12 October 1995
I board my 1st ever International flight all alone from Banglore to olombo Airlanka [ Now Srilankan ] flt no UL 342 with an aim to be an Airline Pilot. I used to be a frequent flyer with dad and mom but never flew alone on International sectors, though I flown all alone many a times on domestic routes. Wearing blue Reebok T shirt n black Pepe jeans with Nike my favourate shoes. I was Bit nurvous and too much entho about being a future Airline Pilot. I could see only Airbus 340 and Boeing 747 in my dream.
I kept my Admission letter of Asia's best and most reputed flight school Asian School of Aviation. I was awaiting for an Air hostess to ask me " where are you going" so I can show her my letter and make her impress. So she can take better care of mine. It did not happend and I landed at Colombo Internatonal Airport Runway 27.
Ayubuan, Welcome to Colombo Internatonal Airport Cabin crew annouced and we slowly started deboarding the plane.
Welcome to Asian School of Aviation I saw a person at Arrival with my name play card IMRAN KHAN from India. It was so proud to see such card of my own name at Airport. I immidiately hoped in to Academy's Toyota Ace Van and drove down to all the way south of Colombo city Mt Lavinia . I was browsing through all nice places of this paradise Iceland. Mount Lavinia a typical tourist city of Srilanka where you get 75% White and only 25% locals. It was an amazing experience all together.
I started my Ground classes for Student Pilot Licence [ SPL ]. with other fellow Pilots from all over,
Captain Namal was my 1st ground Instructor, very young Pilot but full of Aviation knowledge and amazingly good with communication. Captain Ravi Silva
our Chief Flight Instructor [ CFI ] an ATPL from Europe and Type rated on Boeing 747 from USA had an amazing command was the owner of this Academy too. Academy has two divisions
"Air Cabs" Air Taxi Charter & Cargo and Flight Training.
I started my Flying lessions for Private Pilot Licence [ PPL ]. with other fellow Pilots Captain Sanjiva was my Flight Instructor, very Deshing and stylish young FAA trained Pilot full of Aviation knowledge and filthy rich from family front. He was more then friendly with in inside and out side the cockpit.
Now Aircrafts, Hangers, Fuel, Tower were part of my life, instead of flak and the normal high risk of flying a plane. On my 2nd Solo cross country flight We moved into Merode Castle, about three or four miles from the town of Gale on the Gale Harber Roer River. The castle had been built in the Middle Ages. It was surrounded by a moat, and had several staircases leading up the circular towers to the ramparts, where archers in centuries past had defended the castle. Nothing about the area seemed particularly familiar to me, except that I knew I had flown several missions to touch & Go my targets in this vicinity, especially during November. We were there now making preparations for a major task to get my PPL asap. The photograph
below shows me in front of the main entrance to the heavily designed Hotels with swiming pool.
I was flying at an altitude of 9000 ft given by Colombo Tower. [ Yes I was still under the range of VHF Tower only ]
I am doing hard for my Private Pilot Now. So I can fly my Airplanes as Pilot In Command and carry passengers too. To be eligible for a Private Pilot certificate, training process over a longer period of time. More about that later. In general, thestudent Pilot must also be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. The student's logbook will need to have certain endorsements in it regarding the student's readiness to take a "written" test as well as an "oral" and "practical" test by the instructor that actually taught the student. The instructor will also make sure the student has completed the flight training and has the proper experience before allowing the student to take the "practical" test.
I am studying Principles of aerodynamics, powerplants, and aircraft systems, Stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery techniques Aeronautical decision making and judgment and
Preflight action that includes --
How to obtain information on runway lengths at airports of intended use, data on takeoff and landing distances, weather reports and forecasts, and fuel requirements and
How to plan for alternatives if the planned flight cannot be completed or delays are encountered.
The knowledge of flight that the student will need to have before he can be issued a private pilot certificate would include the following;
Airport and seaplane base operations,
Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds,
Ground reference maneuvers
Slow flight and stalls
Basic instrument maneuvers
Night operations and
The actual flight experience the student will need to have before he can be issued a private pilot certificate would include the following; At least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training. The training must include at least
3 hours of cross-country flight training in a single-engine airplane
3 hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane that includes --
One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance and
10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.
3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight
3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test in a single-engine airplane, which must have been performed within 60 days preceding the date of the test and
10 hours of solo flight time in a single-engine airplane, consisting of at least --
5 hours of solo cross-country time
One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations and
Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.
Generally speaking, this can not be accomplished in the minimum amount of 40 hours required by the regulations. The national average for training time before students take their private pilot check ride is about 65 hours.
I am a Private Pilot Now. I did so much to get it and I can fly my Airplanes as Pilot In
Command and carry my friends and family. I can see the world with different eye.
Even I can fly my Srilankan girl friends too. Now moving to magestic City and liberty Plaza
become very rare but still Solo parties of Foreign Pilots are there. Michale Bruce [ Mike ]
had an amazing Solo party with an airplane shape Cake. There was a competition of
boozing and every Pilot was flying in Alcho Sky except few Pilots like me, but we also
enjoyed with amazing japanies food and soft drink. I got back home at 1230 in night and
started next solo crass country to Viravalla about 180 NM [ Nautical Miles ]. It was a part
of my Pilot's life now, late Solo parties and early morning sorty. Luckily I was not an
alcholic [ which is very common amoung Pilots ] So I could manage with small 5 hrs
sleep and a long cross country some times in Cessna 150 / 152 or Cessna 182.
Sky is the limit for others for me its my home now. I am enjoying my flying now. Its real
thrill to fly these machines over sea and over land. Time also flying with these flying birds.
Now I am more confident Pilot as wel as my instructors also treating me like a Co Pilot,
no more a student Pilot. I am doing lot of Cross country flights to meet Civil Aviation Authority
5th June 1996
I am a Commercial Pilot Now and I can fly my Airplanes as Pilot In Command and
carry passengers and charge them. I can join any Airlines or Charter Air in the world.
Back home, every one was so happy in my family all my friends and family members
were there at Banglore Airport to receive me. We had a Big party next day at my
place where whole Banglore was present. Chief minister Of Karnataka offered me a
Job of his state Aircraft King Air C 90. I felt bit insulting as I was in euphoria and wanted
to fly Bigger birds of Airlines not for these Politician's Air plane.
Still I was polite enough to refuse his offer.
After my 8-9 months Pilot training I become 10 yrs mature now. Every one started treating me
like a Professional Pilot, I am no more a student though I am still just 20 yrs. Even Dad talking
me like an experienced person and my openion had a great value. In Dads office I am
no more a boss Ka Baba I am also called as Sir. This Pilot Training abroad made me so
mature and professional. I am a part of many importent decisions now. Even senior Engineers
and managers were waiting at Dad's office if they have some improtenet task to be finalise. Luckley
all my work was worth so far.
I set in Air India interviews and got selected as Trainee Co Pilot for Boeing 737 Aircraft.
At Air india I realise the importence of my tough training I got. I was no 3 in list. 1 & 2nd
both were Son & daughters of Air India Commanders. They deserve to be there. Its already
more then 2 years now still I am awaiting for Air India to call me and join. i went back to Colombo
twice to get my all recency flying done. Thanks to dad's business thats keep me
busy through out. Also I am enjoying too. As I am making more money then Air india
commander siting at Home working part time for Dad's construction business at my own pace.
I also joind Banglore Flying Club to keep my flying current. But I am forgettting Air india and I
believe Air India too.
Its almost more then 4 years now I did my CPL flying and my Flying hrs increasing very slow
in log book as I hardly get time to go to BFC and fly Cessna 152. But yes for my business trips
to shart distances I am using BFC Cessna to saving on Pilots salary and pay almost 50% of actual
charter flight. Also one of my manager or Engineer get a ride with me. I fly on cloud 7 on my business
Aviation boom is back in india and every Airlines needs Pilots now. I was 1st in race with all my
licences current and all more then double flying hrs on my log book. I joined ModiLuft Airlines to fly
AirBus 320 Aircraft this time. I have been selected for type rating at Tulus [ France ]
Capt Sonia from Delhi was my Sim partner, Sonia was a daughter of a Modiluft commander
she did her flying from one of the indian Flying club on Pushpak MK -I aircraft. Her knowledge
was limited to take off and Landing back safely her Pushpak. she did her Multi Engine
training from Australia with about 50Hrs on Logbook and hardly 10 Hrs on Actual.
Our Simulator instructor was a French Pilot Capt Claude Flix was a very tough Pilot
who hates Asian like any thing. It was a very rare combination of 3 different Pilots at
Tulus. So we made many cresh landings at Simulator and got back home without any
type rating. Going back to Modiluft was waste of time also my Business was also getting
suffer a lot. But Capt Sonia got her type rating in Miami as her dad arranged all for her. She is
still flying Airbus 320 on International flights with 8000 hrs on Command. I am married now
with a 3 yrs old Kid who also enjoy my flying when I fly BFC Cessna.
Flying Bug never stop biting you if you are a true Aviator and Passionate Pilot. So its Aviation
boom again started and this time I joined a New Airline Paramaount Airways. ERJ all
Executive class Airplane. This ERJ-145 is Embraer's 50-passenger regional jet airliner. The aircraft first entered
service in 1996 and is operational with 27 airlines worldwide. There are three variants
of the aircraft: the 50-passenger ERJ-145 launched in 1989; a shorter fuselage
37-passenger ERJ-135 launched in 1997; and the medium-size 44-seat ERJ-140
launched in 1999.
The extended-range ERJ-145ER is the original version of the aircraft which has a
range of 2,963km. The long-range ERJ-145LR, introduced in 1998, has a range of
3,037km. The extra long-range ERJ-145XR, with
improved fuel efficiency and a
range of 3,704km, entered service with the launch customer, ExpressJet Airlines
of USA, in November 2002. ExpressJet has ordered 104 aircraft with 100 options.
In May 2008, the ERJ-145 family received Russian certification, allowing operation
in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. I can fly this beautiful
machine too now. I am back in India with type rating on this Aircraft too. Indian
DGCA is more happy if all Pilots are on ground. So it took almost 4 months before I
could get Indian Endorsement on my Indian CPL. Indian Endorsement means just
a rubber stamp with Signature of a rude and very igoistic Indian DGCA officer, who
dosent know much about ERJ 145 even. I got my licence after 4 month with CRJ 120
endorsement. Unfortunately my Airlines dosent had any CRJ Aircraft otherwise its always
better to go abroad and get CRJ type rating rather sending licence back to DGCA. But i
had to sent for correction. I was fortunate enough to get my CPL back with correct
endorsement this time after 7 weeks of constant reminders and a small bribe of couple
of thousent rupees.
With all formalities I rushed to Paramaount Airways to meet HR Officer. I was informed
that due to shortage of Aircrafts and excess of Pilots I have to wait for next 4- 6 months
time. Airlines would inform me well before induction time to start my Suppy Flying.
I saw as much as 15 other Co Pilots were waiting at HR office. Its almost 2 years now
we all are awaiting for Airlines to call us to do joining formalities. But I heard the Airlines
is flying on ventilator with its last Aircraft left in fleet of 14 odd ERJ 145.
Thank God I am still flying BFC Cessna 172 now with my Engineer and managers.
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Capt Shekhar Gupta
Capt Ankisha Awasthi
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