Guidelines on How to become a Commercial Pilot
Eligibility for CPL

There are two options to do your flight training

1-India                                                                                                      2-Abroad                                                                 

We will be discussing both options in detail with precautions and procedure which will help in minimizing the cost and increasing the proficiency.

Once you have decided that you want to pursue your dream. First step is getting your medical (fitness check up) done.

Pilot Medical Flow chart


*File no. is unique given after class 2 medical which will be used for future medical references throughout your flying career.

*The time reference given above is standard it can exceed depend upon the medical condition of a candidate.

*CA 35-It is a document will be given to you after your class 1 medical on same day stating your medical condition   i.e. FIT or UNFIT for flying.

Here is the link of various Centers and Doctors for Class 2 and Class 1 medical.

Class 2 medical

Class 1 medical-

After clicking link above you can choose from various options given on DGCA website.

Flying from Abroad (USA)

If you are fit to fly you can begin your career by selecting a good flying school. There are certain points to remember while choosing flying school.

1-Choose a flying school which has good geographical location and meteorological conditions suitable for flying.

2-Total number of aircrafts that flying school has.

3-Fuel facilities

4-Interact with former students to get the better idea.

5-Check for any finance scheme that flying school might have.

6-You can directly enroll in a flying school or contact its agent in India.

After selecting a flying school and enrolling in it, you will get a document (I-20) by post which is a necessary document for applying for visa. Take visa appointment and follow the standard procedure for visa application.

Now we will discuss the academic aspect of the training.

First you will be flying with your assigned instructor which is called Dual flying. You will be taught basic phenomenon of flying, basic procedures, Turns, take off, landing, taxing etc. After learning basic flying your instructor will signed you for first SOLO, it mean you will be flying alone first time in your life. It is often considered best moment in flying career.

Commercial pilot training is divided into 3 parts.

  • Private pilot license (PPL)
  • Instrument Rating (IR)
  • Commercial pilot (CPL)

private pilot

  • Dual: 20 hours minimum
  • 3 hours of cross country
  • 3 hours of night flight training that includes- a)1 cross country flight of over 100 nm total distance; and
  • b) 10 T/O’s and 10 full stop landings
  • 3 hours of flight training by reference to instruments
  • 3 hours of flight training within the 60 days prior to the practical test.
  • Solo: 10 hours minimum.
  • 5 hours of solo cross country flying;
  • 1 solo cross country flight of at least 150nm total distance with full stop landings at 3 points and one segment of at least 50nm between T/O and landings
  • 3 T/O’s and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower.


  • 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot-in-command (PIC), of which at least 10 hours must be in airplanes
  • A total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time in the areas of operations including                           a) 15 hours of instrument flight training from a CFII  b) 3 hours of instrument training within 60 days of check ride.
  • Atleast 1 IFR cross country consisting of: a) Distance of  atleast 250 NM along airways or ATC directing routes  b)  An Instrument at each airport and   c)  3 diffrent kind of appraohes with use of Navigation systems.

Commercial pilotSingle Engine

  • 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in airplanes.
  • 100 hours PIC which includes at least 50 hours in airplanes and 50 hours in cross-country.
  • 20 hours of training that includes at least 10 hours of instrument training, of which at least 5 hours must be in a single engine airplane, 10 hours of training in an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller, or is turbine-powered,
  • Day VFR Cross country of min. 2 hours consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 NM.
  • Night VFR Cross country of min. 2 hours consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 NM.
  • 10 hours of solo flight in a single engine airplane, including one cross-country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles total distance   and 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

Multi -Engine Rating

  • 10 hours of flight time with instructor that inlcudes

a)  at least one cross-country flight of not less than 300 NM distance.

b)  5 hours in Night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings at an airport with an operating control tower.

*NM- Nautical Miles e.g. 250NM

*VFR-Visual Flight Rule.

CPL License conversionConversion briefing– Need to clear written exam conduct by DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation).

After clearing all exams all students need to submit the required documents in DGCA within a span of 6 months in relation to their last flight.