. Some of the airlines will vary till 35 years.
(b) Perfect Vision
You have a 6 by 6 vision, with or without glasses but you cannot have color blindness because you need to identify the navigation lights and the instructions and warnings in a flight deck are color-coded and each of them has a different meaning.
You need to pass class 12 with 55% at least in physics, maths, and English individually. but having a math background is essential that does not mean that if you have a commerce or arts background you cannot apply. In those cases through the National Institute of open school people clear the maths and physics and then apply.
(d) Proficient in the English language
English is the international language for civil aviation and why do you need a common language. The simple reason is that as a pilot you need to interact with people from the different regions who are commonly known English. you should be able to give clear instructions to your crew members and also, be able to follow instructions from the air traffic control.
(e) Medically fit
The final requirement of becoming a pilot is you have class 2 and class 1 medical certificates which are basically a set of medical exams like ECG blood tests, urine tests so on. This should be mandatorily conducted to find out whether you’re physically fit or not. These tests are to be conducted only by a set of selected doctors and then sent to the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation). you will find the list of doctors on the Official DGCA website.
3. Education & Training
Now after meeting the first seven criteria the next major thing that you need to go after is called CPL(Commercial pilot license). There are two ways to get it
(a) Apply to a flying school
A flying school is where they’ll teach you theory which includes subjects like the system of the plane, navigation, aviation metrology, and practical which includes 200 flight hours needless to say you need to pass both theory and practical exams to get your CPL license. you can either apply to strong schools in India or abroad. For India make sure you check the list of flight schools on the DGCA website.
how many years to become pilot
Some of the top flying schools of our country as of today are Bombay flying club, TMI academy, Star aviation academy, etc. the duration of the course is between 18 months to 2 years. Some people also prefer applying to flying schools in the USA, Europe, New Zealand, Canada where you can complete the course between six months to twelve months. so it’s your personal choice and depends on what you want to do.
(b) Apply for a job
Apply for a job in airlines like indigo, Spicejet Airways, Vistara, Go air is just going to their website search for jobs CPL and apply. Once you get selected these airlines will send you for another type of training called Type rating.
(c) Type rating
CPL(Commercial pilot license) is where you learn how to fly a smaller plane but type rating is where you learn how to fly a bigger plane. For example – if it’s indigo they would want you to learn how to fly an Airbus and in the case of Jet Airways or Spicejet, they will want you to learn how to fly a Boeing plane.
Today, so many airline companies like Indigo, Spicejet, etc. are starting their own pilot program called the cadet program. where you can go through training without going to any flying school but it is more expensive. All you have to do is clear their entrance exams and interviews and they will give you a job contract and they will make sure that you get your CPL and type rating training is done.
A flying school will cost somewhere between 38 to 45 lakhs and type rating training will cost around 15 to 20 lakhs. So overall it will take around 60 to 80 lakhs. Whereas the cadet program will cost you around 1 crore some people prefer it because here you first get a job and then you get trained.
Training through flying schools might have to wait sometime before you get a job and after you get a job some airlines might want you to do their internal training and pay for that. So you might have to shell out some more money.
The fee for being a pilot is a lot and unfortunately, there isn’t a scholarship available. but if you cannot afford it but still want to fly a plane and serve our country then you can always join the Indian Air Force.
As a fresher, you can apply to companies like Indigo, Spicejet, Air Asia, etc. when you join as a junior first officer, you will get a stipend of around 25,000 – 70,000 per month. but once you get promoted to a first officer you can draw somewhere around 2 lakhs per month and as a captain you can get somewhere around 6 lakhs per month.
Now, apart from the course fees and the salary, there are a few other things that you should know before you decide whether you want to be a pilot or not.
(a) Being a pilot is extremely stressful because whenever you are in the cockpit, you are not only responsible for your life but for the life of hundreds of other people traveling with you, and needless to say, it is a risky job.
(b) Travelling to different countries might sound great when you are a bachelor but once you have a family, you will crave to spend more time with them.