10 Step guide to commercial pilot training in India

We got a lot of queries and doubts regarding pilot training in India. In this article we will cover all doubts we have got till date in our Youtube channel, whatsapp group and through website. For easy understanding, this is made as a 12 step guide to become a pilot. All steps are equally important and successive to the prior step. A Youtube video is also made for a better understanding.

Step 1 : 10+2 with physics and mathematics

This is the basic requirement for becoming a commercial pilot. Make sure you have physics and mathematics in your course. By the way, there is no minimum marks of passing is required. Just a pass is enough. If you have done any other course, you should make sure that it is equivalent to 10+2. If it doesnt have physics or mathematics, you may appear exams for those and get equivalent certificates from your educational board.

Step 2 : Class 2 medical assessment

If you have 10+2 with physics and mathematics, you may go straight to this step. Check whether you are medically eligible for flying or not. You may call any of the DGCA approved class 2 doctors and fix an appointment for examination. List of doctors can be found here: You may ask your specific doubts to them. If you are wearing spectacles, I strongly advice you to go for a laser correction treatment. It will allow you to wear UV protecting sunglasses while you fly high. Laser treatment is allowed as per DGCA. If you have heredity of diabetes, cholesterol and pressure variations, think twice before joining. These conditions once detected in your body during your class1 medicals, will make you grounded till it is cleared.

Step 3 : Apply for pilots computer number

You must register with DGCA for getting a unique computer number, which is essential for your entire pilot career. There is a website www.udaan.nic.in to apply for computer number. Details on how to apply for a computer number is given here. After applying, you have to send self attested copies of your 10th, 10+2 certificates, original 10 & 10+2 certificate verification from exam board, self attested copies of Identity proof, address proof and passport (if foreign national); to DGCA.

Step 4: Upload photo and signature in Udaan

You have to upload  your photo and signature in your udaan account. Username for Udaan is your computer number. Password is user selected one. After uploading your photo and signature, it will be validated by DGCA officials. Once it is accepted, we can move to the next step.

Step 5: Apply for DGCA pilot exams

It is always better to clear your theory exams before you start flying. You will be knowledgeable about the subject and you can fly confidently without worrying for papers. There are 5 theory papers you must clear. Online and OMR based exams are there. Results can be seen just after finishing exam in online exams.

  1. Aviation meteorology (online, 2500 Rs fees)
  2. Air regulations (online, 2500 Rs fees)
  3. Air navigation (online, 2500 Rs fees)
  4. Technical general (OMR sheet, 500 Rs fees)
  5. Technical specific (OMR sheet, 500 Rs fees)

Of these, I recommend a procedure for exams. Appear for your exams in 3 sessions. There are 4 sessions every year- January, April, July and October. In first attempt, clear Air regulation and Meteorology, which are the easier subjects. In second session, clear Technical general and Technical specific. Technical general is a vast subject by specific papers are very easy. In the third session, clear Air Navigation as well. You may give extra technical specific papers as well during third attempt. Papers are valid for 5 years (except multi-engine specific papers, which are valid for 2.5 years).

You can use our online training courses for cracking exams in first go. They come with attractive pricing and 100% money back guarantee.

Step 6: Radio Telephony Restricted license – RTR (A)

This is one of the hardest exams to crack. It is conducted by Wireless Planning Commission of India. It is a license for pilots to use radio telecommunication devices in aircraft. Exams are conducted in 5 centers in India, one at a time- Delhi (2), Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, every 2 months. Exam consists of 2 parts. First part is a practical trial of communication capability of student. If he pass in the first part, he will be called for the second. It is an interview with DGCA official and a WPC official. Marks are given based on your performance. If you pass, license will be issued, which is valid for a lifetime. Exam fees is 500 Rs and license fees is 10000 Rs.

Step 7 : Selecting a flying club

Whether you passed RTR or not, it is time to join a flying. Before that, choose an academy. We have a list of criteria to select an academy.

  1. Operating from a busy airport (help students to get in touch with real procedures)
  2. More number of aircraft (If one is under maintenance, others will be available for flying)
  3. Regular flying history (If flying stops frequently, don’t choose that academy)
  4. Fees (The lower the better for universally accepted aircrafts)
  5. Opinion of students (Ask students about the performance of club. How many hours they are getting in a month and so)
  6. Facilities (Multi engine, simulator, instrument rating etc.)

If all of these satisfy your needs, then go ahead to step 8.

Step 8 : Joining a flying club

While joining a flying club, you will get 2 main things. Student Pilot License (SPL) and Flight Radio Telephony Operating License (FRTOL). There will be no exam for SPL since you have cleared all DGCA papers. SPL is issued by CFI of the flying club and FRTOL by DGCA. FRTOL is required for solo flying.

Don’t pay the full amount needed for CPL in one go. Pay as 1 lakh or 2 lakh installments. Also, don’t opt for any full-packages. Ask detailed break-down expenses for the course fees and other expenses. Get any promises in written rather than verbal.

Step 9 : Flying training

You need 200 hours of flying in total for CPL. We recommend doing it in this manner:

  1. 180 hours of flying in a cheap single-engine aircraft
  2. 20 hours of flying in multi engine
  3. 20 hours of flying in multi-engine simulator

Apart from these, for getting thorough knowledge of flying, you may practice flying of your own using flight simulators in your laptop. Microsoft FSX, Xplane, Flight1, Prepar3d are the best game based simulators which offer realistic flying experience in a laptop. You may need to purchase a joystick for more realistic experience.

Step 10: Airline preparation/instructor rating

Once you have done with your CPL, it is time to get a job as soon as possible. Most of the CPL holders prefer joining airlines while some choose training field. For joining airlines, better attend classes on airline preparation. Typerating with most demanding aircraft also help in getting jobs easily.

To become an instructor, you need 200 hours of Pilot-In-Command. During CPL, you will get around 120-130 hours of PIC. You may have to pay for the balance 80-70 hours of PIC and fly. After achieving 200 hours of PIC, just appear flight instructors exam to become an instructor. Nowadays, many academies are badly in need of instructors. Pay-scales are on the high side as airline pilots which make this career a worthy one.

Hope we have covered almost all possible doubts you may have. If you still have any doubts, please let us know through your comments.

Happy flying.

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