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Old 30th Jul 2008, 17:30   #61 (permalink)
 
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Well, nobody here has been to all of them so I don't think you'd be able to find anybody here that can compare one to another. And it's also next to impossible to get your hands on statistics like hours to the skill test, pass rates and such. So you just have to pick one and hope for the best, really.

As for the IR, I don't think you can do a JAA IR outside the JAA member states (ie. Florida). I don't know why exactly, but my guess is that it has to do with weather being wildly different.

In any case, I don't think it would be a good idea to do the IR straight after your PPL skills test. Better build some experience first, decide on the type of flying you're going to do and then make the decision. An IR is useful for serious touring but if serious touring is not your piece of cake, or doesn't match with your budget, it's a waste of money. And the currency rules for an IR are even stricter than for a VFR PPL so you might end up throwing good money after bad if you find you don't use your IR regularly enough.

(Having said that, if you intend to go commercial, you can do your IR straight after your PPL and use those training hours to count towards your CPL.)
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Old 30th Jul 2008, 18:20   #62 (permalink)
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As far as I know it isn't possible to do the JAA IR in the US...it's just a requirement of the rating that it is done in a JAA country.

One school that I do know of - and have heard good things about - which has just gained JAR approval for PPL is Florida Aviation Career Training in St Augustine.

I'm going there to do the FAA IR soon so I'll see what it's like.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 02:58   #63 (permalink)


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Travelling to USA under Visa waiver program?

Forgive me if this is common knowledge outside of the USA, but I stumbled across a new program, designed by the Department of Homeland Security, for travellers.

This is irrelavent to anyone with a visa, but from January 12th, 2009, anyone wishing to board an aircraft to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program must first be pre-approved by the DHS.

Approval is available right now, is valid for up to two years and is currently free of charge. Airlines, apparently, will not allow anyone to board their aircraft after this date unless they have the pre-approval document in their possession.

The document *DOES NOT* guarantee right of entry into the USA - but does guarantee that you will not board the aircraft at your departure point without one.

Full details available at;

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ and

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/WebHel...ine_Help_1.htm

The first link is the application - the second is an FAQ sheet.

If you have anything to add to this - there's an "open" thread in Professional Training forum.
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Old 18th Sep 2008, 00:29   #64 (permalink)
 
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I have applied for Sunstate aviation for FAA PPL, and they claim that I dont need a interview at embassy, and the M-visum. I will go under the turist visa, since its less than 18 hours per week?

But I do need to get TSA approval.
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Old 18th Sep 2008, 16:23   #65 (permalink)
 
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I will go under the turist visa, since its less than 18 hours per week?
Explore, I think you will find that noone here will touch this issue anymore, not even with a bargepole. It's been discussed here without a clear outcome and since getting it wrong might be very costly for some people, we don't want to give a clear yes/no on this anymore.

Let me try to summarize the principles of the US visa process and then tell you where the pain points are. You can then draw your own conclusion on whether to obtain an M-1 visa or not.

First off, the principle is that everyone entering the US has to have a visa. M-1, M-2, B-1, whatever. However, since the US receives so many visitors from Europe and a few other 'western' countries, the process of having all these people apply for a visa would be too involved and costly.

So the US has invented the "Visa Waiver Programme" (VWP). IF you are from any of the qualifying countries, IF you are not a terrorist, AIDS patient or any of the other things that are asked about on the green form, IF you arrive in the US by a scheduled airline or boat service, or overland, and IF your purpose is short-term business or tourism you can apply for the VWP scheme by filling in the green card they hand you in the aircraft. It is then finally up to the friendly INS officer at the airport to decide whether you indeed qualify, and are admitted under the VWP program.

If you do not qualify for the VWP program you have to get a visa of some sort. This means presenting yourself at the embassy, filling in forms, depositing fingerprints and money, and waiting a few days for your passport to be returned. Takes about three hours in total, plus travel time, and getting an appointment might take two months in busy periods, depending also on the type of visa you require.

There are several visa types. One of the visa types is a "tourist visa". This is given to people who visit the US as a tourist but do not apply for the VWP program, for instance because they are not from a qualifying country, or for instance if they enter the US in a way that's not allowed under the VWP (by private aircraft for instance).

(The reason for the latter is that under the VWP, if the INS officer deems that you do not qualify, the airline *has to* fly you back to your country of origin - airlines have to sign contracts to this effect with the US government before they're allowed to transport VWP-qualifying people to the US. This isn't possible for private aircraft, hence people flying in on private aircraft automatically do not qualify for the VWP.)

The most important visa type in the context of flying training is the M-1 visa. This is for short-term study and is *required* if your main purpose for visiting the US is getting trained in something. Now "main purpose" is a rather loose definition and for vocational studies, is interpreted as "more than 18 hours of practical work" per week or "22 hours of classroom studies".

The big issue, to which nobody has been able to answer sufficiently, is whether this 18-hour interpretation also applies to flight training, and if so, what is included in this 18 hours: actual flying only, or pre- and post-flight briefs too? Flight preparation? Ground studies? Self studies?

In any case, if you fly to the US solely to obtain your FAA PPL (and maybe have some fun on the side) it can be argued (and the INS officer will probably do just that) your main purpose, according to the immigration law, is study, not tourism or business, and you therefore have to have an M-1 visa. He can, I think, brush aside the 18-hour requirement as being not applicable in this case. And without a visa, that means you're going home on the next flight.

If you want to go to the US under the VWP for flight training, I'd make damn sure that the INS agrees with this beforehand, by getting their specific interpretation of the law in writing, applicable to your situation. And, obviously, if you don't qualify for the VWP program outright (I have no idea about Norways status for instance) the difference between getting a tourist visa and a student visa is negligeable and not worth this discussion.

Oh, and if you think about dodging the question and just telling the INS that you're going to be a tourist for three weeks, think again. Although the TSA doesn't check your visa status outright (as I understand), it does say in their regulations that they can withhold training permission (and worse) if they find you training without the proper immigration status. This can have serious repercussions, not just for you but for the school as well.
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Old 22nd Sep 2008, 23:49   #66 (permalink)
 
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Well, I talked with the US embassy. Here is the response: "If the primary purpose of your travel is to obtain a private pilotís license, then you need to find a school that will be able to issue the forms necessary for a student visa. If the studies are incidental to your reasons for being in the US, such you have a winter home in the US and will take the classes as part of your vacation, then you can travel on a tourist visa"
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Old 25th Sep 2008, 00:17   #67 (permalink)
 
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Do you have that in writing . . . . . . . .?
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Old 25th Sep 2008, 01:35   #68 (permalink)
 
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Yes, that was the answer I got via mail.
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 14:03   #69 (permalink)
 
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FAA or JAA PPL

Firstly Hello,
New to the forum and flying but have enjoyed looking through your posts.
Could you help with a few questions?

I have started reading the study books and was thinking of flight training in the US partly because of the price and the better weather and also for a 3-4 week adventure (Dorset can be very dull) had planned to get ground school done before going.
Is the Faa ppl acepted for flying in Europe and if so is it an easier qualification to obtain?
From what I've read it seems to be, but would be nice to clarify.

Thanks
John

Last edited by JAKL; 27th Sep 2008 at 14:08. Reason: Just thought of another question: I'm taking my daughters to NY in October for a week on holiday. Would it be poosible to organize visa's just for my training whilst there? possibly easier than from t
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 08:09   #70 (permalink)
 
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The FAA PPL is accepted by the UK CAA for a G-reg plane, for worldwide VFR flight. This acceptance is automatic.

I don't know of another European country that does that. Others do various forms of validation but with various restrictions - largely to protect their domestic flight training business.

Flight training is NOT a holiday however. It is hard work. If you go to the USA for a holiday, hoping to pick up a PPL, forget it.

You also need to get the writtens and the medical out of the way before you go out there - unless you are going for quite a number of weeks.

I've sent you a PM.
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 08:23   #71 (permalink)

 
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Quote:
Is the Faa ppl acepted for flying in Europe and if so is it an easier qualification to obtain?
From what I've read it seems to be, but would be nice to clarify.
It is absolutely not easier to obtain an FAA PPL. In fact, i would say that it's easier to obtain a CAA/JAR FCL licence. I know, i have done both.

I'm now working on my FAA-IR, the written material might be less, the practical level is very high, you end up being a descent pilot with FAA licences.
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 18:23   #72 (permalink)
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It is absolutely not easier to obtain an FAA PPL. In fact, i would say that it's easier to obtain a CAA/JAR FCL licence. I know, i have done both.
Quite agree on that....there are some things on the FAA Private like the ground reference maneuvers that I have simply never done and the amount of material on the whole course is more than JAR; consequently the average time to complete the FAA one is higher (someone once told me about 70hrs although that is probably out of date). JAR has more ground though.

The other 'gotcha' the FAA one has (which is usually not a problem if one is doing the thing over a month or so for example) is that the examiner for the skills test has the power (and I've seen this happen) to abandon the flight test before starting it if s/he feels the candidates knowledge of airspace/systems etc is not up to scratch during pre-test questioning. This gets more intense as one goes up the ratings....for CFI some people will get up to 6hrs of discussion and questioning before even getting into the aircraft for their check ride.

The only other thing that is perhaps worth mentioning is that my instrument rating instructor reckoned that the FAA did have a slight problem with maintaining high standards for the IR and that he knew people who in his opinion shouldn't have been granted their IRs. This is perhaps inevitable to some extent considering that while the CAA employs staff examiners to conduct initial IRs the FAA doesn't (it does for CFI though). My examiner for instrument seemed like a firm but fair type though and although he could have made the whole thing a lot harder I felt pushed and that is ultimately how it should be....
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Old 6th Oct 2008, 19:06   #73 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
the examiner for the skills test has the power (and I've seen this happen) to abandon the flight test before starting it if s/he feels the candidates knowledge of airspace/systems etc is not up to scratch during pre-test questioning
That's right, the examiner can fail you on the oral exam alone.

Quote:
The only other thing that is perhaps worth mentioning is that my instrument rating instructor reckoned that the FAA did have a slight problem with maintaining high standards for the IR and that he knew people who in his opinion shouldn't have been granted their IRs. This is perhaps inevitable to some extent considering that while the CAA employs staff examiners to conduct initial IRs the FAA doesn't (it does for CFI though).
I don't buy that - if one is talking about relevant flying competence. If one is talking about flying NDB holds to 0.1 degree accuracy then certainly the JAA system is going to be more rigorous, but if one was going to match competence to the actual requirements of IFR flight, there is no difference between the two.

In truth neither system prepares you fully for European private IFR flight - there are loads of operational details which are not taught. The FAA system gets away with it because it does teach you what you need to know for flying IFR in the USA. The JAA system gets away with it because the vast majority of the output ends up in the airlines, in the RHS with a captain in the LHS and the captain keeps an eye on things.

The majority of instructors teaching the JAA stuff are highly prejudiced against the FAA regime and everything connected with it. The vast majority of them have zero knowledge of any FAA training, and the vast majority of JAA instructors have never flown private IFR to anywhere significant. The FAA IR flight training is bl00dy hard work and 10 times harder than anything that's needed for real.

And a few months after the IR checkride it's all irrelevant because there are 3 things that matter in IFR flight

currency on type
currency on type
currency on type

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Old 6th Oct 2008, 19:28   #74 (permalink)
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I don't buy that - if one is talking about relevant flying competence. If one is talking about flying NDB holds to 0.1 degree accuracy then certainly the JAA system is going to be more rigorous, but if one was going to match competence to the actual requirements of IFR flight, there is no difference between the two.
IO540 I think you slightly misunderstand me....I wasn't saying that the FAA standards are lower than JAA; all I was saying was that in the opinion of my FAA CFI there are some 'soft' examiners out there in the US that perhaps do not always uphold the standard set. That was simply his view having instructed in the US for a while, worked in a US flying school and seen a variety of students/examiners (as far as I know he has only ever known the FAA system).

While I'm not suggesting for a moment that this is systematic one can surely see considering that the FAA has less control over IR checkrides than the CAA does that this could happen occasionally.

I promise I'm not 'getting at' the FAA.....in the ongoing FAA vs. JAR debate I am on your side.
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Old 7th Oct 2008, 12:22   #75 (permalink)
 
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OK, CT, I accept there is a possible weakness

The real Q however is whether this matters at all.

The actual skills set required for actual IFR flight is so far below the training/checkride level, it hardly matters.

In my FAA IR, I spent two weeks (this is post-IMCR, and with 500hrs TT and about 80hrs on instruments before starting the IR) being totally knackered every day, banging VORs, LOCs, GSs, DMEs, you name it. Partial panel approaches with just the compass and using timed turns, down to minima every time. Just to get that magical bit of paper.

But what does one actually do in Europe? It's all RNAV so you fly on the GPS. The only time I use conventional navaids is for the occassional SIDs - my rather simple IFR GPS (KLN94) has poor representations of these procedures - and of course when flying an ILS.
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Old 8th Oct 2008, 19:07   #76 (permalink)
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Quote:
The real Q however is whether this matters at all.
Indeed......

Anyway returning to a more mundane question could anyone advise me as to whether or not one needs to go through the whole TSA/VISA thing again if one wants to upgrade one's FAA IR from single to multi (assuming one already has an MEP rating)?
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Old 14th Oct 2008, 21:07   #77 (permalink)
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Well the TSA got back to me about the Multi upgrade for my IR and said that no I didn't need to go through the program.
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Old 21st Feb 2009, 21:10   #78 (permalink)
 
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Reality for me:

1)
Get Fingerprints...1 year later TSA say your application hasn't been complete because Flight school didnt bother to do something with them...so I was flying unnaware for 3 weeks...

2)
OFT take you upstairs and slap on an insurance thing of about $200...I declined it...I can't believe they would do this after all my emails asking about hidden fees.

3)
They don't tell you about signing off a sheet of paper to do with the exams...even when they knew you were departing and told them several times.
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Old 8th Jul 2009, 19:50   #79 (permalink)
 
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Hi guys,
I was supposed to be going to OBA at the end of August and had my M-1 visa issued already. I was just wondering if anyone knows if it is possible to delay the start date at all? I did call but I did not really understand what the person on the phone was saying, and I was paying £1.20/min..

Basically, I would kind of like to put the flying off for 6 months or so due to finances not being as good as initially anticipated. Stupid to realise now after spending out all of this money on visas etc! Hopefully there is a way to change the date, if not I will be screwed
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Old 8th Jul 2009, 20:59   #80 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for replying!
Nope, I actually have not paid them anything at all yet. I would pay the full balance on arrival.

I haven't received my passport back yet, but I will check the validity as soon as it does. I will also shoot an email off to the FTO, and possibly call them tomorrow morning.

Thanks for the help
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