Becoming a Pilot is a dream that many kids nourish and nurture during their childhood days. But as they grow up, many of them tend to take up professions other than that of a Commercial Pilot. Usually, they tend to choose a profession related to Engineering or Management streams! Coming to the point, why do many folks drop the idea of building a career in the Aviation sector? Is it due to the fact that recession has hit this sector bad and that many Pilots have been forced to take salary cuts and many have been axed from their jobs? The answer is- No! Recession has hit other sectors really bad as well! Take for instance Engineering graduates- many of them are forced to take up call centre job, many are forced to do jobs at paltry salary! Looking at that scenario, the scene of Aviation Industry is a lot better! It is the high training cost involved that really scares aspirants away from a career in Aviation! In this article, I’ll reveal some ways in which one can become a Commercial Pilot, at a fraction of the original training fees and expenses!
Commercial Pilot training is costly, when it comes to private Institutes!
Yes, it is a sad reality that deters many youngsters to drop the idea of becoming a Pilot completely! To become a Commercial Pilot in any Public or Private Airline network, one must possess a CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence).
This licence is not like good old driving licence! It is not easy to get a CPL! One has to enroll at a Flying School, which is recognized by the Government (DGCA), clock certain flying hours in an aircraft under the guidance of a certified instructor. Usually, it is 200 hours. This training program lasts a year or more. And the expenses vary from 25 Lakhs up to Crores of Rupees, depending on the quality of the Institute and the value of the training program offered.
Eligibility Criteria and medical requirements required to undergo CPL training-
The minimum educational qualification required to enroll for CPL training is 10+2 schooling. Candidate must have completed 10+2 Science stream schooling with 50% marks in Physics and Mathematics.
The eyesight in one eye has to be perfect. In the other eye, an imperfection of 6/9 is allowed (it must be a correctable imperfection though). Candidates must not have serious physical deformity and any history of mental disorders or illness.
Kind of training provided-
The training period is 1 year long in case of most institutes. Some Training Schools also have crash course kind of program, whose duration is comparatively less.
The training process can be classified into two parts-
#1 Flying Training
#2 Ground Training
Ground training is all about dealing with aspects of Aviation such as- Navigation, Air Traffic Systems and rules, working of Aircraft machines and systems, safety systems etc.
Flying training is all about mastering the ‘art’ of flying an aircraft! This is the part that proves costly in the training process!
As I said before, a candidate has to clock 200 hours of flight hours before he/she is provided with a CPL!
Now, let us talk about the cost-effective methods to become a Commercial Pilot in India. So far, I’ve been providing details related to CPL training. Now, let me introduce before you the low cost way to acquire a CPL and become a Commercial Pilot.
Ways to become Commercial Pilot at low cost/fees
This task can be accomplished by taking help of the IAF (Indian Air Force). Yes, all you need to do is get selected into the IAF, undergo Pilot training at IAF, become a Military pilot and later make the switch to Commercial Airlines sector!
Let me explain about this process in detail. In case of candidates who apply for a job of a Flying Officer in IAF, the selection process is made. In case of the selected candidates, they are provided Flight Training at the AFA (Air Force Academy)!
This training process is totally free of cost, since Government is incurring and meeting all the expenses associated with the training!
So, in case you get selected to the Flying branch, you may finish your Flight training free of cost. You will be trained to fly sophisticated Fighter jets/transport aircraft/choppers.
In short, you will learn to fly, paying zero fees! But the problem is that IAF pilots are not given CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence)! So, they are not eligible to fly Commercial Airplanes belonging to Public and Private Airline firms! Also, after IAF training, pilots are required to serve there for some period of time, before taking voluntary retirement.
But that is not a problem, since you may retire after serving in the IAF and make the switch to the Commercial Airlines sector! All you need to do is apply for a CPL, showing that you already possess a Military Flying Licence and experience under your belt.
Military pilots are given CPL after they take and clear few tests designed to test their skills. Undergoing these tests is not costly at all! These tests are meant to check whether the individual is fit to fly a Commercial Aircraft, which is a bit different from the Military ones. Military pilots are highly regarded by firms in Commercial Airlines sector for the rigorous training that they’ve undergone, their skills and their discipline. So, getting a CPL (by clearing the test) and landing a job won’t be much of a problem!
Now you must be wondering about how to join the IAF, that too in the Flying Branch, so that you may undergo Flight training without paying money at all! Worry not, the below links will be of much help to you.
Here are links to articles that will help you join the IAF’s Flying Branch, depending on your educational qualification-
Another smart way to lower your Commercial Pilot flight training expense is to watch out for scholarships. Scholarships are offered by training schools and vary greatly from one another. You’ll have to enquire at various Institutes to get the best deal! But why care about this method when you got the above method in your hands?
I guess the above articles are more than enough to guide you. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t let high expenses and training costs deter you from becoming a Commercial Pilot! Make use of the above discussed method, make the switch, clear the test and get yourself a CPL!