For many flying an airplane is a dream. To be precise a very expensive dream. But when I started to dream about it I didn't realize this fact. I was brought up by a single mom along with my younger sister in a single-room asbestos-roofed house. Our mom used to stitch clothes to neighbors to earn for our food and education. Our mom always kept our motivation high and encouraged us to dream big and work hard. Despite the extreme poverty I was never hesitant to think of becoming a Pilot. Being the first person in the family to go to school I never had proper guidance on how to realize this dream. Until I finished my school education all I did was going to libraries to learn about airplanes, collecting newspaper articles about airplanes, sticking airplane pictures on the walls of our home, and visiting airports to look at airplanes and pilots. I strongly believed my love of airplanes will make me reach it someday.
When I completed my school education I was forced to face the reality. We were not in the position even to buy an application form to join any flying school. My mom explained to me that the time hasn't arrived yet and told me to study something until then. I got motivated again by her words and chose to study Aeronautical Engineering through a government seat. Studying Aeronautical Engineering made me get a lot closer to airplanes. I was in extreme enthusiasm until our mom died due to Dengue. I just entered my second year of engineering and my sister just joined college. Despite being just an 18years old, with the shock of the sudden loss of my mom, I was to take responsibility for me and my sister's living and education. Except for the time I am at college, I started teaching in private coaching centers and driving taxies at night. I thank my school teachers Mr. Ravi Kumar and Mr. Kannan who believed in me and supported me by introducing private coaching to me. With whatever I earned I was able to support our education and completed my Bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Once when I was browsing through flying schools I came across an advertisement about a gliding center for the students of IIT Kanpur with their own airfield and airplane and gliders inside their campus. An Idea sparked that if I become a student of IIT then I could avail myself of that facility. But to get admission into IIT is a tough thing. The best part is it doesn't require money. Just hard work and determination. I cracked the entrance and secured the All India Rank of 40 for Aerospace Engineering. I joined IIT Kanpur for my Master's in Aerospace Engineering and chose my specialization in Flight Testing. This gave me a chance to be on the airplane just on the next seat to pilot and do all my research for 2 years. Those were the days I got my first flying experience. I was just one seat away from reaching my dream. While I was enjoying my life at IIT realized so many things. At IIT we get the best education along with a luxurious lifestyle. We got the best of everything in abundance on the government's fund. But just outside the walls of IIT was a village that doesn't have any of this. Seeing this every day gave me a feeling of being selfish. This thought made me decide to become a teacher so that I would give back to society for what I took from them through it despite that I will earn comparatively very little. After Graduating from IIT I worked in few colleges for some time. After college hour, I continued to teach and guide students who cannot afford it for free. I keep this as a policy till now that except for the salary I was getting from the college I will never take money for teaching anyone.
In 2017 to fulfill my dream of becoming a pilot and a flying instructor I joined a flying school in Rajasthan as an Instructor to teach the ground subjects and get myself trained with the salary I earn from there. But Flying stopped there due to internal reasons in 2018. I had options to switch to another flying school but I choose to remain there as the regular students will be stuck there without instructors even to teach the ground subjects. Then in 2019, I joined another flying school in Madhya Pradesh for my flying training while I continued to work as an instructor in the flying school in Rajasthan. I was attending each on alternative days despite they both were 400 km away from each other. I spent every night on a train commuting between the places for more than a year until we were hit by the covid 19 pandemics. I lost my job as an Instructor in Rajasthan and my flying training came to a sudden halt. So far with the help of many kind and great-hearted people, I was able to continue my training to some extent. I have spent almost INR 3,200,000 so far. I still need INR 850,000 to complete my training and become an Instructor to teach Flying.
I request you to support me with a small donation of whatever is possible to you to fulfill my dream and make my mother's words to be proved true. If I succeed in this endeavor I can show the children of humble background that not to give up on their dream if it appears too far to them. I thank you so much once again for your valuable time. In case of any queries please feel free to contact me.
If you find any odds Please Read the Update Page as Well.
I got to know that few pieces of information that I have posted here have been miss leading and are creating a wrong Impression about my flying school and my campaign. I deeply apologize that it was totally my mistake that I should have been cautious to put in detail while posting information on social media and It is my responsibility to give the necessary clarification required.
1) The cost per hour of day-flying at my present flying school of Rs.10850 per day hr is a concessional rate given to me because I am an old student with them. And considering my situation, our management and our Cheif Flight Instructor helped me here. The regular rate is different.
2) It is being spread that my present flying school is charging me a huge amount. It is very wrong information. Please make a note that before joining the present school I had been enrolled with a few other schools about which I haven't mentioned in much detail. Also please note that there are a lot of other expenses that are involved. e.g. registration at each flying school, conditionally refundable Security deposits, Ground Class Fee, ELP training and testing, Simulator flying, DGCA exam Fees, Basic License Issue fees (like SPL, FRTOL(A), RTR), Books, and ground study materials, Pilot medicals Examination every year, Travel, and lodging expenses as I had to travel to the different parts of the country for each of the above mentioned. The 32L I mentioned was roughly the total expenses that I had to pay since I started the training 4 years before. It might be considered more by few people. But for me, it cost a lot. Lots of my funds got wasted because of inefficient approaches or stuck beyond recovery at the wrong places in this process. This is because of a lack of proper awareness, guidance, and my deficiency to analyze. With the present flying school, I have paid only Rs.2021500 and have done approximately 190±1hrs out of my total of 204±1hrs. So don't spread that my present flying school is charging me this much. It is very false.
3) Despite I have completed more than 200 hours already I have to do more flying to get my license issued. To clarify: 200 hrs is just one requirement to become a CPL holder. we need 15 hrs PIC including 5 hrs of night and 6 hrs of dual including 5 Hrs of Instrument time in the last 6 months. Due to a few technicalities and the recent lockdown, I lost 6 months of recency hours. So along with the above-mentioned 21hrs, I had to do a Familiration flight in day and night and Circuit and Landing Check in both day and night before I can start building the hours for recency. This is required by the regulation.
4) For people in aviation it is easy to know that it is very rare to complete all our training and requirements in one place. We have to go to different places and different schools based on the slot availability and aircraft types.
I cannot do my Multi-Engine rating from the present flying school as that facility is not available. It is a wrong inference that is being spread that my present flying school is demanding the fee of multi-engined training. I have to continue my multi-engine training from a different flying school. The cost I mentioned is the average cost for multi-engine and it can vary from aircraft to aircraft and school to school. I should also make you aware that we can get CPL with single-engine only as well. But we will be limited to fly single-engine airplanes only. With that, there is no job opportunity. So all these efforts will get wasted if I cannot job. Even to become an Instructor I have to do additional training after my CPL gets issued. Without a multi-engine rating, I will not even be eligible even to get trained for flying a bigger plane. It may make some think that I am over ambitious or greedy. Then for from where I come from, thinking of becoming a pilot or for those who want to grow big or wishes to study in big universities abroad itself is over-ambitious and greedy.
4) And about the check fee that I mentioned, to my knowledge and experience, it is a minimum of Rs 5000 for each check where ever we do It. and please note that I have already done 3 checks but unfortunately it is not valid now as it has past 6 months. I have to do it all again. The details of the total 7 checks I mentioned are as follows: General Flying Test by Day (CPL issue), General Flying Test by Night (CPL issue), 250nm X-country check by Day, 120nm X-country check by Night, General Flying Test by Day (Aircraft Rating Endorsement), General Flying Test by Night (Aircraft Rating Endorsement). Out of which only 4 I can do from my present flying school. Here I want to express my thankfulness and gratitude to my Chief Flight Instructor/Examiner for giving me an exception from paying for 2 checks immediately when I explained my situation. His kindness during the phase of my training here in so many instances made me come this far*.
5) The 4 license issue fee that I mentioned are for CPLissue, FRTOL issue, IR issue, and Aircraft Endorsement.
Dear Readers, I have tried all my possible ways to arrange for the money. I was not eligible to avail scholarship or Education Loan for my Pilot Training. I took this platform as this was the last option. Even this campaign was started only after many many people insisted on me so that they can bring support from all those people who know me from the beginning and from those who studied with me in schools and colleges. To come till this far in my training I had already exhausted all my options of arranging fund. Even this far I didn't come on my own. It was so many people who pushed me forward at every move with both moral and financial support. If I stop now, all their efforts will be futile.
So I request to those people who are knowingly or unknowingly spreading wrong implication of my words or creating a bad outlook, please stop that. If you have a doubt or need clarifications feel free to contact me. Since I started this, more than the support I get, I am actually being humiliated and ridiculed. Even some who know my journey from the beginning are commenting that finally, I came to beg on social media. Some call me a beggar on my face. Despite being a teacher and being graduated from IIT, the word I have to hear is BEGGAR. It is giving me such pain that cannot be explained in words. I am not begging. People who are asking for help or sponsorship or scholarships are not beggars. They are just the people who have a lot of determination and perseverance but need a little recognition and support from society. These are the people who actually rendering their support to others. To my pilot friends who hate me so badly, I want to say that you people also had this beautiful dream of becoming a pilot. you have also faced all the hardships. I didn't get all those privileges that most others got. You have also struggled to arrange funds for your training. We all have come across many pilots doing menial jobs as they couldn't get a job as a pilot because they couldn't arrange funds for MER, Instructor rating, or Type rating. Many even discontinued in the middle of their training. Only if I have your support at every point of my career, I can progress in this field. Please don't hate me for what I am doing. Does dreaming of becoming a Pilot for a person like me is a big sin?
I cannot thank you more to all those people who are supporting me through this campaign. This overwhelming response of yours is inspiring me so much. More than the money it is the number of people who are trying to do something so I can move forward. Your short messages are very beautiful and I love to read them repeatedly. It helps me heal every time I come across insults. And anonymously these many people are supporting. As long as you people are there anyone can dream big. You guys are real motivation to all of us. Thank you so much.