These are the steps to become a pilot:

  1. Make sure you have Physics and Maths in 12th. Or else give these papers through NIOS Board.
  2. Get your medical done.
  3. Issue your computer number.
  4. Select a flying club
  5. Complete your papers and flying.

5 questions you must ask yourself before becoming a pilot

Captain Puneet Baldawa

Jun 26·5 min readIn our childhood, many of us dream about flying an airplane. And I believe, it’s because of the glamour, passion, dream love for aircraft, etc. And when you reach a stage where you finally have to take a call for your career, you should start finding the reason for choosing that career option, be it engineering, doctor, pilot, or anything. When it comes to become a pilot, unfortunately, they overlook the journey of it. The challenges do not just end with the capital issue, you need to be physically and mentally ready for a fight for the career you always have dreaming of, i.e., becoming a Pilot. In this blog, I will list down 5 questions that you should ask yourself before you take off for the pilot journey.

1. Is it your dream job?

This is the foremost question that every aspiring cadet should ask themselves. Becoming a pilot is not a cakewalk. There are multiple challenges that a pilot faces like medical unfitness, flying delay, weather, aircraft servicing, clearing papers, performance pressure, and many more. At every step, your determination to become a pilot will be tested. You should be 200% determined to become a pilot.

The answer to this question will help you on the day when you start giving up. When you come across this situation, think about the answer you gave right now, it should be the driving force to continue working hard again. If you feel that your response can get you motivated again, you have passed the first test. Make sure you are true to yourself when you are answering this question.

2. How are you planning for the expenses?

Bag of money

As we all know, becoming a pilot is an expensive journey. Starting from day 1, when you enroll into a flying club, appearing for papers, till you finish your type rating, and get a job, there is a big amount of capital required. Significant spaces where you will be expected to spend around tens of lakhs will be for your training flights, Type rating (the simulator training you do to fly the specific commercial jet), and while joining the company (if the company ever asks). Other places where you will be spending money in thousands will be for your yearly medical, exam fees, accommodation, travel, etc. For every type of aircraft you want to fly, you will have to spend money for its training.

You could pay on your own, take a loan or look for some scholarships from the government (rarely any college gives scholarships). Or else, what I usually suggest is, you space out your training in such a way where you/your parents can plan and manage to get the fees ready; it will not be a tremendous stress for you/them.

3. What type of pilot do you want to become?

There are various types of pilots that you can become, like Airforce pilot, Commercial pilot, private pilot, etc. If you have recently cleared 10th or about to clear 10th and want to serve the nation, you can join the Airforce. If you wish to choose pilot as a career, then you should become a Commercial pilot. Or else, if you want to continue being a pilot as your hobby, then you should become a private pilot.

The expenditure for every kind of pilot is different and varies by a considerable margin, and has its pros and cons.

4. Am I interested in having a 9–5 job?

Working 9–5 job.

If you are fond of having to work just for fixed 8 hours a day, spend time with family and kids everyday and get weekends and bank holidays, then unfortunately, it doesn’t happen with a pilot. Flight of a 9–5 job life and flight of a pilot job travels in opposite directions.

Spending time with your family won’t be easy, as you could have flights round the clock. There are no fixed timings for your flights; of course, the flight will be planned well-before, but there is no fixed schedule for your flights. There could be days where you will have to stay in different cities in hotels, because of layovers.You will be traveling all the time, maybe switching the time zones too. Since airlines do not have branches in a different states, you will most likely have to relocate to a different base and operate flights.

5. What will I do till I do not get a job as a pilot?

Wondering what should I be doing?

As a pilot, the way you get a job is, either they post the vacancy on their website or on various social media which you will have to keep a look for.

Now let’s consider that you have become a pilot and you start looking for a job. There is a possibility where you might have to stay on the ground for a longer time. A small risk is involved, i.e., the time duration of getting a job as a pilot could be a bit longer. So, it would be best if you do not waste this time sitting on the ground and just looking for a job as a pilot. You can work as a pilot in many ways, or you can look for opportunities in other fields of aviation or outside aviation. But, make sure you have a backup job in mind till you get a job as a pilot.

It’s okay if you do not answer this question right now, but make sure you do think about it.

I am sure that this blog must have been more thrilling than a roller coaster ride, but if you spend a quality time answering these questions at the initial stage, I can assure you that your future will be very smooth. There is no right or wrong answer to any question. It’s just how strong you feel for the answer. If the answer is backed with good reasons, then you have made the correct decision. And, the only purpose for writing this blog was to make you feel confident about your decision to become a pilot. I never meant to demotivate or demean you for becoming a pilot. I do not want you to make a mistake in choosing a career.