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I am an aviation enthusiast from India. I am 24 now and want to be a hobby pilot after 1 or 2 years (I need to save money to afford training). I want to move up to twin engine aircraft as well.

Since I have fair amount of free time and can understand the concepts clearly with no time pressure, what should I start doing now that will help me tremendously when I train to be a pilot (reading books or doing any other stuff)? What should be my plan of action?

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site! This may be a difficult question to answer clearly because a lot depends on where you are (local regulations and requirements etc.) and even on how you personally like to learn. Are you planning to learn to fly in India? Also, if you prefer or need to discuss this topic in general then you may find the chatroom is a useful alternative to asking a question. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Nov 14 '14 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ I am planning to learn flying in India, I need a general/specific suggestions on what to read and how to prepare well ahead to actually start training. As I have heard there are many subjects one has to understand and master before becoming a pilot. $\endgroup$ – user3812230 Nov 14 '14 at 18:04
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It's hard to give you specific advice for India because I'm not familiar with the regulations and standards there (your best bet would be to give the DGCA a call and ask if they have any publications you can review).

Broadly speaking all countries are going to expect you to know much of the same material however (because all airplanes essentially fly the same way). Along those lines, the FAA publishes some of the best flight training resources out there, and it's all available online for free.
I would recommend two of the publications to anyone considering flight training:

  • The Airplane Flying Handbook
    This is where I'd generally suggest starting - a basic "How does all this flying stuff work?" textbook on a par with any of the commercially-produced materials.
    Details on specific regulations, procedures, how to read charts, etc. may vary, but all of the material on aerodynamics, systems, flight controls, and maneuvers will be applicable.
    If you're interested in helicopters there's a Helicopter Flying Handbook as well.

  • The Aeronautical Information Manual (direct PDF link)
    This will be less useful to you as it's written with US regulations in mind (and stuff like aeronautical charting is probably different in India than it is in the US), but again there are large sections that are broadly applicable: Chapters 1, 2, and 8 in particular.

In addition to reading you can gain some experience using simulators if you use them effectively - even relatively inexpensive home simulation software & equipment can be helpful, though it's not a substitute for the real thing. We've got a good Q&A on using simulators to help in training which addresses some of the strengths and weaknesses of learning in a simulator. To help keep you from developing bad habits you would have to un-learn in a real airplane there are also companies providing what's effectively a private pilot flight course via simulators for free, and that will help you get started doing things right - following all the procedures as you would for a real airplane.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks voretaq7 for the answer. I will contact dgca for further details pertaining to Indian training procedures. The books you referred will really help me a lot. $\endgroup$ – user3812230 Nov 15 '14 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ The AIM link seems to be broken (can't imagine that after 2 years). I've updated it to what I believe to be the correct link now. You may want to double check it. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Sep 27 '16 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ @FreeMan Right link - The DOT made the FAA take down the HTML version of the AIM. I thought I updated all the links to it so they point to the PDF but I guess I missed this one. $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Sep 27 '16 at 20:40

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