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Qualifications and Requirements of Becoming a Professional Pilot

Submitted by on 12 September 2009 – 3:39 pm64 Comments

Here we have listed the major requirements and qualifications that should be met if you are planning to become either a professional private pilot or professional commercial pilot. As well as what are the prerequisites in order for you to be issued any of the following flying licenses by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Malaysia.

Obtaining a flying license will definitely not as easy as a piece of cake, in order for one to become a professional pilot while possess of aeronautical skill, he or she must not only be physically ready, but mentally as well.

Type of Licenses and General Pathway of Becoming a Professional Pilot

Page Directory At A Glance:

STUDENT PILOT LICENSE (SPL)
Requirements and Qualifications upon Enrolling

1. At least 17 years old
2. Pass medical examination class 2
3. Height of body exceeds 165cm
4. No minimum academic requirements

Prerequisites for  issuing of SPL

1. Hold a Class 2 medical certificate
2. Once enroll as a student pilot in any flying clubs, SPL can be applied from DCA

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PRIVATE PILOT LICENSE (PPL)

Requirements and Qualifications upon Enrolling

1. At least 17 years old
2. Pass medical examination class 2
3. Height of body exceeds 165cm
4. Academic requirements (Options):

Applicant Malaysian
Foreigner
Option 1 Successful completion of SPM.
Option 2 Successful completion of GCE O-level.
Option 3 Any other educational qualifications equivalent to SPM or GCE O-level.
*Related educational qualifications must able to be approved by the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia (DCAM).

*In Malaysia, SPM is equivalent to O-Level

Prerequisites for issuing of PPL

1. At least 17 years old
2. Hold a Class 2 medical certificate
3. Pass written exams
4. Pass flight test
5. Adequate flying experience and hours

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COMMERCIAL PILOT LICENSE (CPL)

Requirements and Qualifications upon Enrolling

1. At least 18 years old
2. Pass medical examination class 1
3. Height of body exceeds 165cm
4. Academic requirements (Options):

Applicant Malaysian
Foreigner
Option 1 Science Stream:
SPM with 5 credits including:
– English
– Mathematics
– A science subject
(Physics, Biology, Chemistry)
Art Stream:
Low chance of being offered a study place, due to the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia (DCAM) has established the academic requirements to be at least 5 credits from applicant’s SPM result, while including a science subject is compulsory. However, some flying schools / academies are accepting applicants from art stream studies, instead of picking a science subject from either Physics, Biology or Chemistry, the subject, General Science maybe applicable.
Option 2 GCE O-level result with passes for similar subjects as stated in Option 1 under Science Stream.
Option 3 Any other educational qualifications equivalent to SPM or GCE O-level.
*Related educational qualifications must able to be approved by the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia (DCAM).

*In Malaysia, SPM is equivalent to O-Level

5. Letter of approval from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Malaysia:

  • Prerequisites for issuing of letter of approval:
    – Medical certificate (Pass medical examination Class 1)
    – List of academic qualifications (Academic requirements)
Prerequisites for issuing of CPL

1. At least 18 years old
2. Hold a Class 1 medical certificate
3. Pass written exams
4. Pass flight test
5. Adequate flying experience and hours

Before proceeding to the ATPL, you may need to know what are CPL with Instrumental Rating (CPL/IR) and Frozen ATPL.
Upon the issue of CPL, flying can only be done by practicing the Visual Flight Rules (VFR), which means that pilot cannot fly in cloud and can only navigate by having vision on the surface. With Instrumental Rating/IR, this qualification allows pilot to fly in cloud and navigate with the assistant of aircraft’s instruments. Majority of the approved flying schools will train their cadets with Instrumental Rating/IR and theoretically up to Frozen ATPL level. While Frozen ATPL refers to somebody who has passed all the required exams (theory) for the issuing of an ATPL but does not have the adequate flying hours which is total of 1500 hours. Frozen ATPL normally will be issued on CPL, as long as required flying hours have not been met, Frozen ATPL will not be unfreezed.

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AIRLINE TRANSPORT PILOT LICENSE (ATPL)

Requirements and Qualifications upon Enrolling

1. At least 21 years old
2. Pass medical examination class 1
3. An existing and valid CPL with Instrument Rating (CPL/IR)
4. Letter of approval from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Malaysia:

  • Perquisites for the issue of letter of approval:
    – Medical certificate (Pass medical examination Class 1)
    – An existing and valid CPL with Instrument Rating (CPR/IR)
Prerequisites for issuing the ATPL

1. At least 21 years old
2. Hold a Class 1 medical certificate
3. Pass written exams
4. Pass flight test
5. Adequate flying experience and hours

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references: www.mfa.edu.my & www.dca.gov.my

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64 Comments to "Qualifications and Requirements of Becoming a Professional Pilot" - Add Yours »
  • devananth says:

    what if we dont have any biology…instead having chemistry, physics and additional mathematics.. do we still qualified [?]

  • James Then says:

    Dear devananth

    Sure anybody will still be qualified. (For CPL – Commercial Pilot License)
    Because for Malaysian applicant, required academic requirements are five credits in SPM results.
    In general, those five credits(subjects) inclusive of three compulsory subjects, which are English, Maths and Physics.
    While another two credits(subjects) mainly will be filled by applicant themselves (individual choices).

  • hou says:

    if i am facing finance problem, gt any scholarships for me to apply??

  • Alvin Nyau says:

    Dear hou,
    please have a look at this page:
    Malaysia Education and Study Loan
    I hope this can help you out! [=:)]

  • Boon says:

    If i having short sighted, i still can become a pilot?

  • Alvin Nyau says:

    Dear Boon & BunBun,

    Yes, one still can be a pilot even though he or she is experiencing short sightedness. However, there is a threshold to it, basically it means that if the power of your eyesight exceed a certain limit which cannot be accepted by the standard built, then there is a high chance that a medical certificate will not be issued, hence, cannot enroll at any flying schools. Same goes to body height.

    Before you are about to enter any flying schools, you must hold a medical certificate. While in order to obtain a medical certificate, you will have to pass a medical/body checking session, it will be mainly based on your body health status, therefore it inclusive the checking of your eyesight. Same goes to body height as well.

    Here is a link to the listing of designated aviation medical examiners in Malaysia (where medical examination can be done):
    Click here to follow the link.

    Thanks to both for being patience.

  • Bear says:

    i nid ask where can i get the form to apply and nid how many year to get APTL [?] [?]

  • BunBun says:

    where to take the medical examination class 1?
    162cm will be qualified?

  • Qieena Jimmy says:

    Is it better if we further our study before enroll due of undemand pilot situation right now??
    If yes, please suggest me a better major in aviation field that can make us to be a pilot. Thank You.

  • James Then says:

    Dear Bear,

    It would be better if you manage to approach yourself to any desired flight training schools. However, you can also refer to this post, Malaysia’s Aviation and Flying Schools for official website or email address of respective flying schools in Malaysia, some flying schools do provide online application service.

    As for your second query, it will take approximately 2 years (standard) of time period for one to obtain an ATPL.

    Thank you.

  • Vui Seng says:

    I’m having short sighted now, but i plan to laser my eyes…
    after laser my eye, can i still become a pilot [?]

  • BunBun says:

    All the medical check clinic at Selangor?
    Is that any in Penang?

  • irc says:

    Can a arts stream student become a CPL pilot…

  • bieyh says:

    what if i cant take my physics because of some prob in school but i got my bio, addmaths n chemist ?

  • Ken says:

    Hey there [=haha] ,umm Is it possible for me to pass the medical exam if i have a right arm winging scapula and a pelvic lift? Im really worried about it [=cry] And also I used to smoke a little bit but not really that serious like once or twice a week consecutively for around 4 months,ive stoppped now.Will I still be able to qualify? [=:D]

  • Tay za moe kyaw says:

    I am 14 years old, What should i take as major subjects to become a pilot?

  • amir says:

    if i have diploma in electronic engineering,can i use this certificate to become a student in MFA??or still must use SPM result?? [=ok]

  • arwin rajh says:

    I am 13 years old, What should i take as major subjects to become a pilot?

  • skull botz says:

    [=:D] if i want to be a pilot,what subject that i have to study??
    could u help me… [=cool]

  • Alvin Nyau says:

    @arwin, skull, etc
    Focus on these 3 subjects: English, Mathematics and a science subject (Physic is preferable). [=:)]

  • meera says:

    hi… i got 8 credits in SPM… maths 1A and English 5c..but physics and chemistry just passed…still can i apply for??? Thnx 4 ur reply…

  • kirthi says:

    HI,I HAVE A QUESTION.CAN GIRLS BE A PILOT?

  • gezzy says:

    can gt loan uh???

  • rotor 1 says:

    can people who fail ishihara plate pass class 1 medical?he only got problems with that plate and not the colour in the world.he can perceive all colours in this world.

  • kingbheny says:

    [=arrow] where do i get a good flight simulator for windows pc??

  • Bryan Lee says:

    I am 17 years old with intention to be a pilot. I have astigmatism with slight short sightedness. Will I be able to qualify to take the course? Thanking you in advance.

  • syifa' says:

    hey
    i’m really interested becoming a pilot.
    is there many girls in pilot academy?
    is the minimum height for girls also 163cm
    i am not tall

  • Linkgesh says:

    i have a tattoo on my neck.. can i still become an pilot??

  • VIKI says:

    HI,MY NAME IS VIKI.I WANT TO ASK.MY RESULT IS NT GOOD ENOUGT.IF I TAKE REPEAT CAN I BE A PILOT..IF WEAR SPEC IS ALOWWED OR NOT..

  • ezry says:

    excuse me…
    im 26 and i got credit for the compulsary subject physic,math,english…and plus 2 credit for other subject.
    but last year i involved in motorbike accident and had multiple fracture on the left side which is d shoulder,thigh ,femur n tibia..
    as result i got a titanium metal in my thigh..

    my question is :
    1) with my medical history, can i pass the medical test for class 1 and class 2 for CPL?

    2)what is the maximum age limit to enroll a CPL?
    tq…

  • nick says:

    I’m only 162cm will i be qualified?

  • farahana N says:

    Hey , can I take CPL if Im only get A on maths and english but not doing so well on physics ? And where should I go to futher study ?

  • touz says:

    is it a must to be good in physics ? will biology do ?

  • J T says:

    @touz

    Of course it will do, as long as it is a science subject.

  • touz says:

    alright , thank you

  • kean says:

    hi can i ask art stream can become a pilot urgent pls reply TQ!!!

  • J T says:

    @kean

    It is possible, because some of the airlines / flying schools do not require applicants must be from science stream, while at this situation, the subject, General Science will do for a art stream student.

  • shasi says:

    hw if im taking another additional mechanical engineering n engineering drawing sub…. will it considered as science sub…
    itz because im from teknik school…??

  • J T says:

    @shasi
    Good day, it may be possible if it is Engineering or Science-related, but still we strongly recommend sir to bring your query to your favored flying school / academy, because some school may have different standards being set, or if it is inconvenient for sir to approach to any of them, send e-mails or make phone calls will be another alternative, you can try to acknowledge them about your academic qualification, to confirm whether it is eligible for sir to join any flight courses or not.

  • ezry says:

    xcuse me…
    im 26 and i got credit for the compulsary subject physic,math,english…and plus 2 credit for other subject.
    but last year i involved in motorbike accident and had multiple fracture on the left side which is d shoulder,thigh ,femur n tibia..
    as result i got a titanium metal in my thigh..

    my question is :
    1) with my medical history, can i pass the medical test for class 1 and class 2 for CPL?

    2)what is the maximum age limit to enroll a CPL?
    tq…

  • J T says:

    @ezry
    Sorry for taking so long to reply your comment, hope we can be forgiven…
    Based on your mentioned academic requirements, it seems that you have got what are needed to meet the qualifications (academic).
    Yes, 26 is not a problem to follow the CPL flight course, currently there are no age limit for doing this course.
    Ok, with your medical history, you will only know (whether you are eligible to become an airman or not) after you have gone through the Class 1 medical test, because person who conduct this test, DAME (Designated Aviation Medical Examiners), they will done various medical test, as at the time you may acknowledge them about your condition, or they may ask you for your medical history, vise versa. If you manage to pass the test (Class 1 medical test), that means with your current body condition, you are eligible to participate in flight training course. In short, the medical test (result) tells everything. You mentioned about the motorbike accident and a titanium metal is currently in your thigh… actually it really depends on the medical test, if you pass, that means you “can”, if fail, means “cannot”, as easy as that. If the DAME approves you to pass your medical test, that means he/she has done a thorough medical test on you and comes out with a conclusion that a titanium metal inside your thigh will not be affecting, it is not a big deal.

    However, you can always bring along your medical report (maybe x-ray slips? or anything that can be as your medical history) if you want when heading for a medical test, show to the DAME about your body condition, and all your doubts will be cleared, as they (or the test) will tell, whether you “can” or “cannot”.

    Thank You.

  • ezry says:

    Thanx a lot JT….

    highly appreciate for the trouble u been tru to provide me d answer…

  • shiyau says:

    is scholarship provided ?

  • shobi says:

    hello there,during application for spl,will they(DCA) will ask hows the pilot going to teach me??

  • AHMAD says:

    where the application form..??
    need some help…tQ

  • vivien says:

    i’m 17 years old~~
    i hope to be a pilot~
    wat is the limit for short sighteness??
    n the maximum heigh should be 165??

  • J T says:

    @vivien

    Hey, good day, we suggest you to have a read on this article at here, Click Me.

  • shobithan says:

    hello there every body,actually,what did u all need is money.for ppl program(VFR) it will cost about 35 to 40 thousand,then you have to add about a few thousand more to qualify your self for IFR.after your ppl then u have to go to CPL/IR.for cpl/IR it will cause about 150-200 thousand(after deducted 40 k from ppl).then you have to do(optional) for night IR.after complete this you have to for ATPL.the ATPL will cause you about 40-60 thousand more(after deducted from CPL 200k) after succesfully completed your ATPL then you can go for professional pilot or Assistant flight instructor.for airlines their requirements are CPl/IR with 500 PIC(pilot in command in twin engine).but its very rare for airlines people to hire cpl holder and their preferable will be ATPL license with flying hours in gas turbine engine aircraft.the price and the course offered by flying schools in malaysia are only for piston engine.you have to go to United states or UK to sit for the simulator for gas turbine engine.and it will cause about 100-150 thousand.after you are type rated for gas turbine engine then you can get a job in airlines easily as a first/second officer with the pay about 6-7 thousand a month….for now short sightness or long sightness will not be a problem for airlines to hire you…SPM will not be muchly entertained after you have hold your ATPL license with type rated in gas turbine engine….anyhow,it will be and advantage if you hold diploma or cert in other field….For now,there are a lot of pilot graduated and jobless because of their experince in single engine…the cheapest way to be respected in aviation even by a pilot is by being a licensed aircraft engineer…where the total cost will be about 30-35K by taking diploma and sit for EASA 66 papers privately….i hope this clarify you all…..any question you can ask me by email at shobithan_madhavan12@yahoo.com

    shobithan

    pilot and aircraft engineer….

  • J T says:

    @shobithan

    Thank very much for such informative information, you have shared many precious facts with us, and we highly appreciate that.

  • afiq says:

    hello.im afiq.im 18 yrs old..if i scored A+ for my english and B+ for my math.c+ for my add math..and the problem is my Physics is D(passed).is there any chances for me to get the DCA aproval letter?or i need to do foundation 1st?pls reply me..thank you..:)

  • afiq says:

    hello.im afiq.im 18 yrs old..if i scored A+ for my english and B+ for my math.c+ for my add math..and the problem is my Physics is D(passed).is there any chances for me to get the DCA aproval letter?or i need to do foundation 1st?pls reply me..thank you sir..

  • shobithan says:

    hello there,just enroll your self in any flying academy they will arrange for you everything….you got money,you can do everything…trust me…

  • shobithan says:

    To Afiq-hello there,just enroll your self in any flying academy they will arrange for you everything….you got money,you can do everything…trust me…

  • Sahira says:

    Is the minimum height required for woman applicants to be a pilot is 165cm? Cuz i’m only 160cm..

  • Octavia says:

    Even though its odd for a girl to be a pilot but i want to become a pilot but i dont have physics but i do have biology and im excellent in math and im abt 5ft 4″ do i still Qualify?

  • HAI, I’M 17…. THIS YEAR I AM A SPM STUDENT.MY AMBITION I WANT TO BE A PILOT OR STERWARDESS….BUT I’M WOORIED ABOUT MY SUBJECT CAUSE I AM A ARTS STREAM STUDENT..(BM,BI,MATHS,G.SCI,MORAL,GEOGRAPHY,SEJARAH,SAINS PERTANIAN N ARTS)
    MY PROBLEM IS CAN I BE A PILOT?

  • panchhi patel says:

    hello,
    sir,
    from my childhood i want to be a commercial pilot but i did pharmacy and now doing Bsc.But still my dream is same to be a pilot but i did physics 191,chemistry 191 but have’t done maths.Am i able to do this course and how long it will be?can i do part time study?

  • Mohamed says:

    hello, am Mohammed from Jordan, i went into your website and i am very interested in your CPL program. i would like to enroll in the said program. however, i haven`t noticed anything about foreigner applicant requirements. so, i will appreciate if you provide me the informative info which let me see whether am eligible to study there or not. the most important things for me are as the following:
    1- duration
    2- start-end expenses
    3- other requirements
    and thanks in advance

  • Mohamed says:

    hello, am Mohammed from Jordan, i went into your website and i am very interested in your CPL program. i would like to enroll in the said program. however, i haven`t noticed anything about foreigner applicant requirements. so, i will appreciate if you provide me the informative info which let me see whether am eligible to study there or not. the most important things for me are as the following:
    1- duration
    2- start-end expenses
    3- other requirements
    and thanks in advance
    please if you could reply me on my email
    m_ghazwi09@hotmail.com.

  • saeed abdalla says:

    hellow there? kindly I just want to know 1st: intake
    2nd: where to get application form online. i highly appreciated concern.

  • inthu says:

    if i want to be a pilot what subject that i have to study???

  • Syafiq roslan says:

    hello there sir, i’m still at form 4 and get ready for spm.But i’m just wondering, if i scored just pass level in my pysics and mathematics (c or d rank) can i still apply to the academy? cuz now i’m still weak in those subject.Hope to hear from you soon.

  • Abbati says:

    Hello sir,
    Am Abbati rabiu gumel by name,
    my future ambition is to become a great pilot that is very good in flying aeroplane,am in ss1,i would lyk u to give mi good proceduers to fulfill ma intention….
    Secondly i want to ask u that is futher mathematics compulsory to mi to become a pilot,,…

    Thank u,sir.

  • Karthick says:

    Hi this is karthick i more interest in pilot but iam finesh only 10th now can i join my
    height is 165 and my age is 18

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