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-   -   Rise! Unemployed pilots in India (https://www.pprune.org/south-asia-far-east/517718-rise-unemployed-pilots-india.html)

vserian 30th Jun 2013 06:58

I ve flown in India for nearly 14 years and was in a junior management level within the airline, those of the unemployed CPL holders who came to see me I ve had many chances to talk to them and most of them I met know nothing, no basic understanding of the industry and flight theory as well. All that they ve done is shed out 25 lacs, get the license from somewhere in US, AUstralia etc and pass the DGCA exams with 3 to 4 resits, if they really worked hard and study everyday they would have cleared these exams in first try just like how we did in the past, there were very few failures in the past because we knew there weren't many jobs around and only way to get those jobs is to clear the papers as soon as possible. Most of these kids just come and moan about how bad the Industry is and that they couldn't find a job. At one point I got tired of meeting them, I felt sorry but couldnt help myself because I was hearing the same crap all over again. I am Indian as well but I have to point out that most of the unemployed pilots nowadays around doesnt deserve this job, first they got nothing in the head and they are very lazy and have an attitude where they think airlines will run after them to fly their planes...

PS the government should not even bother about, them because the government never told them to be pilots there are way more serious issues in the country for the govt to care about

pilotbaba 30th Jun 2013 09:18


Sir, you also hit the nail with your points, just like always....
But again, it's like preaching to the choir.....


This is a great profession, a good career. But it often takes at least 10+ years to realize that. A lot of so-called paying your dues in the meantime.

That's like Christians leaving their fate up to God.
You hit the nail in the head as well sir. I wanted to quote your entire post.

I take it up a notch by adding that if you are thirsty, what do you do??
Do you look up to the sky & pray to God that it rains??
Or do you go find water??

But it is useless preaching to these kids who want to have instant success & they would rather sit & wait for years for their instant succes & a shot to reach the 737 or 320 rather than working hard to achieve & realize their dreams....

I have tried to suggest similar things as you have suggested but no one really wants to listen.. I will repeat my advise again & hopefully someone will pick up a que & make the changes for better.....

So what qualifies me to give any advise to any of these kids...

My first pilot's medical was in 1990 & my DGCA file # is from 1990. Most of these kids were either not born or were still using diapers when I started flying & later became an Instructor in India.... I was born in a middle class family in India & also have been fortunate to live in the land of liberty & oppertunity for almost 14 years & my exposure to the free world has helped me a lot.. I have spent almost 23 spings watching the cycles of this highly volatile avaition industry unfold in India.

So I can say I have learnt a thing or 2 about Indian aviation in my life...

There are 2 types of people who will achieve success in aviation in India,
1) 1st type with Daddy's endless supply of money & top notch connections;
2) 2nd type will achieve with one's hardwork & dedication...

I will not bother about the first type, but if any of you fall in the 2nd catagory, you better listen......

The only way to beat the 1st catagory of candidates is with your hard work, dedication & excellence in the profession.

Having an ATPL with 1500 Total Flight hours or even half way through it with ATP ground exams passed is a good target & will help you shine above the rest of the crowd....

I can bet that most of you guys who have got their CPL in 2008, 2009, 2010 or 2011 have not flown since then.

Can you expect to fly an ILS to mininums, Can you do a chandelle, Lazy 8 or a power off 180, after not flying for years..??? Is there anyone who says yes?? GET REAL..... I bet most can't even intercept a radial by now.

But, I am not here to bash anyone, I am here to suggest as to what to do...

What is the solution??

Becoming a flight Instructor is almost always a very good option, even if you DO NOT expect to get a paid job right away, you still have a qualification & it will help you to keep current & proficient in your skills & will definitely open doors later down the road....

Go to USA or Canada, NZ or any country where you trained as a pilot or can get a visa just to become a Flight Instructor.. If you can not get a visa anywhere, just enroll in a Flight Instructor couse in India.

This is your passion & profession... You are in love with airplanes, aren't you??? If yes, then the followng advice is for you......

In the US, there is a term called RAMP RAT.

Even back in our times in India, we used to do the same thing, just hang out in the flying clubs even if we have nothing to do & just network. Just Be around the planes & aviation.....

Just by enrolling in the Flight Instructor course, gives you a reason to hang out in the flying club, where the flying is happening and an oppertunity to network.....

Teach students basic ground school, teach them basic Instrument knowledge, Hold classes every day, teach DGCA PPL & CPL exam prep. Teach free, every day & it will keep your knowledge fresh.

Help to wash & refuel the plane, push it around in the hot summer days, work as an apprentice in the maintenance dept, clean the spark plugs, change the oil & work on the plane & learn about the plane that you fly.......

Display your positive attitude & eventually, You will get noticed & things will start happening. May be, you will be sent as a safety pilot with senior PPL holders. Can't Log it in India but still you are in the air, where you really want to be..... That could lead to a part time instructor position or a full time..... And that is just one of the possibillities........

Get creative & DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO to be around planes & flying & try to build flight time...

I can guarantee you that sucess will come one day....

23 years of life experience tells me, Success will come one day but ONLY to those who work for it...

Again, the kids with entitlement mentality will NOT understand this, they belong in these forums, to do the moaning & whining & ... & ...

Capt Apache 30th Jun 2013 09:48

Ther are 2 kinds of advisers here:
1) I got it the hard way so everyone else should get it the hard way and whoever is not getting it is a lazy bum and is not working hard.
2) I got it the easy way, so I must be smart and anyone who does not get it the easy way is stupid.

Such condescending attitude reeks of vanity and lack of understanding.:yuk:

airjet 1st Jul 2013 01:26

boy am I glad I`m retired lol:)

pilotbaba 1st Jul 2013 04:11

Ther are 2 kinds of advisers here:
Actually anyone offering any contructive advise shouldn't be allowed over here....

Only moaners & whiners should be allowed here...

Capt Apache 1st Jul 2013 05:57

Yeah...I know... your Go wash aeroplanes,give free coaching and more money to a club for an instructors course advice....That really helps.
While they are washing aeroplanes, banks will be busy puttting their folks on the street.

Or maybe they should follow vserian's advice and realize how unworthy and undeserving they are of being employed.

Gimme a break...you call that advice :yuk:

TopTup 2nd Jul 2013 03:57

A 3rd kind:

The kind who whole heatedly believe that opportunity comes from a wallet alone. That cash for credentials should equal 4 bars upon payment and that real knowledge borne from experience and hard work is to be ridiculed as an archaic belief. The type who have more hours on the internet whining like a pitiful spoilt puppy that they are hard done by when they have little to none of the real attributes required for the job they demand as if by birth rite. The type that the second they get their pre-paid license-from-a-cereal-box have an email address as "[email protected]/gmail/yahoo.com".

No wonder Indian aviation is still the same cesspit so many years after I was able to leave. Just look at this next generation begging, screaming and kicking to drown it further.

Maybe one of you should write and perform a rap song and post it on YouTube?

aditya104 2nd Jul 2013 05:31

Originally Posted by TopTup
Maybe one of you should write and perform a rap song and post it on YouTube?

For those who don't know.

TopTup 2nd Jul 2013 07:34

And occasionally a 4th kind like Aditya who had the professionalism to ask for advice, took the advice, studied countless hours to earn his way into a position that lead to a job and the beginning of a fruitful career. :ok:

When passion meets humility and true determination good things happen.

Well done my friend and I trust is all well with you and you're not taking your foot off the accelerator and always moving forward.

Capt Apache 2nd Jul 2013 09:37

O We all know about your great escape.

These kids are not claiming their right to employment.They are claiming their right to oppurtunity.There is plenty of potential in the GA sector in India but government policies make it unviable for investments.It is the government that is responsible to ensure a climate where oppurtunity thrives.Please read here.


Time and again I have seen people put the blame on those who are actually victims.
Stop making wild assumptions about the competence of people you don't know.

Vc10Tail 2nd Jul 2013 10:32

The guaranteed route to a jet co-pilot job in this digital credit hungry age
Apended below are the required tools:

Inherit a heirloom orRob a bank (a few lakh dollars might suffice)

Buy an MPL with a B737/A320 rating.($80k-100K)

Buy 250 -500 line training hours($50K-100k) from scam bag "experience factories"

Or particpate in similar financial milking schemes enticed by LCC airlines

Be prepared to fly for no salary until after checking out.

And...(just in case)..take plenty of vaseline jelly with you after bleaching your Azz or if. Feminine...to posture the goodies you have.

Ahha! Then you might just earn your wings flying like a tireless robot (irrespective of fatigue rules..to keep that airline commerciallyu afloat)

Take this advise at your own risk..but let it be known it is not what it used to be..becoming an airline pilot.

Oh..there is always a less expensive way to embark in Aviation : Airforce or PC flight sim.Any other way is bound to have you lose money,time,and your youth chasing this wretched adulterated profession in these modern times...sadly. I personally know pilots with ATPL and experience in the field without a job for years and having parted with perhaps..a couple of lakh dollars!

NEWYEAR 2nd Jul 2013 17:47

It is an issue about being at the right moment and place.The only way to get a job in Asia (India) as a Copilot is getting a good contact from the airline. It has nothing to do with the right of employment, opportunity or the fact to be the smartest pupil.
India has been making drivers as hotcakes run by busneesmen called Aviation Schools.
The businessmen have deceived the families of these boys.
India needs not only facilities but also Captains to develop GA. Not more hotcakes ¡¡

Capt Apache 3rd Jul 2013 00:12

India has 128 airports of which 15 are international airports;
with 8 custom airports with limited international operations,and 25 are civil
enclaves in defense airfields.

Instead of 128 airports, the US has 19750 civil and joint use
airports,heliports and seaplane bases. 14000 are available for civil private
use. Nearly 4000 are paved GA airports open to the public. While scheduled
airlines serves less than 500 airports.

In the United States GA aircrafts fly almost 24 million hours
and carry 166 million passengers annually. Over two third of the hours flown by the GA aircraft are for business purposes and a key point is that GA is the
primary training ground for most commercial airline pilots. So GA clearly is a big contributor towards US economy. It supports 1.2 millions jobs
and over 115 billion dollars is contributed to US economy each year through
this segment alone. And despite of US economy turn down from 2008 till perhaps mid last year, we saw GA manufacturing
and delivering 7.9 billion dollars worth of aircraft in 2010.

India is the ninth biggest aviation market in the world and in
terms of domestic traffic, the fourth largest in the world behind the US, China and Japan and yet India is one of the least penetrated markets in the world even lower than Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nigeria.

[/QUOTE]Now if you pause for a minute and you say we are going to add
upon 1000-1100aircraft in next 8 years we are talking 2020 which means; we are
talking about a 100 aircraft every year. This means that we are talking about
almost 3-4 aircrafts every month; which I can assure you it is not really
happening at the moment.


But NEWYEAR is right.There should actually be a shortage of pilots here.

billboard 3rd Jul 2013 05:50

There have been many news articles which have covered the state of unemployment among the CPL holders in India. I am posting the latest one below along with the web-link.

Many a dream of flying high has crashed - Bangalore - DNA

Many a dream of flying high has crashed

Friday, Jun 28, 2013, 14:06 IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

With the aviation industry in a recession, hundreds of young men who spent lakhs of rupees to undergo courses to become commercial pilots are unemployed and broke.

A course culminating in a commercial pilot’s licence (CPL) could cost upto Rs 30-40 lakh in flying schools in India and abroad and nearly 7,000 pilots are without jobs, as airlines facing increased fuel costs and fewer customers have shed aircraft and routes, and more importantly staff, including pilots.

That has turned the of many aspiring pilots to dust, landing them in a debt trap, with many landed with huge loans from banks. To get a CPL, aspirants have to put in 250 hours of flying and class hours in a process that can stretch to three years, if not more. While the basic training would cost over Rs 20 lakh, conversion training on larger aircraft like Boeing would cost another Rs 10 lakh or more.

Interest in flying schools was sparked off by the boom in the aviation industry 2003-onwards, when new airlines like IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, King Fisher, Deccan Airways came up, raising the requirements for pilots. However, in 2007, oil prices went up, and the situation was compounded by recession.

Ravi R (Name changed on request) says: “I got trained in India and abroad, spending nearly Rs 50 lakh. But, most airlines want experienced pilots with at least a year’s experience.”

Capt Ashok Arya, an ex-pilot who along with young pilots formed the All India Unemployed Pilots’ Association (UPA) told dna: “”About 7,000 pilots who have commercial flying licenses are currently unemployed. Many young pilots hailing from middle class families have taken huge loans for their training and are unable to repay.”

Many pilots in the association have taken up other jobs, and some have even started their own businesses, Capt Arya says. He laments that the civil aviation ministry wasn’t doing anything about it.

“There are 3,000 vacancies for the posts of Assistant Traffic controllers in the Airport Authority if India. The ministry can try its level best to fill these posts and revive the aviation industry,” he says recalling that during a similar situation between 1975 and 1997, Air India and Indian Airlines accommodated jobless pilots as flight dispatchers and operators.

John, a former Kingfisher airlines pilot, said about 300 KFA pilots were unemployed, with 30 of them in Karnataka alone. Although some of them had been absorbed by other airlines, given the situation, it was tough for those coming out of the portals of flying schools, he said.

Capt Rajesh Gilda, pilot with Kingfisher airlines since seven years, says: “Any new airline would prefer experienced pilots. One new airline just picked around 60- 80 King Fisher airline pilots. Currently, it is a bad phase for the new comers, and it might take another two years for things to settle down.”

Wing Commander (Retd) Amarjeet Singh Dange, the chief flying instructor at the Government Flying Training School (GFTS) in Jakkur, is hopeful that the government’s move in approving FDI in aviation will revive the aviation industry.

billboard 3rd Jul 2013 06:18

And then there are other news articles on the same topic.

Wannabe pilots now working in call centres - The Hindu

Another 350-odd pilots will lose job after Kingfisher Airlines curb - Bangalore - DNA

Pilot job dreams crash as aviation suffers - Hindustan Times

Trained pilots fail to land a career - Times Of India

av8r76 3rd Jul 2013 13:38

Maybe some hope from my tale.*

Got my license in Aug 1996. First airline gig in Sep 2006.*

Between these two dates, held about 16-17 jobs from call centres to phone book deliveries to janitorial services to cabin crew to HR consultant. Oh, and census taker. Lost a lot of weight with that one.*

For ten years, didn't really save any money cos all extra cash was spent in paying back my folks, keeping my license current (which as we all know is mighty expensive) and paying for my HR education. Oh, did I mention the over 270 resumes mailed to pretty much every outfit with online presence? Also two road trips across Canada to put a face on the resume.*

I acquired my license at the most inopportune time. Why? Cos I wasn't thinking. Hindsight being 20/20 I should have just like many kids now, independently inquired about the state of the industry rather than relying on blind passion and sheer providence as tools for getting that elusive first job.*

It is so easy to blame the government (which doesn't give a flying f*%k about you), unscrupulous hustlers posing as flight school owners and the fates. A little critical thinking and analysis of the industry should've deterred anyone from spending a small (for some large) fortune on an endeavour in which the success rate is abysmally low. Accountability, people!!! Cos if you hope to get that job and move on to the left seat you better learn or acquire that trait fast cos when the sh&t hits the fan it's only gonna hit you.*

I started ground school in Sep 2006. Even by mid 2007 the easily available jobs were running out. The window of opportunity to get an easy break lasted about 12 to 18 months starting early 2005. A lot of folks got on the pilot bandwagon at the tail end of the hiring bliss.*

By 2008, 150 bucks oil pretty much destroyed any chances a newbie had of getting a job. I was still amazed, at that point, at the number of people blindly picking up loans based on articles in newspapers TWO YEARS earlier and venturing off to get their shiny new CPLs. I vividly recall a pretty boy cabin crew coming into the flight deck enquiring about CPL training and options. I gave him the rundown, and mistakenly volunteered the notion that this is not the right time to spend loads of money since it was a tough market out there ( this was first quarter 2010). The retort I got was 'just because you are sitting in the cockpit doesn't mean others can't get in either'. Suffice to say that was the end of our conversation. On last contact he has the company of some 7000 odd folks out there.*

Which brings us to today. Yes, we can lament at our state of desperation. Yes, we can endlessly debate the numerous paths to career salvation. I got to where I am a certain way. *I worked with 19 yr old kids who snapped at the hiring binge and were online by late 2007 and are now 23 yr old captains flying 70 ton jets over our heads. There is no set predetermined career path in this industry.*

I flew with a lot of expats as a first officer. Never have I seen luck play such an important role in peoples careers. There were guys who were hired in the majors ( I'm talking the States now) at the beginning of the hiring spree and were captains within 5 years of joining dates. There were other folks who were hired at the end of the boom and waited 18-20 years for a command. Then there were those who went through so many furloughs that their careers never really took off until their mid 50s, or at all for that matter. I obviously never met the folks who hung up their pilot caps and ventured onto bigger and better things. Those stories I can only assume were out of the sheer frustration this industry can bring.*

The point I'm trying to make..... Well there isn't any. The industry is in the doldrums. The government is doing f*~k all to kick start it. People are willingly walking into flight schools and dropping hard earned/loaned cash on the tables of smiling flying school entrepreneurs. Airlines are and will keep squeezing everything out of its new and potential recruits. Pprune is and will keep hearing sage advice and whiners till kingdom come.*

Rise..... Rise and achieve what? We are not in a position to influence national aviation policy. We are not in a position to advise airlines on future growth or recruitment methods and policies. The only thing you can control is yourself. For some, the money and connections will secure that eventual slot. For some sheer dumb luck will be the answer. Some guys and gals are gonna make it through sheer hard work and competence *Others are just not gonna make it even with all these mentioned factors or, more unlikely, without. Sad but true. Prepare for that outcome. I have friends who are ATC officers now. Others have flourishing businesses. Some have moved onto other careers, just like I did before getting back into this circus. Again, there is no set path to take. Each one makes their own decisions, hopefully on informed opinions.*

I got lucky, or did I? Waiting 10 years and going through jobs I don't want to wish for anyone. Studying to start a career completely detached from aviation? Check. *The job pretty much fell into my lap in 2006. Or did it? I had the foresight to sacrifice saving for the future and took the gamble on keeping my license current. Not an inexpensive venture. I can only thank my wisdom (which, trust me, I have very little of) that I was ready to take advantage of the opportunity when it came. It worked out for me in the end. You read about this cos I am an active pilot. My friends who left the industry some 10 years ago are not gonna lurk or post in these forums. Flying was dream, a passion and a calling that just didn't materialise. It's a pity cos some of them are mighty good aviators. Those are the untold and unheard stories which we also need to take into account when we make a choice. Nuff said. Gotta go hang out with the kids now.*

Good luck to all.*

Capt Apache 3rd Jul 2013 14:57

Oh no.Its not easy to blame the government.Quite the contrary.Its actually imperative ( love that word) to blame the Government.

pilotchute 4th Jul 2013 04:20

It's always easy to blame someone else. That way you don't have to take responsibility for your actions.

Capt Apache 4th Jul 2013 06:49

Very good ! Then stop :mad: blaming kids and take some responsibility to change this pathetic system.(Try importing an aircraft and you will find out)

Once again, Smart people will change this system, not escapists or renegades - or for that matter- their disciples ;)

USMCProbe 4th Jul 2013 07:58

You sound like a true aviation professional. Welcome to our ranks.

I cleaned restaurant tables, and washed dishes.
I pumped gas.
I cut and loaded steel and other metals.
I worked as an engineer.
I was an F-18 pilot.
Got hired by a US major.
Took a LOA and flew for 2 foreign carriers.
Back at my US job.
I have had 17 jobs, and 2 businesses.

Welcome aboard. If I can be of any assistance, please pmail me.

The rest of the wankers who believe they are owed the world......................

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