How to Become a Pilot After 12th: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you passionate about flying and dream of becoming a pilot? If you have just completed your 12th grade and are wondering how to pursue a career in aviation, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to become a pilot after 12th, along with valuable insights and examples to help you make an informed decision.

1. Understand the Requirements

Before embarking on your journey to become a pilot, it is crucial to understand the requirements and qualifications needed for this career path. Here are the key prerequisites:

  • Age: To obtain a Commercial Pilot License (CPL), you must be at least 18 years old. However, you can start your training at a younger age.
  • Education: After completing your 12th grade, you need to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline. While it is not mandatory, having a degree can enhance your career prospects.
  • Medical Fitness: As a pilot, you must meet the medical fitness standards set by the aviation authorities. You will need to undergo a medical examination conducted by authorized doctors.
  • English Proficiency: Good command of the English language is essential for pilots, as it is the international language of aviation. You may need to pass an English language proficiency test.

2. Choose the Right Pathway

After understanding the requirements, it’s time to choose the right pathway to become a pilot. Here are the two main options:

Option 1: Join a Flying School

If you are passionate about flying and want to start your pilot training immediately after 12th grade, joining a flying school is a great option. Flying schools offer integrated programs that combine theoretical knowledge and practical flight training. These programs typically take around 18-24 months to complete.

One of the renowned flying schools in India is the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA). IGRUA offers a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) program that includes ground training, simulator training, and flight training. Upon completion, you will be eligible to apply for a CPL and pursue a career as a pilot.

Option 2: Pursue a Degree in Aviation

If you prefer a more comprehensive education and want to earn a degree while pursuing your pilot training, you can opt for a degree in aviation. Several universities and institutes offer Bachelor’s degrees in aviation, such as the University of Mumbai and the Indian Institute of Aviation Technology.

These degree programs provide a broader understanding of aviation, including subjects like aviation management, aviation safety, and aviation law. Alongside your degree, you will also undergo flight training to obtain a CPL. This pathway usually takes around 3-4 years to complete.

3. Obtain a Student Pilot License (SPL)

Once you have chosen your pathway, the next step is to obtain a Student Pilot License (SPL). The SPL allows you to undergo flight training under the supervision of a certified flight instructor. To obtain an SPL, you need to:

  • Submit the required documents, including proof of age, educational qualifications, and medical fitness certificate.
  • Pass a written examination conducted by the aviation authorities.
  • Undergo a flight training program, which includes a minimum of 20 hours of flying experience.

After completing these requirements, you will be issued an SPL, which is valid for two years.

4. Private Pilot License (PPL) Training

After obtaining an SPL, the next phase of your training is to obtain a Private Pilot License (PPL). The PPL allows you to fly an aircraft without any commercial purposes. To obtain a PPL, you need to:

  • Complete a minimum of 60 hours of flight training, including solo flights and cross-country flights.
  • Pass a written examination conducted by the aviation authorities.
  • Pass a flight test conducted by a certified examiner.

Once you have successfully completed these requirements, you will be issued a PPL, which allows you to fly as a private pilot.

5. Commercial Pilot License (CPL) Training

After obtaining a PPL, the final phase of your training is to obtain a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). The CPL allows you to fly an aircraft for commercial purposes and is the key qualification required to pursue a career as a pilot. To obtain a CPL, you need to:

  • Complete a minimum of 200 hours of flight training, including advanced flight maneuvers and instrument flying.
  • Pass a written examination conducted by the aviation authorities.
  • Pass a flight test conducted by a certified examiner.

Upon successful completion of these requirements, you will be issued a CPL, which opens up various career opportunities in the aviation industry.

6. Build Flight Experience

After obtaining your CPL, it is essential to build flight experience to enhance your employability. Here are a few ways to gain flight experience:

  • Work as a flight instructor: By working as a flight instructor, you can gain valuable experience while teaching others to fly.
  • Join a regional airline: Regional airlines often hire pilots with lower flight hours. Joining a regional airline can provide you with the opportunity to gain experience and progress in your career.
  • Volunteer for flying missions: Many organizations, such as NGOs and medical evacuation services, require pilots for their missions. Volunteering for such missions can help you gain experience and contribute to society.

7. Pursue Advanced Certifications

Once you have gained sufficient flight experience, you can consider pursuing advanced certifications to expand your career opportunities. Some of the certifications you can pursue include:

  • Instrument Rating (IR): An instrument rating allows you to fly an aircraft solely by reference to instruments, even in poor weather conditions.
  • Multi-Engine Rating (ME): A multi-engine rating allows you to fly aircraft with multiple engines.
  • Type Rating: A type rating is required to fly specific aircraft models, such as Boeing or Airbus.

These certifications can enhance your skills and make you more competitive in the job market.


Becoming a pilot after 12th grade requires dedication

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