While travelling by aeroplane during childhood, many of us would have casually thought about how it would be like to live the life of an Airline pilot and get to fly this beautiful bird up in the sky. With years passing by, we changed and so did our dreams and aspirations. But for a handful of people, flying is more than a dream. Ask any Airline Pilot how they started flying and you will hear a love story.
If you are among those handfuls who decided to follow their passion of becoming an Airline Pilot, you landed in the right place. In this post, we are going to dive into the details of- How to become a Pilot in India. For a little bit of insight- from the pre-
requirements to finally getting your coveted Commercial Pilot’s
License, everything will be covered in this post.
As directly quoted from the DGCA website- “He shall have passed class ten plus two with Physics and Mathematics or its equivalent examination from a recognized Board/University”. It clearly states that a candidate needs to pass 10+2 with physics and mathematics
from a recognized board or university, with no clause mentioning for a need of graduation.
As it is stated “from a recognized board or university” candidates not having science in their 10+2, can also opt to become a pilot through NIOS(National Institue Of Open Schooling). A candidate needs to be of a minimum of 18 years of age to get his/her Commercial Pilot license issued.
Class II and Class I medicals-
Once the eligibility criteria are met, the next most important thing is to check whether you are medically fit or not according to DGCA led down standards. Candidates need to clear the Class 2 medical first and upon successful completion go for their Class 1 Medical.
The Medical Assessment takes around 3 months to get issued by DGCA and to issue your PMR(Permanent MedicalRecord
Number) after the appointment is fixed with the DGCA empanelled Medical examiner and all the tests have been carriedout.
Once theClass 2 Medical assessment is issued, the next thing is getting your Class 1 Medical assessment. Appointment for the Class 1 Medical assessment can be sought after the PMR number is issued, by going to DGCA’S office or by sending them a mail. The required mail ID can be found on DGCA’S website.
The Class I medical examination can only be carried out from the Air Force Medical Examination centres or the 2 private hospitals mentioned on DGCA’S website.
Computer Number and Theory papers-
A computer number is a unique identification number for pilots, required by DGCA and issued by the CEO(Central Examination Organisation). From applying, for your DGCA CPL papers to getting your Commercial Pilot’s License issued, a computer number is required in every step. To apply for the allotment of a computer number along with several other documents a board verification certificate is needed. To know more about how to apply for a Computer Number please refer to our detailed article here-
A good foundation is pivotal while raising a tall building, likewise, before you headstart your Commercial Pilot Training, a thorough knowledge of all the CPL subjects is mandatory.
DGCA mandates a candidate should pass all these subject papers along with getting their 200 flying hours before a Commercial Pilot License is issued. The respective subjects are Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Technical general, Technical specific, Air Navigation and Radio Telephony(RTR).
Likewise if flying from abroad(any ICAO contracting state) a candidate only needs to appear for Air Navigation Composite and Air regulations paper.
The Flight Training-
There are mainly 2 ways through which you can complete your flight training- The Conventional way through flight school or The Cadet Pilot Programmes.
Whether it is the Cadet Pilot Programme or Conventional pilot training through flight school, at the end of the day you will be getting the same qualifications, i.e a Commercial Pilot License when you finish your training, a multi-engine command instrument rating and finally your type rating.
From the very beginning of your commercial pilot training through a flight school in a conventional way you are on your own. You don’t have a job agreement(LOI) in hand.
The training begins with necessary ground school subjects, getting your 200 flying hours for your CPL and then a multi-engine command
instrument rating. The thing to look out for is if the particular flight school is DGCA approved or not. The list for the same can befound on DGCA’Swebsite.
If completing flying from abroad, candidates are required to go through a License Conversion Process, to finally get their DGCA Commercial Pilot License issued.
Cadet Pilot Programmes-
Cadet pilot programmes are tailor-made according to the airline standards by the airline and offer you an LOI in hand at the commencement of your training. In addition to your commercial pilot license training, you will also be doing UPRT(Upset Prevention And Recovery Training), a Jet Orientation course and Mcc( Multi- crew co-ordination course), all according to Airline led down standards.
It is not unknown to anyone in India, that Commercial Pilot Training is expensive. Getting a Commercial Pilot’s License from a Conventional Flight School, will cost you anywhere between 30–35 lacs for 200 flying hours. Add another 15–20 lacs for your Type Rating. Total it comes around 55 lacs. For the Cadet Pilot Programmes, it ranges from 90 lacs-95 lacs, including everything.
Hope the above article clears some air of confusion regarding How to become a Pilot in India. For further doubts on How to apply for a Computer Number, DGCA medicals please drop a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you soon in the cockpit, future Captain. Till then, Happy Landings.