How to Become a Pilot in Malaysia 2021

Hi there, future Pilot! Your interest in becoming a pilot must have brought you to this page. You might be wondering how to become a Pilot in Malaysia after 12th Grade? Is becoming a Pilot your dream? Or are you simply just curious about how to become a Pilot in Malaysia? If you answer yes to one of these, then this “How to Become a Pilot in Malaysia 2021” page is for you!

You probably have a multitude of questions when it comes to qualifications, duration, and requirements necessary for pilot training in Malaysia. Fret not, as we, at Aviationfly, have compiled the most basic things you need to know when planning to take your pilot course/program in Malaysia.

But before we walk you through the following step-by-step guide, did you know that Malaysia, home to Air Asia – one of the largest low-cost airlines in Asia, Malaysia Airlines, and a number of other airlines, has a large demand for airline pilots but only a relatively small number of flight schools. The great thing about Malaysia is that the Government has an Agency – the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development also known as Majlis Amanah Rakyat MARA which sometimes provides funding assistance for Pilot Training in select flight schools in Malaysia for Malaysian Nationals.

Aviationfly has helped many aspiring pilots just like you become a pilot with our step-by-step guide below. On this page, we will walk you through all the steps that you need to take into consideration when pursuing your dream of becoming either a private pilot, commercial pilot, or airline transport pilot in Malaysia.

Step 1. Do research on the available flight training options in Malaysia

You need to know what pilot training programs are being offered in the country and which among those is the most suitable for you. This is where you should take into account what your aviation goal is. Do you want to obtain a Private Pilot License (PPL) or a Commercial Pilot License (CPL)? Are you seeking to work for an airline? If yes, then an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) is for you. Do you aim to attain a college degree at the same time too? Or do you see yourself joining the military, particularly the Air Force? 

Did we lose you? Don’t panic! If you’re not familiar with the terms or can’t choose which license is right for you, you can send in your questions and our team will be happy to help you out.

Here are your options

  • Flight School

There are over 15 flight schools in Malaysia that offer pilot training programs that you can choose from. It is important that you create a list of your preferred flight school/s so you can compare which is fitting for you. Each school has its own procedures, enrollment requirements, and depending on which pilot training courses you decide to take, the tuition fee also varies. 

  • Aviation-related college degree program

However, if you’re interested in obtaining a college degree accompanied with flight training, you should consider aviation-related college degree programs. These programs allow students to combine a college degree with flight training. With this kind of program, you will earn a college degree together with a pilot license such as Commercial Pilot License (CPL) in most cases. This will give you the opportunity to have the best of both worlds.

  • Airline cadet pilot program

Meanwhile, if your greatest childhood dream is to become an airline pilot, you should consider airline cadet pilot programs. Airlines often sponsor these programs and students are guaranteed employment upon course completion. In this pilot program, you will obtain an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). You can reach out to us to get an insight into the options currently available.

  • Join the military

Finally, if you’re interested in serving your country, you can join the Malaysian Air Force. The Government will sponsor your flight training but you will have to stay with the military for around 12 years after completion before you can apply to commercial airlines. 

Step 2. Look up the Basic Requirements

  • What is the minimum age to become a pilot in Malaysia?

    • You need to be at least 17 years old to start your pilot training in India. 
  • What do I need to start pilot training in Malaysia? 

    • In order to start your pilot training, you will need to secure a medical certificate. The best way to do this is to speak with the flight school you would like to enroll in and they will help arrange it for you.
  • What are the minimum educational requirements to become a pilot in Malaysia?

    • Potential students must be at least a high school (class 12) graduate.
  • What level of English do I need to become a pilot in Malaysia?

    • Since the language of aviation internationally is English, it is recommended to have at least a level 4 English standard before receiving your pilot license. If you are looking to improve your English, you can send us a message and we will give you tips on what courses to take.
  • What is the maximum age for airline pilots in Malaysia? 

    • The retirement age for airline pilots is 65 years old.

*Note: These requirements are based on the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

Step 3. Decide on which training stages you will have to undergo

In general, there are five (5) different pilot training stages in which students need to complete depending on what their goal is. The stages of pilot training are as follows:

  • Student Pilot License (SPL)

The first pilot license you will need to obtain is a student pilot license. This license allows you to start your flight training.

  • Private Pilot License (PPL)

The private pilot license will allow you to fly solo, passengers, or cargo but without monetary compensation. It is possible to get your Private Pilot License either at a Flying Club (which is only allowed to provide PPL training) or an Approved Flying Training Organisation (where you can continue to do your Commercial Pilot License).

In order to qualify to hold a PPL, you have to be assessed as a “Fit and Proper Person”. The application form for the issue of your license includes questions on matters such as your court conviction history. Thus, you must demonstrate acceptable respect for the law of the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to have confidence in your ability to fly within the Civil Aviation Rules. You are required to remain a “Fit and Proper” person throughout your flying career.

The minimum requirement to get this Private Pilot License is 45 hours of flight training – You must record every flight in your flying logbook. The details include the date of each flight, the aircraft type and registration, the name of your instructor, the duration of your flight, where you went, and what you did.

There are six (6) papers for Private Pilot License examinations that are set at about the same level as SPM or O-level examinations. A passing mark of 70 percent or greater is required. Learning about the flying environment, and your aircraft, is part of being a safe and competent pilot. Your flying club or flying school will help you to prepare for these examinations. You do not have to pass these examinations before you begin your flying lessons, but it is advisable to sit for the papers progressively while learning to fly, as examination passes are required before you can fly solo cross-countries. Subjects include Air Navigation and Flight Planning, Aircraft Technical Knowledge, Meteorology, Human Factors, VFR Communications and Air Law.

  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL)

To start earning from flying, you will need to obtain a commercial pilot license. This license allows you to become a paid professional pilot. In order to obtain a commercial pilot license in Malaysia, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. You will need to be at least 18 years old.
  2. You must have a Private Pilot License (PPL) to convert this to a Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  3. Class 1 Medical Certificate and meet the English Language Proficiency (at least to Level 4).
  4. The total flight time requirement is at least 200 flight hours (of which 165 hours are on single-engine aeroplane and another 35 hours on twin-engine aeroplane).
  5. Students will have to pass examinations on 12 subjects including 9 EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency).

A holder of a foreign Commercial Pilot License will be required to undergo an abridged course in an Approved Flying Training Organisation where they have to do a minimum of 35 hours of flight training and pass all the Navigational papers.

Both Instrument Rating and Multi-Engine Rating are add-ons to your pilot license…

  • Instrument Rating (IR)

Being instrument-rated means that you can fly the aircraft in any weather condition (for example low or zero visibility) using just the instruments. Flight schools offer Instrument Rating along with their commercial pilot training. But this can also be obtained separately.

  • Multi-Engine Rating (MER)

The multi-engine rating will allow you to fly multi-engine aircraft. Flight schools offer Multi-Engine Rating along with their private pilot training and commercial pilot training. But this can also be obtained separately.

If you have any questions so far, feel free to use chat messenger to send us a message.

Step 4. Choose a flight school

After doing your research on the type of license you would like to obtain, the next step is to choose which flight school is the most suitable for your budget.

So, how much does pilot training cost? 

It is important to note that becoming a pilot requires a certain budget. Your flight training cost depends on the country you do your training, the flight school you pick, and a number of other factors.

If you decide to do your flight training within the country, there are over 15 pilot schools in Malaysia for you to choose from. You can find a list of flight training institutes in Malaysia by registering with us on Aviationfly.com. Our flight school directory has a list of all the latest active flight schools in Malaysia including their brief background, pilot training courses being offered, the school’s fleet details, what they can offer to you, and other information. 

On the other hand, if you decide to do your flight training abroad, there are a number of popular countries to choose from. Some of which include the US, Indonesia, Philippines, and Australia. One important thing to note is that after your training, you will have to convert your license to the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

As mentioned above, another alternative is to enroll in an airline pilot program. Once you have successfully passed your pilot training, you will be employed by the airlines that have set up the program.

Step 5. Consider your Career Options

Many aspiring pilots have a defined career path they would like to pursue, while others don’t. Below is a list of options for what you can potentially do with a pilot license.

  • Airline pilot for large airlines or smaller regional ones
  • Corporate or business aviation pilot
  • Cargo pilot
  • Charter / Air taxi pilot
  • Flight instructor
  • Medical/ Air ambulance pilots
  • Agricultural pilot and many more options

A frequently asked question is: how much does an Airline Captain in Malaysia make? The short answer is around MYR 14,000 plus benefits*!

*This/these number/numbers is/are based on available data and research conducted in the year 2019. There is no guarantee that the number/s provided is/are accurate. Please read our Disclaimer.

Tips for Picking a Flight School

Tip 1. Decide on your pilot goals

Firstly, ask yourself – what are your long-term aspirations in aviation? Do you want to become a pilot in your free time (Private Pilot License)? Or do you want to fly in General Aviation (Commercial Pilot License)? Do you want to become an airline pilot through an airline pilot cadet program? Additionally, which airlines are currently hiring? What type of aircraft will be utilized by airlines in the next few years? Which flight schools do the airlines usually hire from? Best to ask flight schools if they have partnerships with airlines. These are critical questions you should list and get answers to when asking yourself “how will I become a Pilot”.

Tip 2. Determine how much you can afford to spend

Secondly, different flight schools have different costs (due to location, number of students, aircraft type and several other factors), and find out the reasons for the price difference. Moreover, do these programs have financial assistance/loan programs? Might a part-time program work for you?

Tip 3. Determine how much free time you have

Each flight training school has its own training schedules with some offering flexibility while others want the cadets to train full time and on campus. Note that delaying flight training usually increases your training costs.

Tip 4. Find out what type of aircraft the flight school uses and information of its aircraft maintenance center

This is important from a training point of view, but even more importantly, from a safety aspect. Furthermore, you should also take into consideration the equipment preference of airlines. Aircraft age does not always relate to safety, this is dependent on the aircraft maintenance – ask the flight school in detail about their aircraft maintenance department and safety features of the aircraft.

Tip 5. Visit your shortlist of flight schools

Finally, when possible, speak to the instructors and flight school management teams to learn about the training, safety policies, history, and graduates of the flight school.

Do you still have questions? Send us a message!

You can also check out How to become a Pilot in the Philippines, How to become a Pilot in the USA or other countries by navigating on our platform or simply just reach out to our team through chat.

Step-by-Step Guide on Becoming a Pilot in Malaysia

How to become a Pilot in Malaysia - Aviationfly

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