How to Become a Pilot in Russia in 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 Russia after 12th Grade? Is becoming a Pilot your dream? Or are you simply just curious about how to become a Pilot in Russia? If you answer yes to one of these, then this “How to become a Pilot in Russia in 2021” Guide is for you!

You probably have a multitude of questions when it comes to qualifications, duration, and requirements necessary for pilot training in Russia. 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 Russia.

Aviationfly has helped many aspiring pilots just like you become a pilot with this “How to become a Pilot in Russia in 2021” Guide. 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.

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

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 is your aviation goal. 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 approximately six (6) flight schools in Russia that offer different 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 on the options currently available.

  • Join the military

Finally, if you’re interested in serving your country, you can join the Russian 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 Russia?

You need to be at least 17 years old to start your pilot training in Russia.

  • What do I need to start pilot training in Russia?

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 Russia?

Potential students must be at least a high school graduate.

  • What level of English do I need to become a pilot in Russia?

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 Russia?

The retirement age for airline pilots is 65 years old.

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

In general, there are six (6) 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. To get a Russian Student Pilot Certificate, you should be at least 17 years old and be able to speak, understand, read, and write English and Russian language at the minimum required level by the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia).

  • Private Pilot License (PPL)

The private pilot license will allow you to fly solo, passengers, or cargo but without monetary compensation. To get a Russian Private Pilot License you must be over 18 years old, have a Student Pilot License, and be able to pass the ground school exam and flight check ride (exam flight) of the Federal Air Transport Agency.

Minimum flight experience requirement by the Federal Air Transport Agency to obtain a Russian Private Pilot License are the following:

  • must have flown on the aircraft for at least 40 hours or 35 hours during the training course according to the approved program as an aircraft pilot , which counts for no more than 5 hours of flight time on the simulator;
  • must have at least 10 hours of independent flight on airplanes under the guidance of an instructor pilot in accordance with the requested qualification mark, including 5 hours of independent flight along the route, with at least one flight along a route of at least 270 km with landing to a full stop at two different aerodromes; and
  • 3 hours of flight time at night, including five takeoffs and landings at night, serving as the aircraft commander.

Please note that the total flight time can be counted 10% of the flight time on other types of aircraft, except for the airship and free balloon, but not more than 10 hours in total.

You can see or download the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosavitasia) document for Russian Private Pilot License here.

  • 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. To get a Russian Commercial Pilot License you must be over 18 years old, have a Private Pilot License, and meet the minimum flight time requirement i.e. you must have flown on an aircraft for at least 200 hours or 150 hours during a training course according to an approved program as an aircraft pilot, which includes no more than 10 hours of flight time on a simulator.

This includes:

  • 100 hours of flight time as an aircraft commander or, if the candidate has completed a training course according to an approved program, 70 hours as an aircraft commander;
  • 20 hours of flying time, performing en-route flights as an aircraft commander, including a flight en-route with a length of at least 540 km with landings during this flight until a complete stop at two different aerodromes;
  • 10 hours of flying time during instrument flight training, of which no more than 5 hours can be instrument flying on the simulator; and
  • 5 hours of flying at night, including performing five take-offs and five landings as pilot-in-command.

You can see or download the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosavitasia) document for Russian Commercial Pilot License here.

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.

  • Line Pilot License

Is the highest level of Aircraft Pilot Certificate that allows you to act as pilot in command on scheduled air carriers. To get a Russian Line Pilot License you must be over 21 years old, have a Commercial Pilot License, and meet the minimum flight time requirement i.e. you must have at least 1500 hours of flight time as an airplane pilot, which counts no more than 100 flight hours on a simulator.

This includes:

  • 500 hours as the pilot under supervision; or 250 hours as an aircraft commander; or not less than 70 hours as the pilot-in-command of the aircraft and not less than 180 hours as the pilot-in-command of an aircraft under supervision;
  • 200 hours, performing en-route flights, of which at least 100 hours as aircraft commander or aircraft commander under supervision;
  • 75 hours while performing instrument flights, of which the instrument ground training time does not exceed 30 hours; and
  • 100 hours, flying at night as pilot or co-pilot.

You can see or download the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosavitasia) document for Russian Line Pilot License here.

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 approximately six (6) pilot schools in Russia for you to choose from. You can find a list of flight training institutes in Russia by registering with us on Aviationfly.com. Our flight school directory has a list of all the latest active flight schools in Russia 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, you must note that after your training you will have to convert your license to the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia).

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 with our How to become a Pilot in Russia in 2021 Guide is: How much does an Airline Captain in Russia make? The short answer is around US$2,392 or 179,000RUB per month 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), 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 about 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 other countries by navigating on our platform or simply just reach out to our team through chat.

Good luck, future Pilot!