Indian students willing to become a pilot, let me ease all your troubles of going through hundreds of articles online. Finding a pilot is tiring to answer all your questions about how to become a pilot in India. Likewise, it’s not easy to find accurate information online.
Hence, as a commercial pilot, I decided to write this article and answer the most common questions by Indian students looking forward to becoming a pilot.
- How to become a pilot in India?;
- What paths are available to become a pilot in India?;
- Which route will increase my chances of getting a commercial pilot job quickly?;
- When should you begin your pilot training?;
- How to apply for pilot training admission in India?;
- Where can you work as a fresh commercial pilot graduate in India?;
- Can you train abroad and work as a pilot in India?
This article is a guideline for 10+2 students or someone who just completed 12th grade.
How to become a pilot in India?
Any individual willing to become a pilot must complete ground classes and get adequate flying hours to obtain a commercial pilot license.
The method is no different in India from other countries in the world.
Any Indian who intends to become a pilot must acquire a commercial pilot license. Get a commercial pilot license by enrolling in a Flight school. During a commercial pilot training course, the student must experience flying at least 220 hours in actual aircraft. The minimum requirement of logging 220 flight hours is regulated by DGCA, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in India.
You can enroll in a flight school to get your pilot license or join the military.
Both options are excellent to become a pilot in India. However, ultimately where you choose to join depends on your aviation goals.
If your dream is to work for an airline, it’s best to get your license from the flight school. On the other hand, if you wish to serve your country, the India Air Force is your best option to become a pilot.
What paths are available to become a pilot in India?
I already mentioned there are two ways for Indians to become a pilot:
- Enrolling in a flight school;
- Joining the Indian Air Force.
You can choose any one of them depending on your aviation goals.
If you dream of traveling the world working as an airline pilot, it’s best to enroll in a flight school.
If you can afford the pilot training in private flight schools, I believe it’s best to complete your commercial pilot course there. The sooner you get your commercial pilot license from the flight school, the sooner you will be eligible for an airline pilot job.
The biggest hurdle for most student pilots after enrolling in a flight school is the pilot training cost. However, once you get a job in airlines, you will find it’s a rewarding career.
The second route to becoming a pilot in India is by joining the military.
Do you dream of serving your country?
By joining the Indian Air Force, you will keep the sky safe from enemies. Once the Indian Defense accepts your application for joining the military, you will get free training for becoming a pilot.
However, the admission test for entering National Defense Academy is very challenging. If you are ready to compete with thousands of other candidates, then give it a try.
If you can prove yourself to be the best, you have an excellent opportunity ahead of you to become a pilot free of cost.
It’s free, but you will also get paid to serve the country while learning to fly an airplane.
But it’s not easy, and you have to serve in the military at least for twelve years before you can do anything else.
Thus you can become a pilot for Free, but you have to be determined about your aviation goals. If you think you can train in the military for FREE and then quit to join an airline, it’s not happening. You have to wait twelve years for that.
Which route is best to become a pilot in India?
That’s the question only you can answer. First, figure out why do you want to become a pilot?
To experience the adventure of flying or for a rewarding career?
From there, you can decide whether to enroll in a flight school or enter the Indian Air Force.
Regardless of which route you pick, the path to becoming a pilot is challenging.
Maybe flight schools are less challenging than Military training, but both routes will push students to become competent, safe pilots.
Being a pilot is not only about flying an airplane. It’s about the responsibility of thousands of souls in the air and on the ground.
When should you start pilot training in India?
Flight schools in India don’t accept students without 10+2 for commercial pilot training.
Likewise, to enter Indian Defense Academy, a student must have 10+2 and pass the admission test for IDA.
Therefore, a student in India cannot begin flight training unless they graduate 10+2.
Often students cannot start pilot training immediately after they graduate from 10+2.
In this situation, an issue arises because most Indian flight schools require students to have Maths, Physics, and Chemistry in their 10+2. Depending on the flight school, the score requirement for these subjects varies as well.
However, most of the flight schools in India accept students if they score at least 50% in Maths, Physics, and Chemistry in their high school.
There might be an exception to this as some flight school accepts students with commerce background, but it is uncommon.
Hence many students from India pursue becoming a pilot abroad. If you have a commerce background and have plenty of money, you can get your commercial pilot license abroad.
The path to serving your country while flying airplanes is challenging. The Indian air force requires students to have Maths, Physics, chemistry during their10+2 and Geography and various other subjects. On the other hand, the Indian Air force is very strict about the subject’s requirements.
Despite graduating 10+2, you are not eligible for pilot training in India as most flight schools don’t accept students without Maths, Physics, and Chemistry.
Nevertheless, if you complete 10+2 and become a pilot in India, the doors of opportunity are still open for you. But you have to have patience and get your Maths, Physics and Chemistry certification.
How can you do that?
Enroll in the National Institute of Open Schooling and get your higher secondary certificate in Maths, Physics, and Chemistry. You must work hard and keep a laser focus on your aviation goals, and nothing will hold you back.
Lastly, one factor that prevents many students from starting pilot training is their age limit. Check out this article: Age limit to become a pilot in India, to better understand when is the right time to become a pilot.
How to apply for pilot training admission in India?
Once you are ready to enroll in a flight school, you must do proper research online about a flight school.
There are over 30 flight schools in India that train pilots. Select the flight school nearest to your home and has an excellent review from their previous student pilots.
Where can you work as a fresh commercial pilot graduate in India?
Only acquiring a commercial pilot license is not enough to get a job in Airlines.
Many airlines require pilots to have at least 1500 hours of pilot’s log time. As a fresh graduate from a flight school, you will probably have around 250 hours.
So what can you do at that time?
There are multiple other ways to build in the aviation industry. Most pilots work their way up. Fortunately, there are other options to start working as a fresh commercial pilot graduate to gain hours.
After you obtain sufficient experience to comply with major airline requirements, you can apply for a position in the airlines.
If the airlines find you suitable to work as a responsible pilot for a major airline, you can get your job.
So what are the places you can work to kick start your aviation career?
A fresh commercial pilot graduate can begin working as a flight instructor.
Flight Instructor: Get your certified flight instructor license and apply to your flight school to work as a flight instructor. Teach how to fly an airplane to new students in the flight school and get paid for that. You will gain flight hours and get paid for that. As a flight instructor, not you gain hours, but you learn a lot while teaching the student pilots.
Charter Pilot: Flying small turboprop airplanes with tourists is a typical job for fresh commercial pilot graduates. There are numerous charter pilot jobs available worldwide. Often the pay is minimum for charter pilot jobs, but you can gain hours quickly as a charter pilot.
Corporate Pilot: As a corporate pilot, you will work for private jets or turboprop aircraft. Corporate pilots operate airplanes with business tycoons and take them from one destination to another in the shortest time.
Air Cargo Pilots: Often, fresh commercial pilot graduates get a job in air cargo. Air cargo can be a subsidiary of a major airline or maybe an independent cargo operator. But often, it’s easy to land a job in cargo airlines because pilots fly the airplane with cargos, and there is minimum risk of a fresh commercial pilot making mistakes inside the cockpit with hundreds of souls aboard.
Can you train abroad and work as a pilot in India?
Many Indians prefer to train as a pilot abroad and later come back to India.
If a student gets a commercial pilot license abroad, the student comes back to India and converts his pilot license to an Indian right.
Many flight schools abroad offer tailored programs for Indian students to obtain a commercial pilot license.
When I said tailored course, I meant the flight school offers a commercial pilot course according to the DGCA regulation.
So once the pilot completes pilot training abroad, they can go back to India and quickly convert their pilot license.
The pilot license conversion is relatively straightforward. A pilot has to take a couple of exams in the DGCA and then fly at least ten hours in India to prove their flying skills.
If the Indian check pilot is satisfied with your flying skills, the check pilot will approve your pilot license conversion.
After your license conversion is complete, you are ready to apply for jobs in Indian airlines or charter companies.
The pilot training abroad doesn’t require student pilots to have Maths, Physics, and Chemistry. Students from commerce backgrounds can also enroll in flight schools abroad. Likewise, the duration of commercial pilot courses abroad is shorter than in Indian flight schools.
Hence, many students from India prefer to join flight schools abroad if they intend to compete in this competitive world. The sooner you complete your pilot training, the quicker you will get a job.