Aeronautical Engineering Courses

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Ever since planes started flying in the skies, aviation has been a glamorous vocation sought after by many, but achieved by only a few selected persons. The thrill of being on the controls of an aircraft flying at hundreds of kilometres per hour, zooming up with not even the sky as the limit, and reaching far away destinations within hours, cannot be equaled by any other feeling. The only way a person can become a pilot or an aeronautical engineer without spending lakhs of rupees, is by joining the Indian Air Force (This option has already been covered in this column three weeks ago). For others, it is a hard and expensive struggle, but very rewarding in terms of the pure thrill of enjoying yourself and being paid for it. Aeronautical engineering is a regular four year professional course offered by a number of universities in the country.

ENTRY: Many civil pilot training schools offer Private Pilot License (PPL) which can generally be done in about 9 months, and the advanced Commercial Pilot License (CPL) which takes about two to three years, since one needs to complete the required number of flying hours. Barring a few scholarships in government flying schools, the training is very expensive, costing up to 3-5 lakhs.  Abroad the same training can be done in a much shorter time, but the cost would be three to five times higher.  Adto those who have completed their 10+2 with Physics and Maths.  Abroad one can get admission after 11th.

APTITUDE:  To become a pilot one needs to be good in calculations, have a sharp concentration and quick decision making ability.  Physical fitness and stamina are equally important, and good eyesight is essential.  It helps to have a sense of adventure and a desire to travel, including keeping odd hours. Aeronautical engineers require the same aptitude as in any other field of engineering viz. good mathe-logical ability, capacity to work with hands, familiarity with machines and computers, etc.

THE FUTURE:  Jobs at the entry level are difficult, particularly for those qualified from Indian schools which do not impart multi-engine aircraft training.  Salaries are high once a person gets a job, and although there are really no promotions beyond commander, one can keep upgrading oneself to latest aircraft, and earn better. There is a mandatory medical check up every six months, and any health problem can ground a pilot.  Prospects are much better in the developed countries. The prospects for aeronautical engineers in India is not very wide, as the employers are mainly just a few public sector undertakings like HAL, NAL etc.  Opportunities are comparatively better in the West, but only for those who have learnt the latest technology.

SOME ADDRESSES

For pilot training
Government Flying Training School
Jakkur Airport, Bellary Road
Bangalore – 560064

For pilot training
BATS Aviation Academy
61 Cambridge Rd, Ulsoor
Bangalore – 560 008

For pilot training
Taneja Aerospace
305, Mota Chambers, 9 Cunningham
Road Bangalore – 560052

For aeronautical engineering
Indian Institute of Technology
P.O. IIT Powai – 400076
(through Joint entrance exam (JEE)

For all IITs 
Institute of Aeronautical Engineering
Ring Road,  HRBR Layout
Bangalore – 560084

For all IITs 
Madras Institute of Technology
Anna University, Chennai

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