Old 6th Oct 2008, 18:23
  #70 (permalink)  
Contacttower
Fly Conventional Gear
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Winchester
Posts: 1,601
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the average time to complete the FAA one is higher (someone once told me about 70hrs although that is probably out of date).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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