Captain Navin Thakur of Go Air answers the queries of aspiring young pilots.
Mehul: What educational qualifications should I possess to become a pilot?
Navin: The minimum educational qualification is 10+2 science with mathematics and physics.
Mansi: What advice would you give to students who aspire to become pilots?
Navin: Be good in studies and also take good care of your health because a pilot needs to undergo an intensive medical examination every year till the age of 40 and twice a year after that.
Kiasha: Which is the best flying club in India?
Navin: The list of flying clubs in India can be found on the DGCA website, www.dgca.nic.in. The Indira
Gandhi Rashtriya Udaan Academy (IGRUA), which is in Uttar Pradesh, is considered to be number one as of now.
Imran: What kind of a personality should a pilot have?
Navin: A pilot should be analytical, assertive and a go-getter.
Aashi: What is the most challenging part of your job? What is the worst and best part of being a pilot?
Navin: The most challenging part of a pilot's job is the circumstances which he faces every day, because every day is a new experience in flying. The worst part is the odd timings of duty and no fixed holidays.
Manish: What is the difference between the training a commercial pilot, a private pilot and a fighter pilot receive?
Navin: The difference in a commercial pilot's training and a private pilot's training is the number of flying hours required to get the licenses and the depth and accuracy of training. A commercial pilotís training is a lot more in-depth as compared to a private pilot's training. A fighter pilot's training is a mission oriented thing and is very different from a civil pilot's training.
Sahil: Do I have to go through the same training and flying club to become a chopper or helicopter pilot?
Navin: Helicopter training is entirely different from fixed wing aircraft training. The requirements for both the training processes are the same.
Yohan: Do I have to undergo different training for different types of aircrafts?
Navin: Yes. Every aircraft is different and the training includes ground tutorials as well as training on simulators and hands-on training.
Surendra: What are the different hierarchies in flying?
Navin: As an airline pilot you join as a Trainee First Officer and upgrade to a First Officer, Senior First Officer and then a Commander.
Satish: What other positions are available to commercial pilots apart from joining an airline?
Navin: Unfortunately, apart from flying, nothing. However, commercial pilot license holders do work in the operations department of airlines, which is a ground duty.
Maniishkaa: Have you been through an emergency situation ever? Does adrenaline kick in? Or do you simply follow what you've been taught to do in those situations?
Navin: I have been through an emergency situation. It was a technical glitch, however, we as pilots are taught to handle every possible emergency that may occur in flight. The key is to stay calm and composed as this allows your brain to function at its best.
Kavya: What do I need to do if I want to fly in another country?
Navin: You need to have a license of that country. However, if you are flying an Indian aircraft in foreign airspace, all you need is prior permission to enter that country's airspace and land at the destination.
Dhruti: On our tickets, I have noticed that the tax component is far more than the basic ticket rate? Why is that?
Navin: Aviation fuel is tied to the open market and the price keeps fluctuating. Also aviation fuel is heavily
taxed. Passengers also need to pay a tax for using airport facilities known as UDF (User Development Fee). All these fees add up and become a significant portion of an airline ticket.
Yatish: Which are the different kinds of aircrafts operated in India?
Navin: Commercial airlines mostly operate Airbus and Boeing manufactured aircrafts. However, private non-commercial companies operate a variety of aircrafts manufactured by various manufacturers.
Simran: Tell us something about the current airline situation in India.
Navin: Airlines all over the world go through periods of ups and downs. However, given the present situation of the Indian economy, airlines will only prosper.