Monday, Jun 01, 2020 14:15 [IST]
Last Update: Monday, Jun 01, 2020 08:32 [IST]
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Choosing a career as Commercial Pilot is not only a challenging task but also rewarding. Today, Piloting is considered as one of the most exciting careers, and many students aspire to become pilots. Career as a Pilot not only offers high salaries but also thrilling experience and exposure. Usually, if you want to become a pilot, you need to start at the age 17. For becoming a Commercial Pilot, the students need to get the license and start as a trainee. There are chances to become a Capitan by the time you turn 25 depending upon experience and skills.
Who is a Commercial Pilot?
A Commercial Aircraft Pilot is considered as a highly skilled professional who flies airplanes or helicopters for business purposes which include transportation of passengers or cargo, traffic monitoring, emergency rescue and evacuation operations, aircraft testing, firefighting and crop dusting. Usually, commercial airlines appoint at least two persons as pilot crew, i.e., a Capitan and the First Officer or Co-Pilot.This is a highly specialised job which requires knowledge of air navigation, interpretation of meteorological reports, operations of 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.
Eligibility & Course Areas
To become a commercial pilot in India, one has to first possess a Student Pilot License (SPL). To get the SPL those with 10+2 with science and aged at least 16 years should register at a flying club which is recognized by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Government of India. Registration requires a medical certificate, security clearance and a bank guarantee. An oral examination in subjects such as Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Engine (technical and specific) follows the registration. Successful completion of the examination entitles you for an SPL certificate.
The second step is the Private Pilot License (PPL). PPL training includes sixty hours of flying of which about fifteen hours are dual flights, that is accompanied by the flight instructor and at least 30 hours of solo flights apart from five hours of cross-country flying. This makes one eligible for the PPL exam, which consists of Air Regulation, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Aircraft Engines and Seamanship. The prescribed age for appearing for this exam is 17 years and an educational qualification of 10+2 along with a medical Fitness Certificate issued by the Armed Forces Central Medical Establishment (AFCME).
A Commercial Pilot License may be obtained only after a PPL has been acquired. To obtain a Commercial Pilots License (CPL) 250 hours of flying (including 60 hours for the PPL) is necessary. Besides that you have to undergo a Medical Fitness Test which is held at New Delhi and an examination which consists of Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Technical, Planning, and communications in the form of Radio & Wireless Transmission. With the CPL, a pilot can take up any professional assignment.
This is a field of discipline, patience, responsibility, punctuality, commitment and self-confidence. The job requires a lot of hard work, stamina, alertness of mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules, good team spirit etc. Must be mentally very alert in every situation. Emotional stability in crisis situations is another characteristic that the pilots should have. Apart from these qualities, the persons willing to take up this as profession should be calm, pleasant, compassionate, adventurous, understanding and technically sound.
Job Prospects & Career Options
With the privatization, lots of avenues have opened for CPL holders. They can find employment opportunities in both government (Indian Airlines, Air India) as well as private domestic and international (Jet Airways, Indigo etc.) airlines. Even large corporate houses with their own aircraft require the services of pilots.
In this field after getting CPL one can start as a trainee pilot. After being a trainee, one becomes a pilot or first officer on board based on one’s seniority. Seniority is determined by hours of flying experience and successful completion of various programs. Then one becomes a Commander or Captain and thereafter a Senior Commander. From pre-take off to actual landing and signing off, pilot must be highly responsible. Before take-off pilots check pre-flight plans. This includes the route to be taken and height maintained, meteorological readings, conditions of all equipments, air pressure and temperature inside the aircraft etc. They have to do complex calculations of take-off and landing and have to check fuel needed for the particular distance to be traveled and height and weight to be maintained. During the flight too pilot must be constantly alert, ensuring there are no mechanical snags, maintaining contact with air traffic controls and cabin crew through-out the flight. He also has to keep a record of flight details.
Pay scales of commercial pilots in the public sector organizations depend on the grade level of the positions. A fresher has chances to earn around Rs.10 to 15 lakh per annum depending upon the airlines. While senior commercial pilots working with reputed airlines earn Rs.65 lakh to Rs.1 crore per annual.Pilots are also entitled to a range of benefits and allowances in addition to housing, medical and out- station allowances, as well as free/concessional air passages for their immediate family and dependents.