Commercial Pilot

Job Pressure
Academic Pressure
5 - 8 L
Early Salary
10 - 12 L
Mid Level Salary
18 - 20 L
Senior Salary
The job of commercial pilot is the most glamorous and exciting job in aviation. It is highly rated and one of the most adventurous career which requires intensive training. This profession also demands a lot of time, dedication, patience and sacrifice. A career in aviation attracts many youngsters as it provide opportunity to travel around the globe. This is a lucrative field. But apart from all those attractive things the job of a commercial pilot makes him responsible for the aircraft he flies and the lives of his passengers. The most important person on an aircraft is the pilot. Pilots are highly trained professionals who fly airplanes and helicopters carrying passengers or cargo. 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.

What do they do?

As a commercial airline pilot, you may serve as the captain or first officer, also called the co-pilot. As the captain, you hold the main responsibility for the flight. The co-pilot position is an assistant to the captain and helps when needed and as directed by the captain. Typically, you'll start out as a co-pilot and work your way to a captain position. Specializations within the commercial aviation industry include charter pilots and crop dusters. Some pilots also fly planes specifically for firefighters and aerial photographers. Another specialization includes flight instructors.

Typical day in the life of a Commercial Pilot

The day starts off with a briefing, which may or may not be with the cabin crew, depending on which airline you work for. We study the weather at destination, alternate, en-route alternate and find suitable bolt-holes along the way. Then a whole host of other parameters such as weights, loads, flight times, slot delays, technical defects with the aircraft… Based on all that, we make a fuel decision and it’s time to go.If the aircraft is off-stand, we are bused to it. 

Once on board, we set about the extensive pre-flight checks. If something crops up like a complicated defect which requires some careful modification to the standard operation – for example one of the thrust reversers is unservicable – then you need to be very organised to make sure that everything gets done in time for that sacred Standard Time of Departure. A commercial pilot’s primary function is to make every flight a safe flight, but we are also in the customer service business. If, as a team, we don’t deliver a punctual and outstanding customer experience then passengers will travel with somebody else, simple as that.

Pros about this career

  • Job advancement opportunities
  • Exceptional earning potential
  • Allows you to travel all over the world
  • Regional and budget airlines provide the best job opportunities

Cons about this career

  • May require long periods of time away from home
  • Irregular schedules are normal
  • Actual flying time is limited by the Federal Aviation Administration
  • The high cost of becoming qualified to be a pilot

Skills needed

  • Good vision and hearing
  • Attention to details
  • Ability to focus for long periods of time
  • Ability to handle stressful situations and remain calm

How do I get there

To become a commercial pilot in India, one ha s 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 Licence 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. 

Here is some of the flying schools for training in flying from where SPL, PPL, and CPL training can be completed:

  • Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi, Uttar Pradesh
  • Flying Training Institute, Behala, Calcutta
  • Government Aviation Training Institute, Civil aerodrome, Bhubaneswar
  • Karnal Aviation Club, Kunjpura Road, Karnal, Haryana
  • Government Flying Club, Aerodrome, Lucknow
  • School of Aviation Science and Technology, Delhi Flying Club Ltd, New Delhi
  • State Civil Aviation, UP Govt Flying Training Center Kanpur and Varanasi
  • Rajasthan State Flying School, Sanganer Airport, Jaipur
  • Govt Flying Training School Jakkur Aerodrome, Bangalore
  • Andra Pradesh Flying Club Hydrabad Airport, Hydrabad
  • Assam Flying Club, Guwahati Airport, Guwahati
  • Bihar Flying Institute, Civil Aerodrome, Patna, Bihar

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