Should I start clearing papers first or do my flying? And when should I do my Medical?

Captain Puneet Baldawa
6 min readMar 23, 2024


Well begun is half done!

Congratulations!! You have finally crossed the most difficult phase of becoming a pilot, that is “Deciding to embark on the journey of becoming a Pilot.” If you yet to decide, then I would suggest to read this blog first. Now that you have embarked onto the journey, let’s talk about the next biggest concern for every aspirant, “In what order should I complete my whole CPL journey? What should be the priority order for Flight training, Medical and Theory Exams? ” Isn’t this one of your questions? If yes, this will be the first and the last place you have to read to get answers to your million dollar question. I will be saving a lot of your money by this blog. Additionally, I am glad that you have the questioning thought process and you take efforts for looking for the appropriate answers.

First Flight with Dad.
First Flight with my Dad

First and foremost thing to be done after commencing your pilot journey is your Medical, i.e. Class II followed by Class I. To read more about this medical process, you can click here. This will assure you, whether you are medically fit or not. The tests are similar to a full body checkup, with an extra emphasis on ENT, Eyesight and BMI. There are specific certified DGCA authorized medical officers, requesting you to do the medical from those doctors only. To get the list of the Authorized medical officers, you can click here. Although you can do Class II and Class I medical tests back to back, but initially I would suggest you to do Class II only, because Class I has more or less similar tests. So, if you clear Class II, you will 99% clear Class I also.

Once you complete your medical, the next big decision comes whether to start flying or start clearing papers. This is where everyone gets confused and gets stuck. I have found the answer with reasoning backed up. One might have a different opinion, but my answer is to Start papers first, and then start flying. Let me explain the benefits to you.

1. Gives you extra time to put your determination and dedication on a test.

After being mentally ready to become a pilot, we should check if we can physically put in the effort and fight for becoming a pilot. No matter how many challenges you face to become a pilot, like computer applications being rejected, not being able to clear papers, high fees for the training, facing challenges during medical etc. Because, the people who think that becoming pilot is the best and the only option for their career, only they end up being fighting to achieve their DREAM at any cost. Also, be practical and honest while putting yourself on test.

Dedicated student

2. Bonus time to know more about Pilots and Aviation.

Becoming a pilot is a pretty new field. You might be thinking that I have talked to many pilots and now I know everything about it. Sorry to burst this bubble, but it’s never like that. You must have heard a lot of glamour side and then decided to pursue it for that reason. The minute things of aviation, like less of social life, never ending studies, drastic changes in the sleep pattern, not being able to meet your loved ones regularly, costing of the journey etc. Apart from that, there are a few things which can only be learnt with experience, and Aviation has many such things. You will be spending your whole life in it, why not experience it and then dive deeper into it.

“Some lessons have to be experienced before they can be understood” — Investor Michael Batnick

3. Get extra time to decide where to do your flying? In India or abroad?

Once you start preparing for your papers and maybe join classes, you will meet many aspirants and understand how other aspirants are completing their journey. Moreover, you can utilize this time to do a thorough research about flying clubs in India and abroad.

Additionally, you will get time to think of pros and cons of flying of India and abroad. By the end of talking to various instructors, colleagues, pilots, you will have a lot of insights and then it will be easy for you to plan out the rest of the journey. I have written a blog explaining where to complete flying from. I am sure that will give you a lot of information for this concern. Click here to read the blog.

Apart from these conventional ways, you are keeping the option for choosing the cadet program open.

An aspirant thinking where do to flying from.

4. You are indirectly helping your parents to manage finances.

As we all know, the fees have started skyrocketing, around 50–60 lakhs just for the CPL. So, how you are planning to pay the fees, i.e. by loan, self fund, scholarships, etc. plays a vital role. Moreover, managing this huge amount will take time. It’s better to think practical than very optimistically. And while the money is getting managed, you can help parents by clearing papers and gain more trust of your parents, that you can finish your flying too.

Fees are increasing

5. You won’t be wasting any money

By giving yourself time after entering aviation, after starting your preparation for exams, you will gain awareness of Aviation and become familiar with Aviation and make better calculative decisions. These decisions will save money and trouble in changing flying clubs again and again in future. Even though papers and flying are equivalently important, you don’t have to spend too much of money for exams, but for flying, every hour will cost you ~Rs 20000. So, what’s the harm to assess yourself for Aviation at the minimal cost.

To appear for papers, you just need computer number, there’s no necessicity for taking addmission in the flying club. So, you can sit at home and appear exams too. In this way, you are keeping all the options open, like to start flying or not, which country and FTO to join, whether to do it via conventional way or via cadet program.

At the end, I would say it is your responsibility that the money which is being spent for your training is to be assumed that you have taken it as a loan and your repayment period starts the day you become a pilot. Every penny spent for your training has to be repaid to your family. By saying that, it doesn’t means that you have to cut down necessary expenses. Because the money is spent for your future career, you have to take up the responsibility of the expenses too. Once you think in this manner, you will plan your training in a streamlined process. So, while you prepare yourself for the papers, you can make wise decisions to make your and your family’s life.

90% of the flight preparation is done on the ground, it’s just execution which is done during the flight. This is your ground preparation time!

Happy landings and enjoy the journey!



Captain Puneet Baldawa

I am an A320 Rated Commercial Pilot flying with IndiGo. I have finished my flight training from India. I am a Cofounder of Streamline Aviation Academy.