The Basic Prerequisites
i. You must complete your Class XII under the 10+2 system or its equivalent with a minimum of 50 per cent marks in Mathematics and Physics.
ii. You must be minimum 16 years of age to be eligible for a Private Pilot License and 17 for a Commercial Pilot License.
iii. 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.
iv. General physical fitness is mandatory. You must be free of any disease that can hamper normal function.
Student Pilot License
i. You must appear for a written theory examination in Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology and Air Navigation and Air Technical.
ii. You must obtain a medical certificate of fitness from doctors designated by the Director General of Civil Aviation. Only two bodies in India Air Force Central Medical Establishment in New Delhi and the Institute of Aviation Medicine, Bangalore are authorised to give you a medical fitness certificate.
iii. You have to get a security clearance.
iv. You will need to appear for an oral examination and an aptitude test.
v. If the medical clearance comes through and you clear the exams, you will be granted the SPL.
Private Pilot License:
i. Post attaining the SPL, you will be assigned an instructor to start flying lessons. You will be taught the basics of flying and your instructor will accompany you on flights.
ii. After about 15 hours of flying with an instructor, ie dual flying, you can fly solo and go cross-country as well.
iii. To obtain a Private Pilot License, you have to fly a minimum of 60 hours. Of this, at least 20 hours should be solo flying and 5 hours should be cross-country flights.
iv. You will also need to appear for the written theory examinations in subjects like Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Aircraft Engines and Seamanship.
v. You will need to obtain the medical fitness certificate from the AFCME or IAM.
vi. You must be at least 17 years old.
viii. You must have passed Class XII or equivalent exam with Physics, Maths and Chemistry as your subjects.
Commercial Pilot License:
This license is the most important license to become a commercial pilot.
i. The age bracket for getting a CPL is between 18 years and 30 years.
ii. You need a minimum of 250 hours of flying to get this license. Of this, 150 hours have to be solo flying, 25 hours of cross-country flying, 10 hours of instrument flying (which means you rely only on the plane's instruments for flying without looking at the horizon or external assistance), and 5 hours of flying in the night.
iii. A medical certificate from ACFME or IAM and theory tests in Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Technical and Planning are other important parts of the process.
iv. You can get the Private Helicopter License if you complete 40 hours of flight training with 15 hours of solo flying. Written exams on basic aviation subjects have to be taken.
v. To get a Commercial Helicopter Pilot License, you need 60 hours of flight training as well as appear for a written exam.
vi. Helicopter pilots are hired by public and private sector corporates as well as security agencies.
Additional Training and Information
Once you get the CPL, you may want to go in for multi engine training.
After seven to 10 hours of multi engine training on a certain aircraft, your license will carry an endorsement of the aircraft you have flown.
All the above licenses need to be renewed regularly. You must adhere strictly to medical tests.
Fly one hour after your license expires, and you will be banned from flying ever again!
Medical conditions and regular exam clearances notwithstanding, a pilot can continue in this career till 61 years.
Private flying academies :
* Chimes Aviation Academy - http://www.caaindia.com
* Ahmedabad Aviation and Aeronautics, Ahmedabad, Gujarat - http://www.aaa.co.in
* Academy of Carver Aviation, Belgaum, Karnataka
* Flytech Aviation Academy, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh-http://www.flytechaviation.com
* Garg Aviation, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
* HAL Rotary Wing Academy, Bangalore, Karnataka - http://www.hal-india.com
* Rajputana Aviation Academy, Kota, Rajasthan
* Orient Flight School, Pondicherry - http://www.orientflights.com
* Wings Aviation, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
* Yash Air, Indore, Madhya Pradesh - http://education.vsnl.com/yashair
* Frank Airways, Indore, Madhya Pradesh