Russia has 6 flight schools, all of which are state owned
At least 17 years old, High School Graduate, Proficiency in English and Russian Language, Pass Medical Examination
With its population of over 145 million, Russia has nearly 20 airlines but most of the air transport is provided by Aeroflot, Rossiya Airlines, S7, Ural Airlines, and Utair. Russia has 18 accredited aviation schools, 6 of which are flight schools.
One of the questions we received is How to become a Pilot in Russia. Hence, we've created this Step by Step Guide to assist aspiring pilots from the country.
Step by Step Guide on How to become a Pilot in Russia
Step 1. Research
Research the different options you have to become a Pilot in Russia. Start of by researching online thru Aviationfly.com, Google, YouTube, Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia), Facebook Pilot Groups and others. The more research you do initially, the more you will know all your options and the process of how to become a pilot in Russia.
- Different Pilot Training Options
- Flight School: Take your flight training with a Flight School in Russia (Click this link for a list of registered flight training schools in Russia) or you may also take your flight training in abroad. If you are interested to take your flight training abroad, please send us a message.)
- Aviation related College Degree Program: This allows you to combine a college degree with flight training.
- Airline Cadet Pilot Program: These are flight training programs which include guaranteed employment with the airline upon successful graduation (and some of these programs are sponsored by the airline).
- Join the Military (Russian Air Force): Get your flight training sponsored by joining the Military - you will have to stay with the Military for around 12 years after completing your training before you are allowed to apply to commercial airlines.
Step 2. Basic Requirements
- Age: The minimum age to start your pilot training is 17 years old when you can receive a Student Pilot License and the retirement age for airline pilots actively flying is 65 years old.
- Medical Certificate: In order to start your pilot training, you will need to secure a Medical Certificate - in order to get this, it is best to speak with the Flight School you want to start with and they will help arrange it for you.
- Educational requirement: It is important to note at this point that you can get a Student Pilot License, Private Pilot License, and Commercial Pilot License with a Secondary School Degree.
- English Proficiency: The language of Aviation internationally is English and it is recommended to meet a Level 4 English standard before receiving your Commercial 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.
Step 3. Training Stages
- Student Pilot License (SPL): 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): This license will allow you to fly solo or fly passengers or cargo but without receiving any money for it. 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.
- Commercial Pilot License (CPL): License will allow you to earn from flying and be 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.
- 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.
- Instrument Rating: Being Instrument Rated means that you can fly the aircraft in any weather condition (example low or zero visibility) using just the instruments.
- Multi-Engine Rating: License which allows you to fly multi-engine aircraft.
- 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.
- 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.
If you have any questions so far, please do send us a message or check out all the Flight Schools in Russia.
Step 4. Career Options
- Airline Pilot for the 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
As an Airline Captain you will earn around US$2,392 per month plus benefits (179,000RUB)!
Tips for picking a Flight School
- Decide on your pilot goals - what are your long-term aspirations in aviation? Do you want to become a pilot in your free time (Private Pilot License)? Do you want to fly in General Aviation (Commercial Pilot License)? Do you want to become an airline pilot (airline program)? If you want to become an airline pilot which airlines are hiring? What aircraft are the airlines receiving over the next few years? Which flight schools do the airlines usually hire from? These are critical questions you should list and get answers to when asking yourself "how will I become a Pilot".
- Determine how much you can afford to spend - different schools have different costs (due to location, number of students, aircraft type and a number of other factors), find out the reasons for the price difference. Do programs have financial assistance/loan programs? Might a part time program work for you?
- How much free time do you have - different schools have different 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 cost).
- What equipment does the flight school use - this is important from a training but even more importantly from a safety aspect. Take into consideration as well the equipment preference of airlines which will want new pilots to have trained on certain equipment. Find out what the difference is between training aircraft (both from a training and cost perspective). 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? Safety features of the aircraft?
- Visit your shortlist of flight schools - speak to the instructors and management teams to learn about the training, safety policies, history and graduates of the flight school. To find all the options available to you visit this page by clicking here.