Akshay Naravane, a 21-year-old qualified pilot from IGRUA, Raebareli, shares his experience about his journey, most of which involved him getting ‘high’.
According to my parents, being a Pilot is the costliest dream I ever had. And I second that thought completely. Everyone wanted to be a pilot when they were kids; something big and white up in the sky always got everyone’s attention and got them excited. Well, I stood by that dream for more than a decade now and since I always knew what I wanted to do, I started searching for academies in India which would issue a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) with the best training facilities and equally affordable fees.
A few months into the Aviation field and I realized it was time to throw the word ‘Affordable’ out of my vocabulary. Having a minimum of 60% in your 12th Science stream is the eligibility criteria in all the academies across India although a few accept it if you have enough money. IGRUA is the most premiere institute in India when it comes to producing the best Pilots in South Asia. It has been in the game for more than 25 years which is quite some time. Other Institutes in India would be the NFTI in Gondia, Nagpur and the newly opened institute in Hyderabad by GMR.
Expense-wise as I mentioned in the first line itself, it is one of the costliest courses out there. You need a budget of at least 30 lakhs and it will only increase from here thanks to our not-so-friendly government policies and over-the-board taxation and fuel prices.
In order to get a CPL, you have to clear around 5-6 DGCA papers which have a passing percentage of 70% in their exams and a minimum of 200 hours of flying experience with certain amount of rules and regulations regarding the flying.
For me personally, each and every second out there in the sky was beyond description. Yes, exams were always around, money was an issue and in spite of many more problems, it is still the most beautiful profession out there. You are up there dodging and playing hide-n-seek with clouds whereas your counterparts are perhaps sitting between four walls and breaking their head against it.
Your aircraft becomes your baby and you are always eager to take her for a ride!
True that the Aviation industry in India has been going through many a lows more than often and thus, many a pilots are jobless. But here’s a cool statistic, India has more than a billion people and there are only around 13 thousand pilots in India. You do the math.
The going is tough, money is a big question mark, exams are not easy and after so much efforts, there is no guarantee of a job right after your completion.
So let me leave you with the code or quote which I have learnt in this field and lived by so far, ‘Don’t follow the job, follow the suit and the wings and the job will follow you!’