How to become a Pilot in India: A Complete Guide

Ways to Become Pilot in India

Aviation has always been one of those high flying (quite literally too) career opportunities seen by many
aspirants in India. Every two kid in five would have a desire of becoming a Pilot in future. The glam of
pilot is virtually irresistible. The major reason for this is due to factors such as stunning lifestyles, huge
packages and the respect that comes along with the tag.

In India you could choose two broadly divide ways to become a Pilot,
a. Civil Aviation (Commercial Pilot)
b. Indian Defense Forces (Air Force)

Civil Aviation/ Commercial Pilot

A Commercial Pilot is a Person who holds commercial pilot certificate issued by an authority
(Directorate General of Civil Aviation). A commercial pilot carries a lot of responsibility. You will be
responsible for hundreds of lives every day, while taking them from one point to another.

Subjects to Master

For aviation career, having a strong base of Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry are a must in your
schooling. Few of the concepts thought there are practically used in the field. If you haven’t taken these
subjects in your schooling, enroll yourself at National Institute of Open Schooling. Then you can kick
start your training.

Entrance Exams and other Requirements

You would need to clear a set of written test, medical examination and an interview, to get into a pilot
training course. Minimum of 50% aggregate in Class 12 th is required to join a flying school. The minimum
ages to apply for various Pilot Licenses are:
1. Students Pilot License – 16 Years
2. Private Pilot License – 17 Years
3. Commercial Pilot License – 18 Years

Steps to be Followed for becoming Commercial Pilot

The foremost step that you would need to take on your path of becoming a Commercial Pilot would be
to enroll yourself in a Flying School and pursue B.Sc. in Aviation. For joining these schools you would
need to clear the below test.
Written Examination – The test would cover general English, Mathematics, Physics and Reasoning (10+2

Pilot Aptitude Test – The test will test your aptitude your knowledge on Air Regulation, Air Navigation,
Aviation Meteorology, Aircraft, and Engine Knowledge.
Personal Interview and DGCA Medical examination: The candidates clearing written and aptitude test
will be required to take a medical assessment conducted by DGCA.

Get a Student Pilot License

To get a Student’s Pilot License, you would need to appear for an entrance examination. This consist an
oral test conducted by Chief Instructor at School or DGCA representative. Students License allows you to
get flying training and permits you to take of flights on glider or small planes that are generally provided
by approved flying schools. You would need to have a minimum of 250 flying hours, after which you
would be eligible for applying Commercial Pilot License.
This might be an expensive way of becoming a Pilot. There is an alternative less expensive priced option
of getting to your dreams through Indian Defense Forces.

The Defense Route

If flying is your passion and don’t want to spend a fortune over becoming one, joining Defense might
well be a good option for you. The additional perks are that you get to earn salary while in training itself
and also more importantly serve your nation.

NDA Entry to the Air Force

The National Defense Academy (NDA) is the first opportunity that you would get, to be a part of Air
Force. Once you get an entry into flying branch, candidates are trained for a period for 3 Years at the
Academy. After the successful completion of training, candidates are commissioned as a Permanent
Commission Officer and posted as a Pilot at one of the Air Force Station.
NDA have the following Admission Procedure
Written Exam- The examination has a mathematics based paper and a general ability test, which
constitute questions based on English, Physics, Chemistry, Math, General Knowledge, History,
Geography and Current Events.

Services Selection Board Interview:

1. Stage 1 – Officer Intelligence Rating Test and a Picture perception and discussion test.
2. Stage 2 – In this stage a psychological tests is conducted by a psychologist, group tasks, and a
personal interview.
Pilot Aptitude Test– You can take this test only once. This test has a written and machine test to
evaluate you on the basis of your ability to read instruments, control of your actions and mental

Medicals- You will be required to take a medical examination wherein your eyesight, height, and weight
will be examined. The minimum height required is 152cms with correlated weight. Eye Vision should be
6/6 in one eye and can be a maximum of 6/9 in other, correctable to 6/6 only for Hypermetropia.

NDA Eligibility
Only Male candidates can apply for NDA. While applying for this entry you should have cleared 10+2
with Physics and Mathematics. Students appearing in final year of their college are also eligible to apply.

Other Ways to Enter in Indian Aviation Industry

CDSE Entrance:
Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE) is for people who want to join Indian Air Force after
Graduation. The selected candidates are sent for Training at the Air Force Academy, Hyderabad.

AFCAT Entrance:
Short Service Commission candidates can’t serve in the Indian Air Force for more than 14 years. To join
this branch, the candidates have to qualify the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT).

NCC Entrance:
If you were a part of your school NCC society and are in Air Wing Senior Division ‘C’ certificate holder,
then you can join the Air Force Flying Branch through Directorate General Nation Cadet Corps or
through your respective NCC Air Squadrons. If a candidates has secured A or B grade in their C
certificate, then they can directly appear for the SSB Interview.

It’s matter of fact that becoming a Pilot requires lot of grit and determination. The means of becoming
Pilot are quite wide and require knowledge about the way things are done. First thing that People see in
a Pilot is accurate decision making capabilities and meticulous handling capabilities. Be updated about
various developments in selection process and examination, and make sure you are ready to face the
entire competitive tests put forth for becoming a Pilot.

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