Pilot is a respectable profession, and usually comes with good pay, benefits and perks. There are 3 types of pilot licenses. By obtaining a Private Pilot License (PPL) you can fly planes throughout Malaysia carrying passengers but without charging fees for your services. Here, you become a private pilot.
One can work for a commercial airline after obtaining Commercial Pilot License (CPL) – you are a commercial pilot. And finally, you can fly as a captain on a large aircraft with Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) – you are airline transport pilot. Pilots with CPL and ATPL are classified as professional pilots.
Another important element consideration by a pilot wannabe is the cost associated. Here, the cost will depend on the type of licenses. A Private Pilot License (PPL) can cost between RM26,000 to RM28,000, while a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) may vary between RM150,000 to RM170,000 which exclude the accommodation.
Getting Pilot License
Presently, there are more than 10 flying clubs in Malaysia. The flying clubs can basically conduct only PPL (Private Pilot License), which will be according to the approved syllabus for flying certification. On the other hand, there are 5 approved flying schools in Malaysia today, with more to come. These are flying schools and academies that offer different training structure, environment, classroom size and aircraft types. You can become a commercial pilot by enrolling into these flying schools.
Getting a license is one thing. Keeping it is another thing.
To keep your current license, you need to perform a minimum of 3 take-offs and landings within a period of 3 months. The take-offs and landings must be of the type of aircraft you are entitled to fly. Additionally, you will need to take flight test which will be assessed by DCA (Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia) approved Authorized Examiner. This is imperative as to demonstrate your continuous level of competence and maintaining the required standard of flying.
Most pilots in Malaysia get the PPL (Private Pilot License) first, and then either stays as a private pilot or pursue licensing for commercial pilot. A full PPL license requires at least 45 hours of flying, but most of the students will go up to 70 hours before taking the test. You can enroll yourself into one of the flying clubs, where you will can apply for a Student Private License, SPL. This works just like the driving school’s ‘L’ license, where you can fly instructional (dual) sortie with an instructor as a company.
A PPL can be obtained when you reach a minimum age of 17 years old. Getting the PPL license will require you to sit down for medical, practical and written assessments. The medical assessment, which is the pre-requisite (that means you cannot get the PPL license by failing the medical test) encompasses the general health, hearing and eyesight tests.
Currently, there are about 2500 pilots holding the CPL and ATPL licenses in Malaysia. These are professional pilots which are paid to do their flying job. They can either fly as pilot-in-command on aircraft with only one pilot, as well as a pilot or co-pilot on an aircraft consisting a number of crew. A Commercial Pilot License, CPL can only be obtained by those who have reach a minimum age of 18 years.
Just like the PPL license, CPL license requires you to sit down for medical, practical and written assessments. A minimum flying hours of 200 must be met before one can take the licensing test. Qualification-wise, you will need to have at least Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) with credit in English, Mathematics and a science subject. No license will be issued to those who fail this qualification requirement.
A pilot with CPL may pursue getting the ATPL license by enrolling again in a flying school and meet additional flying hours and another round of assessment. ATPL license is only applicable for those who are 21 years old or above, and has a total flying hours of 1500 in an aero plane. APTL also comes with 7 different written examinations and a flight test with an approved pilot examiner.
Hopefully, the guide above will answer your question on how to become a pilot.