How to Become a Pilot After 12th

How to Become a Pilot After 12th

Travelling at a high speed and an altitude of around 38,000 feet, have you ever wondered how magnificent it would be controlling such a massive flying vehicle, geared with a jet engine, rocket engine, and a propeller? Does your adrenaline rush while imagining your career waving through the clouds and flying over the mountains? Often students who want to kick-start their career in the Aviation industry after completing 12th are confused as to what exactly they should do in order to become a pilot. This guide will take you on a quick journey of knowing how to become a pilot after 12th.

Understanding Major Pilot Careers

Before we delve deep into the explanation of how to become a pilot after 12th, let us first understand how many types of pilots are there:

Airline Pilot A pilot is someone who is involved in flying the airline to carry
passengers and cargo on a fixed schedule at a larger distance around
the world. This is considered to be the number one career for pilots.
Regional or Commercial
A commercial pilot is involved in flying regional airline to carry
passengers and cargo at shorter distances, this career prospect
is often loved by young people because it requires fewer overnight trips and will keep you nearer to home. 
Corporate Pilot A corporate pilot is involved in flying smaller corporate turboprops
and jets for private enterprises or individuals in order to assist the travel of corporate executives to meetings. 
Fighter Pilot Also known as a Military Pilot, you will be trained to work for the
Air Force or army, flying military aircraft and transporting military
cargo and riders. Fighter pilots are involved in aerial combat as well.
Charter Pilot A pilot flying travellers to specific destinations is known as a
charter pilot, it is also termed as “Air Taxi”. You can operate your own private charter company or simply work for other charter airlines.

How to Become a Pilot in India?

Before providing you with a detailed guide on how to become a pilot after 12th, let’s first give you an overview of the two routes you can take to become a pilot in India which are as follows:

1. Civil Aviation (Taking the Non-Military Route through Commercial Pilot Training Programmes)

To take this route to become a pilot, you need to gain a commercial pilot certification from a certified authority which is the Directorate of General of Civil Aviation in India. As a commercial pilot, you will be flying a specific aircraft for an airline and there are many training academies around the world which offer varied programmes in Commercial Pilot Training and the essential eligibility requirement for the same is that the student must have completed 10+2 with science stream from a recognized board of education [more on this in the next section]. Here is a list of top flying schools across the globe which you must consider:

  • CAE Oxford Aviation Academy
  • Flight Safety Academy
  • Pan AM International Flying Academy
  • Singapore Flying College
  • CTC Wings, Europe

To explore training programmes for this route, check out our blog on Commercial Pilot Courses!

2. Indian Defence Forces (Air Force)

If you are willing to clear the competitive entrance exams for Indian Defence Forces, then taking the Airforce route to become a pilot is the suitable one for you. The shortlisted candidates from the rigorous admission process are trained for 3 years at the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. Here is the admission procedure to get into the Indian Defence Forces:

Written Examination

A math-based and general ability exam comprising of English, Geography, History, General Knowledge, Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Current Events as the main subjects.

SSB Interview

There are two stages of the interview:
1. Officer Intelligence Test & a Picture Perception and Discussion Test
2. Psychological tests are taken by a psychologist followed by group tasks and then a personal interview

Pilot Aptitude Test

Consists of written and machine tests to assess the candidate’s ability to read instruments as well as their mental strength and how efficiently they can perform in different circumstances.

This test must be cleared in the first attempt otherwise you will be deemed ineligible for the flying branch and can not apply again.

Medical Examination

The candidate’s height, weight and eyesight are thoroughly examined.

Eye vision: 6/6 in one eye & 6/9 in other. (correctable 6/6 for hypermetropia)
Height & Weight: 152 cms with correlated weight

To know more about the eligibility criteria and process in detail, read our exclusive blog on How to Join Indian Air Force!

Essential Skills Required 

  • Strong technical skills
  • Critical thinking and decision-making
  • Situational and environmental awareness
  • Good communication skills
  • The highly focused and disciplined personality
  • Striving continually for excellence
  • High-level flexibility
  • Mental stability and physical fitness
  • Good sense of teamwork
  • Inherent or learned leadership quality

How to Become a Pilot after 12th: Eligibility Criteria 

To enroll in any of the Aviation courses, you will be required to fulfill eligibility criteria as set by the institute or academy. Enlisted are some of the measures to become a pilot after 12th:

  • Your age should not be less than 17 years to begin training.
  • You must have scored 50% in 10+2 which may vary as per the Institute requirement.
  • You must have studied MPC subjects [Maths, Physics, and Chemistry] along with English at the intermediate level.
  • If you are a non-science student, you may pursue the required subjects through the National Institute of Open Schooling or as a private candidate from the respective state board.
  • You will need a medical certificate issued by the required authorities.

How to Become a Pilot after 12th: A Road Map to Success

Stage 1: Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree

An airline pilot requires a bachelor’s degree in any subject, whereas a commercial pilot usually needs a high school diploma or equivalent. Some of the flight schools are part of 2-4 year colleges/universities offering the desired aviation or aeronautics degree, approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Pilot Training Course After 12th

Opting for a Commercial Pilot Training [CPL] program after 10+2 is yet another way to become a pilot after 12th. For this, you will be required to clear an entrance exam, interview, and a medical test as set by the institute.

Through NDA Exam

In India, the coveted NDA exam is a golden opportunity for those who want to become a pilot after 12th. Upon completing the 3 years long course, you also have to attend flying training. Thereafter, you will work as a permanent commission officer.

Other Essential Details on How to Become a Pilot After 12th:

  • It is necessary to clear the class 2 medical of DGCA
  • Join an aviation institute
  • Fly at least 200 hours
  • Clear the exams
  • Get the CPL certificate

Must Read: Career in Aerospace Medicine

Stage 2: Get the Flying Experience

If you are aspiring to become a pilot then, you are required to achieve a certain number of flight training hours to earn a license. The training hours depend upon the desired type of pilot program. For instance, for commercial pilot’s license, 250 hours of flying is needed and 1,500 hours of flight time for an airline pilot. A formal training equips you with basic education, however, to gain in-depth knowledge and experience, you can hire a personal instructor or even join the military for exposure. 

Explore MBA in Aviation Management

Stage 3: Earn a Pilot’s License

The first step is to complete the required number of hours of flight experience, followed by a written assessment exhibiting your flying abilities and clearing the physical test. The key is to be confident and prepared. List of major pilot licensing issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in each country are as follows:

  • Private Pilot License (PPL)
  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATP)
  • Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL)
  • Commercial Multi-Engine Land (CMEL)
  • Certified Flight Instructor (CFL)

In the US, certification is regulated by the FAA, while Transport Canada issues licensing in Canada. In most European nations, including the UK, Switzerland, Greece, France and many more, licensing is furnished by the National Aviation Authority. 

Further, based on the type of pilot you want to become, the age requirements for a license will vary.

  • Student Pilot License – 16 years
  • Private Pilot License – 17 years
  • Commercial Pilot License – 18 years

Check Out: Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering

Stage 4: Complete Additional Training and Tests

A lot of airline companies require pilots to take aptitude and psychological tests as a precondition for employment. Once placed, pilots undergo further weeks of training and flight experience to get a hang on an adventure as co-pilots. Securing a prior experience with a regional airline company is always beneficial in the long run if you later plan to join a major airline. 

Stage 5: Advance as an Airline Pilot

Leaping from pilots to the rank of a captain completely depends on seniority and experience. You will have to clear additional FAA written and practical exams in order to obtain more flight ratings. You can continue learning and exploring the changes in the industry. Enriching seminars and webcasts are extended by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations (IFALPA) for mastering and growth. 

How to Become a Pilot after 12th: Top Global Universities

These are some of the globally recognized colleges, universities, and academies catering to provide foundational and technical skills essential to building your career as a professional pilot:

For pilots, the sky’s the limit and that is exactly what we at Leverage Edu help you with, providing you with all the required knowledge and supporting you build a lucrative flying career. Reach out to us at +91-8826200293 to know about the exciting opportunities you can grab onto, to help you understand how to become a pilot after 12th. 

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