Become a pilot
What Does It Take?
“Everybody is capable of becoming a Pilot but choosing the right Flight Training Organization To get your qualification is the most important decision of your career that you will make”
The ability to land an airplane costing over 500 million dollars with 500 priceless lives on board, flying through gusty winds and marginal visibility conditions, is one of the skills required of an average airline pilot. The ability to act and decide accurately, in emergency conditions in limited time is another. An average pilot over the course of his career will encounter situations where the proficiency and standard of his training will make a difference to the lives of the passengers on board and their love ones at home. In todays time, no airline or family would like to face the consequences of a disaster in the sky. It is your obligation to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to become a consummate pilot. At GATI, this exactly, is our entire focus and endeavor. To get more information on why you must choose to train with us, read about our training focus and approach to training.
“It is the best job on the planet”
Working as a professional pilot is unlike any other job on the planet. It comes with the opportunity to traverse different cultures and continents, fly in climates from snow to rain, heat to cold, over oceans and mountains, carrying people and cargo through day and night operations. It is a universal skill that will give you an opportunity to travel the planet as you work. Pilots work regulated times and have mandated rest environments and schedules. Once they acquire proficiency, most of the hard work done during training, translates to a requirement to maintain proficiency unless they are changing an aircraft or their role within an organization such as upgrading to a Captain or an Instructor. A pilot´s job pays well to maintain a good life style and one of the main perks as a pilot is the free and discounted travel privileges that you and your families will get.
What after the Training?
What are the various types of pilots and what airplane operation and lifestyle can I expect to have once I qualify as a pilot?
Short Haul or commuter operations
Short haul operations involve working for a scheduled airline, but engaged in flight operations which involve multiple flying sectors every “flight” day. This operation is typically performed using small aircraft like B737s or ATR 72s in India seating between 20 to 200 passengers.
Long Haul operations
Being a Long haul pilot also involves working for a scheduled airline, but engaged in flight operations which involve larger, wide body aircraft with long distance flight operations. This operation is typically performed using large aircraft like the B777/787 or Airbus A350 in India seating between 250 to 600 passengers. These flights are transcontinental and you will get to fly to cities and airports all over the planet. It involves working odd hours and long shifts but is rewarding in terms of time off after flights.
“There is no shortcut to becoming a proficient pilot. With us you will develop the right Knowledge Skills and Attitude to succeed anywhere as a pilot and that takes time and effort”
In our experience of working with the best airlines in India and globally, we have learnt that there are no short cuts to being a competent or proficient pilot. From the numerous studies that have been conducted of aviation accidents and incidents and after the collation and analysis of significant amount of data from line operations and flight training, International Civil aviation Organization (ICAO) and IATA have made a major change in the way pilots are trained and assessed through the introduction of Evidence Based Training (EBT).
EBT is a paradigm shift in the focus of training from a Task-Based approach to a Competency-Based approach, where the focus of training and assessment has moved from how well a task was performed to assessing what it would take for the task to be performed to excellence. This is done through a process of self-evaluation to recognize the root cause for underperformance. This approach to training and assessment has been embraced by airlines the world over. This is the future of pilot training.
Frequently Asked Questions
All Common doubts, cleared
Absolutely! As long as your vision is correctable after wearing glasses, you can become a professional pilot. It is best, however to get a Class 1 medical examination to be completely sure of your medical fitness.
Flying an airplane today is safer than driving a car, this has been statistically proven, however, aviation is highly regulated by the DGCA of India and is a very safe activity.
There is nothing that girls cannot accomplish today that boys can. India has the highest percentage of girls that are pilots with airlines in India.
Yes, you can, provided you have passed 10+2 with Mathematics and Physics.
If you have not done Maths and Physics in your Class 12 Board Exam and hence do not meet the DGCA requirement for a CPL, you can pursue these subjects (Physics and Math) via the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to achieve the desired grade. (https://www.nios.ac.in/student-information-section.aspx). On passing the NIOS exams successfully you can attach the attested NIOS Mark Sheets to Class 12 Board Exam Mark Sheet and apply for the CPL license issue.
The age requirements for the programs are as follows:
a) You can be 16 years old to appear for the SPL Test held by an authorised Flying Training Organisation or DGCA and receive a Student Pilot License
b) You can be 16 years old to do 40 hours of flying, but you should be 17 years old when you apply for a PPL (Private Pilot License)
c) You can be 16 years old to start your Flying Program for the Commercial Pilot License, but you should be 18 years old when you complete all requirements and apply for a CPL.
There are two medical tests required to qualify for a SPL/PPL/CPL:
a) You are required to undergo a Class II medical test by a DGCA approved doctor and obtain a Class II Medical Certificate from DGCA prior to joining a Flying Program and issue of SPL.
b) You are subsequently required to undergo a Class I Medical Test by DGCA approved medical center and obtain a Class I Medical Certificate from DGCA prior to applying for your Commercial Pilot License (CPL).
It is not difficult to fly an airplane if you train with a good institution. Just as one undergoes training to drive a car or a two-wheeler, one can learn to fly airplane by undergoing training with a suitable training institution.
Pilots have challenging schedules sometimes when they have to fly at night time, but the rest is regulated by law and gives ample time for recovery from such flights which are also limited in number within a week.
The current Fleet size with the Airlines in India is around 700 aircrafts, the fleet size is expected to touch 1200 aircrafts by 2028 if there are no more severe pandemics like what we experience in 2020 and 2021, therefore the requirement is likely to double before 2030 and grow even faster thereafter.
There is a global demand for qualified and experienced pilots all over the world today. USA alone requires 200,000-300,000 pilots for replacing retiring pilot, fleet expansion and general aviation.
At this moment, there are two new airlines that have been announced. One is Akasa and the other is Jet Airways. Together, their announced fleet size of 100 airplanes will require 1000 more pilots. Apart from these two, the other airlines are looking at rapid expansion as soon as the pandemic gets over.
You will need at least a CPL with an IR. Besides this, a Multi Engine Rating will enhance your qualification. A Type Rating on their fleet of aircraft will significantly enhance your chances for a job.
Many Indian pilots are flying for international airlines like Emirates, Qatar Airways, Vietnam Airlines etc. but they all have some minimum experience that qualifies them to work there, such as at least 1500hours total jet time, or 1000 hours Pilot In Command(PIC) on a commercial aircraft.
To qualify for a flying school, you will need an instructor rating which typically takes 3-6 months and involves 20 hours of flying training and involves some cost. For a charter company, it would help if you have the type rating for that particular aircraft, or be willing to invest in one.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is a regulatory body under the Ministry of Civil Aviation that regulates and controls all Civil Aviation activities in India. The DGCA is headquartered in New Delhi and more information on them can be attained at their website www.dgca.nic.in
Flying an airplane is less risky than driving a car or riding a cycle. With every new generation of airplanes, flying has become safer. The airplanes at GATI, come equipped with parachutes for worst case situations.
Every aircraft that is authorized to be used for training has been through a certification process whereby every single part of the aircraft and engine have undergone rigorous testing to ensure dependability and safety. The process of certifying an airplane takes years. The airplanes we use for training are certified by the FAA of USA and EASA of Europe to meet these standards.
Every training airplane is mandatorily required to have dual controls so that at any given point of time, the instructor has access to the flight controls of the airplane to correct or take over controls in case a trainee makes a serious error.
Every aspect of the training environment is governed by the regulatory authority (DGCA) and regular inspections are carried out to ensure compliance to the rules. This includes the airfield, the lighting systems, the fire fighting equipment, the ramp safety among a whole checklist of items.
A Commercial Pilots license itself will cost between 35 to 50 lac rupees depending on where and with which FTO you train. Flying overseas may be an attractive proposition in terms of time, however, the cost of living is significantly higher than India. So cost will depend on where and with whom you train.
For details about our First Officer Programme or CPL, please visit the page www.xxxx
The salary will depend on who you are flying with, what kind of airplane and what is your role. The salary will vary from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2,00,000 depending on whether you are employed with a flying school, a charter business, or an airline.
A Captain of a charter company gets a salary of approximately Rs. 4,00,000 and of an airline, as much as Rs. 8,00,000 per month.
An SPL (Student Pilot Licence) is a licence which enables you to fly as a student till you obtain your PPL or CPL. This is equivalent of a Learner’s license for Car or Motorcycle however this license enables you to fly as the sole occupant of the aircraft, once found suitable by the authorized instructor.
A PPL (Private Pilot Licence) is the licence which allows a student to fly a small aircraft with occupants, but without any kind of renumeration. This is a specific License program which requires a minimum 40 hours of Flight Training. Which means the license holder will not be allowed to carry passengers on a commercial flight for remuneration. A PPL license holder can rent an airplane and fly for fun while carrying with friends and family, in a way, Leisure or Hobby Flying. Once our students get a PPL, they can take their family and friends up in an airplane for a joyride. This is allowed only one time, under our approval, but is a proud moment for all.
A CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence) is the licence after which a student can fly an airplane for commercial purposes, like with an airline or an airplane operator. This License is the minimum requirement to fly passenger planes, Corporate Planes with passengers, Cargo Planes, Charter Planes, Government Planes, and Flying School Trainer Planes as instructor, etc.
For details please visit www.flywithgati/Firstofficerprogramme for details on the steps to attaining a CPL
It can take anything from 12 months to 15 months currently, depending on whether you have passed your exams and also on availability of aircraft and good flying conditions.
Without a valid medical certificate, you cannot exercise the privileges of your license. The main reason for this is the security and safety of the passengers and cargo. For this reason, it is critically important for a pilot to take care of his long term health and well-being.
A CPL only qualifies you to fly as a Pilot in Command (PIC) of an aircraft with a maximum weight of 5700kgs. To fly a commercial airliner, you need to acquire an Airline Transport Pilot´s License (ATPL) which enables you to fly as a PIC of an aircraft above 5700kgs. To get an ATPL, one must have a minimum of 1500 hours of total flying time.
Initially, you will fly as a Co-Pilot or a First Officer on such an airplane till you acquire the requisite experience to attain an ATPL and then qualify to train as a Captain. Oncce you successfully complete this training, you will be qualified to fly as a Captain.
You will need a Type Rating when you have got an appointment or Job on an aircraft which you will need to fly as a PIC or as a Co-Pilot, which is not endorsed on your license.
Depending on the airline, its requirements and your capabilities, it has been possible for a very significant number of First Officers to qualify and fly as Captains within 3 to 4 years of starting their career as pilots.
The international Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) mandates that every contracting state must have a system of recognizing a member states license. To fulfil this requirement, the DGCA of India has laid down requirements on fulfilment of which they can issue an Indian CPL to a CPL holder of a contracting state. Basically, through this process, a foreign CPL can be converted to an Indian CPL. This requires passing some examinations and fulfilling some flying checks by an authorised Flying School (FTO) in India.
Train with a professional organization. A professional organization is one that understands well what kind of knowledge, skills and attitude you require to succeed as a pilot and has the capability and resources to deliver that quality of training to you. The organization must be of sound financial standing, else you may lose your investment if things go wrong.
At GATI, we are successful professional airline pilots with capabilities that have been established on the global stage. We understand
You can train at a DGCA approved FTO. For the complete list of FTOs in India click here http://dgca.gov.in/licencing/fly-ind.htm
Going overseas is a great choice, however, the training will be expensive and you may get very badly stuck for your license conversion in India if you do not have the right combination of flying hours as prescribed by DGCA in its various publications like the CARs, Schedules, or circulars. It is very important to have all that knowledge else you will end up spending a significant amount of money for the same qualification.
The USA has the biggest aviation industry on the planet, however, there are many different kind of schools and training programs to choose from. It is our suggestion that if you decide to train in the US, you must choose a Part 141 flying school for your PPL and Instrument Rating.
• SPL (Student Pilot License)
• PPL (Private Pilot License)
• CPL (Commercial Pilot License) also called the First Officer Programme at GATI
• Night Rating
• Instrument Rating
• Simulator Training
• RTR – A (Radio Telephony Restricted- Aeroplane)
• Flight Radio Telephony Operators License (FRTO)
• Patter Flying (required to become a Flight Instructor in a Flying School) for AFIR
• Multi-Engine Training (Flying Training on a Multi Engine Airplane)
• License Renewal Flying (to revalidate a PPL/CPL/ATPL which has lapsed)
• Foreign License Conversion Training (CPL/ATPL) (to get an India DGCA License based on an ICAO License issued by a Country other than India)
• B.SC Aviation (an integrated bachelor’s Program in partnership with Centurion University Bhubaneshwar offered only to GATI FOP CPL Students)
• Drone Pilot License (A Training Program for obtaining a Drone Pilot License)
A multi engine rating is a qualification on a n airplane with more than one engine. It is required by law that any aircraft carrying more than 9 passengers must have at least 2 engines so that in case of the failure of one engine, the other engine may safely conduct the flight in all regimes of flight from takeoff to landing.
A multi engine rating brings experience of engine failure, asymmetric thrust handling and a lot of concepts that are important to have when applying for an airline job or a type rating.
At GATI, we are convinced that the quality of training delivered in a good multi engine aircraft is incomparable and this will make a difference in your abilities as an aviator.
For your transition to an A320 or B737 or any turboprop commuter aircraft, a multi engine rating is mandatory in some cases by the airplane manufacturer and in some cases by the aircraft operator. When you appear for a selection for a pilots job, additionally, a multi engine rating will definitely give you an edge during the selection process.
This depends on where you are training.
In USA, Australia, New Zealand, the living expenses are at least 1500 US Dollars per month in shared accommodation and using public transport
In South Africa, the living expenses are 720 US Dollars per day inn our partner flying school. This includes, three meals and a shared room with full laundry and cleaning service.
At GATI in Birasal, the living expenses are no more than Rs. 10,000 per month or 140 US Dollars per month.
Simulators are of many different types with different certification requirements depending on the certifying authority such as the FAA or EASA. Some of the important terminologies you may like to get familiar with are as follows:
FNPT II (Flight Navigation Procedure trainer)
This is a simulator that is used for ab-initio training and is most suitable for someone training to become a professional pilot.
FTD (Fixed training device)
This is a device which is used for training a type specific airplane of for a JOT/MCC or a multiple crew cooperation training environment.
FFS (Full Flight Simulator)
This is type specific with six axes of motion used for type ratings of a commercial airplane like an A320 or a B737
A minimum of 20 hours of simulator training is mandated by DGCA for issue of an Instrument Rating alongside a CPL. Every ab-initio pilot requires this training.
The most significant benefit is that you can practice flying procedures into busy airports like Delhi and Mumbai without actually having to fly there.
The other major benefit is that you can experience adverse weather conditions, without actually having to fly in them. This helps you build a mental picture and develop confidence.
A third major benefit is that you can build your skills by flying in simulated malfunctions and failures so that you can develop the correct procedures and skills to fly in adverse conditions.
This depends on the type of simulators it can rage from Rs 3000 per hour to Rs 30,000 per hour
We use an ALSIM 250 simulator which is top of the class with 250 degree high definition visuals, artificial control feel, flight deck interchangeability etc. this is an FNPT II class simulator
You are now qualified for the following jobs:
• Ground Instructor in a flight school
• Simulator instructor in a flight school
• Flight instructor in a flight school (after obtaining an AFIR)
• Captain of an airplane below AUW of 5700kgs
• First Officer of an airplane above AUW of 5700kgs
You can maximise your chances by taking the following steps:
• Training with a professional flight school
• Identify and get a mentor to guide you
• Build Knowledge, Skills and Attitude expected of an airline pilot
• Get a multi engine rating
• Obtain a JOT/MCC and Type Rating on a popular aircraft like an A320
No airline or operator hires someone without an assessment or an interview today. The best way to prepare for that is to train with a professional organization where you build the competencies of a pilot every single day of your training. This is possible to do only in a structured training environment where the instructors are committed and focussed for your success.
Your interview preparation begins with your first flying training lesson. When you are so immersed in building the competencies of a professional pilot, you will not need to make any special preparation for an airline interview. You will just need to brush up on the competencies that you have already developed during your training.
At GATI, we conduct airline preparation training for those pilots who would like to enhance their knowledge to bring them in line with what is typically asked in an airline interview.
A type rating is usually required when you wish to fly an airplane that you fo not currently have on your license.
The A320 type rating is the most useful as there are more A320s flying in India than there are any other airplanes and that too with many different operators.
A type rating typically will cost between 20,000-25000 US Dollars.
BEWARE that a type rating is a wasted investment if the quality of training is not of a good standard.
An airline pilot typically works throughout the year. Vacation time for a pilot is governed by the labour laws and airline policy. Besides vacation, usually a pilot would get 5-10 days OFF in a month on his flying schedule. A pilot’s working hours are regulated by the DGCA to a maximum number of hours that can be flown in a week, month, and year and this is mandated by regular rest periods to ensure pilots are well rested for their flight duties. Discipline is an important part of a pilots work life to ensure rest and level of alertness and clarity with which one goes to work.
Most airlines give free and discounted tickets to their employees, their close relatives, and in many cases their nominees, which are subject to seat availability basis.
All Countries except few that are not signatories to ICAO have a process for validating an Indian License. Currently a lot of Indian pilots are flying for airlines like Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Korean Airlines, Japan Airlines, Turkish Airlines and many more on the basis of their Indian license. To fly for an European airline, one needs an EASA (European Civil Aviation Authority) license which has to be obtained through a more complex validation process than others.
A commercial airplane is operated by at least two pilots. A Captain and a First Officer. Long haul flights are operated by up to four pilots.
Pilots can be on flying duty shifts for any day of the year and any time of the day. Pilots have challenging schedules sometimes when they have to fly at night time but the rest is regulated by law and gives ample time for recovery from such flights which are also limited in number within a week.
Pilots have rest periods which are established by law. During their rest or layover periods, they cannot be assigned flight duties and the rest period between flights allows them to recover well before their next duty. The layover time periods vary depending on the time zones and they cover during their flights as well as hours spent in the cockpit or in the aircraft during International Flights.
Training cost should be paid for depending on the progress of your child´s training. It is our sincere advise to NEVER pay the entire training cost up front, unless you are dealing with a credible FTO. Ideally speaking, the training cost should be paid in advance for phases of training accomplished.
With an organization like GATI, there are no hidden costs. However, you may like to set aside the equivalent of USD 25,000 for your child´s type rating that may be required depending on market conditions. With other organizations, there are many hidden costs which can take the cost of training up to double of the projected cost if not managed well.
Today, women account for 15% of airline pilots in India. It is a great career for women.
GATI is a company of professional airline pilots. We have tens of thousands of hours of experience of instructing and examining aircrew from all around the planet. We have experienced and highly knowledgeable instructors in our dedicated ground school. We monitor the training of each of our students and give them individual attention and guidance till they have finished their flying training ensuring they always have airplanes to fly and instructors to train with. When you train with us, you will not waste your precious time looking for rules and regulatory processes because we guide you every step of the way, ensuring that your time is focused only on learning while we take care of the process.
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Take me Higher
Pack your bags and come visit us at Birasal (Odisha) for a discovery tour and flight and get a taste of how exciting your journey with us could be. You can also visit our Ground and Simulator School in Delhi to get a feel of how we do things.