Most boys nurture the ambition of flying an aircraft at some point of time in their childhood. Airline pilots or aviators fly passengers and/or cargo to destinations all over the world for leisure, business or commercial purposes. The aircraft is typically operated by two pilots - the pilot in command and the co-pilot. Airline pilots are highly skilled professionals. Flying an aircraft requires knowledge of air navigation, interpretation of meteorological reports, operating sophisticated electronic and mechanical controls and being a leader to the flight crew and passengers under turbulent weather and emergency situations. Working hours for a pilot are irregular but their actual flying time is strictly controlled for safety reasons.
Before take off, pilots carry out pre-flight checks on the navigation and operating systems, ensure that the aircraft's controls are operating efficiently, create a flight plan, work out the best route to be taken and calculate the required fuel for the flight. They are also responsible for checking the weather conditions, making sure the aircraft is airworthy, work out estimated time of arrival and briefing cabin crew.
- The eligibility requirement for CPL is Class 10+2 pass, with Physics and Maths subjects with at least 50% marks and minimum 17 years of age.
- Student appeared for 12th exams are also eligible.
- Students passed in Arts/ Commerce on completion of Physics & Maths exams are also considered
Besides these requirements, one must possess good eyesight and should be medically fit in accordance with Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) standards.
Student Pilot License
The SPL authorizes students to initiate their flying training course and on their completion of the stipulated qualifying criteria, students are then eligible to secure a Private Pilot License (PPL) and / or a Commercial Pilot License (CPL).
Course Duration: 01-02 months
Private Pilots License
This license is only valid for flying as a hobby. This can be obtained within a time frame of 8 months from the candidates first flight, provided the SPL has been cleared.
Course Duration: 08-12 months
Requirements: SPL, FRTOL (Flight Radio Telephony Operators License)
Ground Training: 200 hours
Flying Training: 50-60 hours
Examination: 03 theory papers & Day flying test
License: Issued by DGCA, Ministry of civil aviation, Govt. of India
Commercial Pilots License
This course is for someone who wishes to pursue a career in flying and who is already a holder of the SPL and/or PPL. It prepares the candidate for the airline environment and requires a total of 200 flying hours.
Course Duration: 18-24 months
On successful completion of the CPL, the pilot can then apply for employment with commercial airlines (domestic or international), charter companies, corporate or flying training institutes.
Depending on the specialisation one has to spend anywhere from 25-50 lakhs to become a pilot. One of the major reasons for the high course fee is the prohibitive cost of fuel.
Areas of opportunity
- Commercial Airlines
- Armed Forces
- Indian Coast Guard
- Cargo planes
- Private planes
- Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA), Raebareli (UP)
- CAE Oxford Aviation Academy Gondia, Maharashtra
- Orient Flight School Chennai with operations at Puducherry
- International Aviation Academy Pvt. Ltd.,Salem, Tamil Nadu
- Government Aviation Training Institute, Bhubaneswar
- Indian Aviation Academy, Mumbai
- Jamshedpur Co-operative Flying Club Ltd, Jamshedpur
- All India Institute of Aeronautics, (AIIA), Dehradun
- Rajiv Gandhi Aviation Academy, Secunderabad (A division of Wings Aviation Pvt Ltd)
- Ahmedabad Aviation Aeronautics Ltd, Ahmedabad
- Government Flying Training School, Bangalore
- Camellia Group, Pilot Training, Kolkata
- Indira Gandhi Institute of Aeronautics (Multiple centres)
- The Gujarat Flying Club, Civil Aerodrome, Vadodara (Gujarat)
- HAL Rotary Wing Academy, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., Helicopter Division, Bangalore