Not a million dollar question, few million rupees question
Wanna learn to fly or you wanna become an Airline Pilot?
Contact a flight school & you may find any of the below:
Your dream will be realized in no time, just deposit the fee and we will take you to the clouds.
We have a fleet of aircraft, incident free records or best of the best instructors.
No response of emails or calls.
New aircraft on order, they will also start flying soon.
Concerned person is not available, call tomorrow.
We are presently very busy, check next month.
Please share in comments if you have experienced other then the above.
When an aspiring Pilot connects to a flight school, he is full of dreams of flying an aircraft and imagine a view from aircraft in which world looks at its best. Parents while searching for a flight school for their ward are quite cautious as along with heavy investment, it’s a matter of their kid's safety and career both The question comes is
Whom to consult in friends and family for this?
How to choose a flying training school?
How to trust a flight school
Before coming to the best way to choose, I would like to share some basic information on Pilot License.
What is required to apply for Pilot License at DGCA?
Theory exams to be passed,
Radio telephony exam,
English language test from any of DGCA approved organizations
Flying training hours from any of DGCA approved flying training schools along with relevant documentation.
One can study for theory exams by themselves or through any of coaching institutes also known as ground schools.
Whom to Consult?
While choosing an institute, there is a general conception to connect with someone who is in the same field. Specifically, when it comes to Pilot Training, most of us try to connect with relatives or friends who are in Air Force or Pilot with some Airline.
However, when it comes to flying training, we need to understand that Pilots usually do not have an alumni network. Also, initial license training is just a mandatory step for them, they do not involve in flight schools after completing their course. Therefore, most of the Pilots in airline or working as a commercial Pilots are not updated with flight school status. On the other hand, Air Force training is of different scale and standards. Pilot Officers of Air Force are usually not familiar with civil flying training schools. Therefore, a neutral person or consulting agency who has fair understanding and knowledge of present scenario of flight schools is the best person to be contacted. Alternatively, people within the Fraternity may be contacted for this information. Students are not best source of information as there is high chance of biased opinion due to some or the other reason(s).
How to Choose a Flight School?
Basic parameters of a flight school include:
Infrastructure including Aircraft type(s) along with age, maintenance & operational fleet size;
Aircraft : instructor : student ratio;
Safety record; and
Placements / time to complete
Multiple parameters to be considered and more than one are dynamic. There has been scenarios where one flight school was doing very well and in few months performance deteriorated significantly. Therefore, one need to understand the present realistic situation or hire a consultant to do it for you. It is always better to assess before making the payment & commitment for a course. It is not easy to change the school after taking an admission.
As of now, Indian Flight schools are not rated by any agency on neutral basis. Neither regulatory nor private entity do this.
Time is money in addition to the money. CPL courses can cost anywhere between Rs. 35 – 45 lacs. A cautious call to choose a flight school is worthwhile.
*OFLY objective is to disseminate fair and genuine information regarding Aviation. We do not represent any specific flight school. Author of this blog is an Indian Private Pilot and keen observer of Indian aviation market. He flies with multiple flying training schools of India. For consultation on Learn to Fly as hobby or profession. Book your appointment here or write to us firstname.lastname@example.org.