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Learn to fly for free

Hold on, it is no joke. A pilot training institute offers to teach flying a commercial aircraft for free and also help a young pilot earn Rs 20 crore before he or she retires.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2006 02:57 IST

Hold on, it is no joke. A pilot training institute offers to teach flying a commercial aircraft for free and also help a young pilot earn Rs 20 crore before he or she retires.

Full free scholarships for training to get a commercial pilot’s license (basic requirement for flying a commercial aircraft) is being offered by an Indore-based aviation training facility, Yash Air.

Banking on severe pilots’ crunch in the country, Yash Air plans to offer this unique package to candidates possessing the mandatory medical science background of mathematic and physics — the director general of civil aviation’s requirement.

Initially 10 studentswill be chosen through written tests and interviews in May this year with a rider in the form of a compulsory bond to stay with the institute for at least a seven-year period. While the scholarship will cover ground and flying training costs, study materials and lodging and boarding expenses, the successful candidates will be trained, along with others who pay the huge fee, into full-fledged pilots in two years.This will be followed by flight instructor ratings (allowing them to train pilots themselves) making them eligible to get a stipend of Rs 30,000 a month. This is where Yash Air stands to gain: instructors are few in the country and it will cost the academy at least Rs 1-1.5 lakh a month for an instructor.

There is dearth of flying instructors and chief flying instructors (only seven now available in India) in the country. A large number of instructors have already been poached by commercial airlines, which has adversely hit Indian flying schools and aviation institutes.

By the time institute ‘recovers’ its investment costs from the four-five years of instructors’ training given by these students, each of them would have accumulated around 4,000 hours of flying experience -- at the expiry of the bond -- making him/ her eligible for a promising career in the field of aviation.

“These students, at the young age of 23 years, will directly enter a monthly package of Rs four lakh which is being offered by commercial airlines. With over 42 years of possible flying left with them, they can easily notch up to Rs 20 crore,” Yashraj Tongia, chief flying instructor of Yash Air, told HT.

First Published: Apr 21, 2006 02:57 IST