How do I become a pilot?

There are wide-ranged of  pilot's license. But in general, a Flight School  will provide two types of licenses when we graduated from there, there are :


PPL (Private Pilot License)

CPL (Commercial Pilot License) + Instrument Rating


Then what is the difference between PPL and CPL IR?


PPL: Private Pilot License


The first license obtained by an aviator. With this license he can fly and carry passengers which he should not receive a fee. This license as well as a driver's license for car drivers. A minimum hour of flying to get PPL is 40 to 50 flight hours depending on the regulations of the country.


CPL: Commercial Pilot License

This license obtained after getting PPL. With this license a pilot can become a professional pilot who receives a fee for his work as an aviator. Usually, it takes about 100 to 120 hours of flying to get a license depending on the state regulations.

If your objective to be a pilot is as a hobby or join in a competition only, such as only fly at weekend with personal or rented aircraft, then the license required for this kind activity is PPL only. But  if the main objective is to become a professional pilot and have a steady schedule within an airline company, then you should have a CPL progressively. Keep in mind, CPL can not be obtained without having previously PPL. Like going in high school, junior high school must be passed first. In addition to CPL, you are also usually required to take an IR License (Instrument Rating). This is usually bundling with CPL.


IR : Instrument Rating

This rating is in addition to PPL or CPL, the objective is to fly an aircraft based on instrument guide. Pointless to have your licenses if you are not able to fly your plane with low visibility and fly at an altitude that did not allow seeing land as a reference. Typically, a pilot is not allowed to fly a jet plane without an instrument rating.





After knowing what kind of license you wish to obtain, then the next question for prospective students is how to register (enroll) to a Flight School?

Before signing up, usually there are general requirements that must be met by potential applicants. These requirements include:

  1.  Minimum age is 17 years for male and female
  2.  Graduated from high school or equivalent, from any major
  3.  Minimum height based on the minimum leg length. It must be at least 100cm
  4.  Ideal weight based on Body Mass Index score, must be in “Average” category
  5.  No Color-Blindness in both eyes





In general, every Flight School enrollment may be different from each other. However, there is an outline of where each has similarity requirements for prospective students. The main selection process in Alfa Flying School (AFS) includes:

  1.  Dental check and cleaning
  2.  Medical Examination (Medex)
  3.  English Proficiency Test (TOEIC)
  4.  Psychology Test
  5.  Aptitude Test - Simulator
  6.  Academic test - Basic Mathematics
  7.  Interview with AFS's Principal

** Selection test and Registration fee Rp 7.500.000,- (Not including Medical Examination)




Before doing medical examination, we refer the prospective students to the dental clinic for dental check and cleaning.

Family Dental Clinic

Mal Ambassador – 5th floor

Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio, Kuningan. Jakarta Selatan



MedEx is a term of medical tests for prospective student pilot. However, MedEx is not just reserved for prospective students only, instead MedEx become routine for pilots, flight attendants and flight engineer / technician in their work related to the aircraft directly. For Indonesia, MedEx implemented in the Pilot Health Clinic (Hatpen) in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. Including foreign Pilots and foreign students, they should do MedEx in Hatpen.

The following matters were examined at the time of Medex:

  1. Laboratory Check

Include blood check and urine to determine such as cholesterol, uric acid, triglycerides, hemoglobin, etc.

  1. Audiometry test

Sort of a hearing test. Very simple, to know if you have a normal hearing capability.

     3. Tooth health check

Quite clear. Try to patching all hollow teeth before doing medex. The using of stirrup or wire was allowed, as well as dentures and missing teeth.

  1. Eye sight Check

Quite clear. The using of glasess is allowed, but with certain limitation (please confirm with Flying School to know the permissible limits, because each Flying School may set different standards). LASIK treatment is allowed (but for those who have been or will do LASIK, please consult it first with Flying School).

  1. X-ray Check

Radiograph (x-ray) thorax area.

  1. ECG (Electrocardiogram)

A kind of heart tests. You will be fitted with some wires then were asked to lie down for about 15 min. Sometimes you may be asked also to do treadmill session. This procedure is conducted to determine whether you have any heart disease symptom.

  1. Bone structure Physical check

You will be examined in person by a doctor, during the inspection. You will be asked if you have any particular experienced or accident which cause fractures or break on your bones or ankles.

  1. EEG (Electroencephalogram)

EEG is a test to know whether we have the brain or psychiatric disorders. Your head will be installed with wires similar like ECG procedure, and you will be asked to lie down during the examination, just relax and close your eyes but do not fall a sleep. If you are not relaxed, you may need to repeat the examination from the beginning again.

Altogether, Medex can be repeated (recheck) if they find some discrepancies. For example, if you are proved that you have abnormal level on cholesterol and uric acid or low hemoglobin, or the hollowed tooth. In addition, when they found your eyes having minus, plus or cylindrical symptoms. Doctors in hatpen will prescribe medication to be taken for two weeks and then you can come back for recheck. And you will be required to use the glasses when recheck.


MedEx will take place in Balai Kesehatan Penerbangan (Hatpen).

Kota Baru Bandar Kemayoran Blok B-11 Kav. No. 4. Kemayoran, Jakarta Pusat 10610


The MedEx procedures usually last in a couple of hours during the day. But you must register early in the morning. Try to get there at least at 07.00 am. The result will come out within 5 working days. That certificate will be issued as a proof that you pass the medical examination. The 2nd class medex will valid for 12 months.


Cost for MedEx is about Rp 2.200.000,-  (2017)


** But if the prospective students should do recheck, cost for recheck does not include in registration fee. So, prospective students should pay for their own recheck. Cost for recheck are varies because you pay based on the recheck subject only.


English Proficiency (TOEIC Test)

English Proficiency Test is a must for prospective student pilot. Most Flying School handed this test to a third party, usually to ITC (International Test Centre). The requested minimal score must be at least 400. The Certificate will be issued and will be valid for 2 years. If the applicant already had a TOEIC Certificate with minimum score 400 (still valid), then they don't need to take the test again, simply show us the Certificate.

Why English isTOEIC compulsory for prospective flight school students?

The answer is simple, all manuals and textbooks of the training nearly 100% are in English. Sometimes Flight Instructors (FI) speak English in class. All instrumentation also in English, and all communications in the aviation world through Air Trafic Controller also use English as official International communication language, eventhough in domestic flights.

So if you want to be a student pilot, remember that English is not only needed for going on tests, but a mandatory language in the aviation world.

TOEIC Test will take place in ITC (International Test Centre).

Plaza Sentral, 17th floor

Jalan Jenderal Sudirman kav. 47-48. Jakarta Selatan 12930


Psychology Test

Psychotest is the next requirement for prospective students. It is general for knowing the applicant's personality. Most of the questions are the same as the test for CPNS in general. In addition there are also questions in an interview that analyze your aptitude. In this case is the aptitude to fly and if the student fits to become a pilot or not. This test lasts for 2 (two) days.


Psychology Test will take place in Lembaga Kesehatan Penerbangan Saryanto (Lakespra).

Jalan MT Haryono Kav. 41. Jakarta Selatan


Academic Test

The subject for this test is only Basic Math. Academic Test will take place in Alfa Flying School, Jakarta.


simulatorAptitude Test

The aptitude test will be held in Simulator, at Alfa Flying School Jakarta. The purpose of this test is to see the aptitude, passion, and potential’s prospective students when you handle the simulator.