The job of a pilot is a highly specialised one. It requires knowledge of air navigation, interpretation of meteorological reports, operating sophisticated electronic and mechanical controls, leading the aircraft under adverse circumstances, and being a leader to the flight crew and passengers under climatic and other emergency situations.
You are responsible for the passengers, the crew and the aircraft. Hence you must have discipline, patience, responsibility, punctuality, commitment and self-confidence.
Additionally, a lot of hard work, stamina, alertness of mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules, and good team spirit is required. Emotional stability in crisis situations is another characteristic.
Do you have these attributes? If yes, what sort of training do you require? We list out the various options.
- You must complete Class XII under the 10+2 system or its equivalent with a minimum of 50 per cent marks in maths and physics.
- You must be at least 16 years of age to be eligible for a Student Pilot License, 17 for a Private Pilot License, and 18 for a Commercial Pilot License.
- Alternatively, you could directly enroll for the Private Pilot License once you have cleared Class XII and are 17 years old. This involves taking an exam conducted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation( DGCA) consisting of theory papers on air navigation, aviation meteorology, air regulation and technical aspects.
- Your vision in one eye must be perfect. 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.
- General physical fitness is mandatory. You must be free of any disease that can hamper normal function.
- You need to complete the requisite number of hours, clear written papers and the medical examination. You need 70 percent marks to pass in each of these papers. You can keep appearing until you clear them.
Note: The application form is available at all flying clubs. You can also write to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Send a self-addressed envelope, requesting them to send it back to you.
The DGCA’s address
Director of Airworthiness (CEO)
C/O Director General of Civil Aviation
East Block III, RK Puram
New Delhi — 110 066
About the DGCA
The DGCA is the regulating authority on all matters dealing with aviation in the country. It is responsible for implementing, controlling, and supervising airworthiness standards, safety operations, and crew training in India. This department holds examinations for pilots, and grants flying licenses. Basically, it controls civil aviation in the country.
Web site: http://dgca.nic.in/
There are various exams, which must be progressively cleared before one can fly various aircrafts or be promoted to senior positions.
Student Pilot License (SPL)
This is an examination conducted by most flying clubs. It covers papers in Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation Air Technical. It is a theory exam.
Eligibility: You must be at least 16 years of age and have passed Class X. A medical certificate of fitness, security clearance and a bank guarantee of Rs 10,000 is required.
Selection: Candidates taking the SPL test have to appear in an oral examination on a fixed day every month, candidates go through a medical test.
Civil Aviation Medicine
The primary activity of the Medical Section of DGCA is the scrutiny and approval of medical records required for the certification of Licensed Aviation Personnel. All medical documents for Class I and Class II Medical examinations conducted at DGCA approved Aeromedical Centres or by DGCA approved Aeromedical Examiners, as applicable, are assessed for completion and correctness by the Joint Director Medical Services (Civil Aviation) who is the Medical Assessor at DGCA. The DGCA issues medical assessment in accordance with the International Standards and Recommended Practices as contained in ICAO Annex 1 and as stipulated in *Rule39B of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.
39B. Medical standards– (1) No licence or rating referred to in rule 38, required for any of the personnel of the aircraft, shall be issued or renewed unless the applicant undergoes a medical examination with an approved medical authority and satisfies the medical standards as notified by the Director-General:
Provided that if in the opinion of the approved medical authority the condition of the applicant is not such as to introduce any hazard either of sudden incapacity or of inability to perform his duties safely during the period of validity of his licence or rating and failure to attain the requirement is capable of being compensated and the Director-General has satisfactory evidence that the applicant has already acquired and demonstrated his ability, skill and experience which compensate for his deficiency, the licence or rating may be renewed or endorsed with any special limitation when the safe performance of flight duties is dependent on compliance with such limitations :
Provided further that, in the case of a member of the operating crew of an aircraft engaged in public transport or aerial work who is on duty in the territory of a foreign country where medical centres recognized by the Director-General do not exist, the Director-General may renew the licence or rating for two consecutive periods of three months each without the candidate having successfully undergone the prescribed medical examination if such candidate produces a medical certificate from a registered practitioner in modern medicine declaring his fitness in accordance with the prescribed medical standards.
Explanation– For the purposes of this sub-rule ‘approved medical authority’ means a medical authority approved by the Director-General.
(2) The Director-General may require a member of any flight crew to undergo a medical examination by any Medical Authority at any time, if, in his opinion, such examination is necessary in the interest of safety of operations.
Private Pilot License ( PPL )
After getting the SPL, you proceed, accompanied by the flying instructor, for initial flying training. This is a dual flight, where the instructor or trainer accompanies the learner to teach him/her the practical aspect of flying. Then the candidate gets his or her first independent flight normally after about 15 hours of dual flying. This includes cross country flying. A total of 60 hours of flying is needed, of which 20 hours minimum should be solo and five hours cross country.Private Pilot License (PPL)
Theory exam: There is a theory examination also, the subjects are: Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Aircraft Engines, Seamanship.
Eligibility: 10+2 and medical fitness certificate from AFCME or IAM. The age requirement is 17 Years.
Cost: To get the total cost of obtaining a PPL contact now
Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
A student can get the CPL by doing his flying training for 129 hours to complete 250 hours of flying. Training facilities are available with Flying Clubs in India, Private Academies or Flying Schools in USA, Europe, Australia, the Gulf, etc.
Eligibilty: Class XII (Physics and Maths). Current PPL License needed with flying experience in the last three years, 18 to 30 years and medical clearance from AFCME, New Delhi or IAM, Bangalore.
Written exam: A test in the following subjects is needed for getting the CPL: Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Technical, Planning. These exams are conducted 6 times a year. Actual flying experience required is 250 hours of total flying time (150 hours of solo, 25 hours of cross country, 10 hours of instrument flying, 5 hours of night flying).
Cost: To get the total cost of obtaining a CPL contact now
After a CPL, you can build up on more flying hours, login 750 hours of flight time, clear the requisite papers and acquire a Senior Commercial Pilot’s License.
Commercial Helicopter Pilots License (CHPL)
Helicopter pilots need to have Commercial Helicopter Pilots License. This license can be acquired in two stages. The Private Helicopter License is granted after 40 hours of flying training (15 hours should be solo) and on clearing the written exams of aviation subjects. 60 hours of flying training has to be completed and a written exam has to cleared.
Cost: To get the total cost of obtaining a CHPL contact now
Helicopter Pilots find employment with the commercial organisations, public sector organisations and other security/protective agencies.
All Transports Pilot’s License (ATPL)
After an SCPL, you can login 1500 hours of flight time and acquire an All Transports Pilot’s License. It allows you to fly any kind of aircraft and no doubt, is the most difficult license to acquire. A pilot receives these licenses only after approval of the DGCA.
Cost: To get the total cost of obtaining a ATPL contact now
Flying Clubs in India
Here is a list of flying clubs imparting training in flying from where SPL, PPL, and CPL training can be completed:
LIST OF DGCA APPROVED FLYING TRAINING ORGANISATIONS (as on 15.02.2018)
1 Asia Pacific Flight Training
Academy Ltd. GMR HIAL Airport
Office Rajiv Gandhi International
Airport Shamshabad, Hyderabad500409
Telangana Private Ltd. 09.02.2020
2 Amber Aviation Pvt.Ltd., Pant
Nagar Uttarakhand Private Ltd. 12.04.2021
3 Academy of Carver Aviation, Plot
No. P-50,MIDC Ind. Area, Near
Baramati Airport, Baramati413133
Maharashtra Private Ltd. 29.04.2020
4 Ambitions Flying Club Pvt. Ltd.,
MS-10 NH-91, Aligarh Airstrip,
Dhanipur, Post Panethi, Aligarh202001
Pradesh Private Ltd. 30.11.2020
5 Ahmedabad Aviation &
Aeronautics Ltd., AAA Hanger.
Old Terminal Airport, Ahmedabad
Gujarat Public Ltd. 11.08.2020
6 Bihar Flying Instt. Government of
Bihar, Cabinet Secretariate Civil
Aviation Directorate, Patna
7 Banasthali Vidyapith Gliding
Flying Club, Banasthali Univ.,
Banasthali, Dist. Tonk Raj.-
Rajasthan Private Ltd. 09.11.2020
8 Chimes Aviation, Sagar, (MP) Madhya
Pradesh Private Ltd. 20.04.2020
9 Flytech Aviation Academy, A1-
Kauser, Plot No.295, Road No.
10, West Maredpally.
13 Govt. Flying Training School,
Jakkur, Bangalore. Karnataka State
14 Gujarat Flying Club,Vadodara Gujarat Private.Ltd 06.04.2021
15 Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation Haryana State Government 10.12.2020
16 Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan
Akademi Fursatganj, Dist.
17 Madhya Pradesh Flying Club,
Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, Civil
Aerodrome, Bijasan Road, Indore452005
Pradesh Public Ltd 20.03.2020
18 Madhya Pradesh Flying Club,
Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal
Pradesh Public Ltd 20.03.2020
19 Nagpur Flying Club, Office of the
Divisional Commissioner, Civil
20 National Flying Training Institute,
Pvt. Ltd, C/o Airport Authority of
India, Birsi Airport, P.O.
Paraswada, Gondia, 425 614
21 Orient Flight Aviation Academy,Mysore. Karnataka Private Ltd. 17.12.2020
22 Patiala Aviation Club, Civil
Aerodrome, Sangrur Road,
23 Pioneer Flying Academy Pvt. Ltd,
MS-10, NH-91, Dhanipur Airport,
Post Panethi, Aligarh-202001 UP
Pradesh Private Ltd. 18.02.2021
24 Rajiv Gandhi Academy for
25 Sha- Shib Flying Academy,
Pradesh Trust 27.07.2020
26 SKVM’s Flying Academy of
Aviation, Campus-Babulde, Banks
of Tapi River, Mumbai-Agra Road,
Shirpur, Dist.-Dhule-425 405
Maharashtra Private Ltd. 27.08.2020
27 Saraswati Aviation Academy,
Sultanpur, Amhat Airfield, UP
Pradesh Trust 30.07.2020
28 Telangana State Aviation
Academy,Andhra Pradesh,old Air
29 The Bombay Flying Club, Juhu
Airport, Santacruz (W), Mumbai Maharashtra Society 28.10.2020
30 Wings Aviation Pct. Ltd., 1-11-
256/B, Plot No. 108, Adjacent
Airport Road, Begumpet,
Telangana Private Ltd. 26.10.2020
Note: make sure that the flying school is recognised by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation.
For the complete list of DGCA-approved flying schools, visit: http://www.dgca.nic.in/licencing/fly-ind.htm
Flying Clubs Abroad
The advantage of doing a course abroad is that one can complete it in time. In India, training flights may often be delayed if the flying club does not have the requisite aircraft, fuel or trainers.
One can also go abroad for training:
- Scan American Flight Training, Florida, USA
- Country Airport, California, USA
- Aviation Training Inc, California, USA
- ACME School of Aeronautics, Texas, USA
- Australian Civil Air Academy, Australia
- Atlantic Bridge Aviation, Kent, the UK
- American Flyers International Campus, Ft Lauderale, USA
If you want to work in India after training abroad, you will have to get an Indian pilot’s license.
After getting an American pilot’s license, one has to get it converted to an Indian one from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. You may also have to undergo a flying check in India.