View Full Version : IR for people that don't want to become professional pilots.

3rd Jan 2010, 11:27
Assuming the JAA rules stay as they are today, at some point I might want to get an IR. Not now, but maybe in 1-2 years time.

My problem is that I'm a freelancer. I get my jobs very suddenly - often I get confirmed on a job only 2 days before it's happening. My job takes me to all corners of the world and the jobs vary in length, i.e., making plans ahead of time is impossible - it's just the nature of my work.

Now, this is the problem with the IR. It all seems to be geared towards pilots who are either unemployed elsewhere, or studying.

Is there any place in England, Europe, anywhere where you can do either a very condensed theory course (and ideally not one that has one batch every 6 months as if I have to pull out in the last minute due to work, I'd like to not have to wait another 6 to get on the next one) or where you can do most of it on your own as in a distance course?

The flight training is more flexible - it's just the time nature of the theory course that is the killer for me.

3rd Jan 2010, 11:59
You can do the theory in distance learning. You have 12 months to complete it. If you have some previous technical background you'll find a lot of the matter is already known.

Apparently it is a major problem to find sufficient FTOs in the UK, so maybe you should look abroad. Since you already have a PPL you can make a trip out of the (few) required class attendances.

3rd Jan 2010, 12:45
Or get an FAA IR.

You can study for the ONE written exam whenever you get time and you can sit the exam either in the USA of at a couple of places here.

3rd Jan 2010, 14:04
If you don't want a career as an ATP go for the FAA-IR.

3rd Jan 2010, 14:45
Can you do a complete distance course for JAA IR? That'd be ideal. I didn't think you could.

FAA IR is tempting as I'm there so much, but I would like to convert it to a JAA at some point as well, so I can fly with it here. I've just heard that the FAA IR to JAA IR is a world of pain. With a JAA IR already in hand I can get the FAA IR just by validation, no?

3rd Jan 2010, 14:53
We are all flying over here in Europe with our FAA-IR.

3rd Jan 2010, 15:16
We are all flying over here in Europe with our FAA-IR.

That is a bit of an exaggeration.......

There are many FAA IR holders in Europe who choose to operate on the N reg in order to gain access to the IFR system without the percieved hassle of doing a JAA IR. However I would not accept the assertion that everyone is doing it over here in Europe.

Personally if you want a JAA IR, go and do it, it is easy enough to do with a little diligence. I have JAA and FAA amongst my little collection and have found none of them difficult to do. The JAA IR is mostly the same theory with more questions on each area plus some superfluous stuff that you don't need to know. A good IR TK school will give you proper course direction notes and what starts out as several large volumes of gumph can actually be distilled down to a single A4 binder of similar size to the Jeppesen FAA Instrument/Commercial manual. None of it is rocket science.

There is a conversion path between either system. To FAA IR to JAA IR you do the exams and 15hrs of training (there are some JAA states that allow less) and then you sit the skills test. Generally speaking if you have trained in the USA it can take you close to the 15hrs training to get comfortable enough with the airspace etc to take the skill test.

If going JAA to FAA you can either take the IFP test and a IPC or you can take the IR test, 3 hours training and a check ride. The IFP and the IR tests are virtually the same, just 10 questions less for the IFP. If you have a 61.75 certificate and just want IR privileges for occasional use then you can probably get away with the IFP. If you are going to own an N Reg then it is worth going down the route of getting a full US certificate and doing the US test rather than the IFP.

3rd Jan 2010, 15:26
Can you do a complete distance course for JAA IR? That'd be ideal. I didn't think you could

Yes you can. You receive all the required books at home together with some DVD and Jeppesen student guide. You commiunicate with the instructors via a dedicated intranet on which you also make your progress checks. You don't have to leave your home very often...

You still need to study a lot, but the problem is even the FTOs are used to prep students for the ATPL, which means their question database contains only the ATPL/CPL questions. The difference with the actual written exams is quite remarkable. :)

Also, some parts of the theory content are just a review of what you already covered in the PPL syllabus.

3rd Jan 2010, 16:41
Can you do a complete distance course for JAA IR? That'd be ideal. I didn't think you could

Adam, distance learning for the JAR IR writtens is certainly achievable, despite your job. I've just completed the CATS on-line course that was backed up with a few sessions of groundschool held over weekends. My job is similar to yours in that it takes me overseas at short notice, but I passed all the writtens 1st time without too much effort.

BTW, just to correct TWR's earlier post, you have 18 months to complete the exams (then a further 3 years to complete the flying)

Suggest you give Stuart at CATS (google it) a call.

3rd Jan 2010, 17:24
Yep: CATS is the way to go...........


3rd Jan 2010, 17:31
Is mandatory class attendance not required for the JAA IR? It is only if one is doing an ICAO -> JAA IR conversion that the mandatory attendance disappears (ref: Lasors).

The other issue is that one has to do the JAA IR at an FTO, and most pilots don't have one at their local airfield, so this also means some hotel residence for the flight training, for most people.

50/55hrs of flying, with no credit for any previous experience. Unless again converting from an ICAO IR when the 50/55 reduces to ~ 15 and the figure depends on which JAA country you do it in.

The FAA IR needs access to an N-reg plane.

3rd Jan 2010, 17:38
You say you travel a lot worldwide. This may lead to another consideration: any FAA license is a lot quicker and easier to validate overseas than a CAA one. This has to do with the internal workings of the CAA, the Data Protection Act and probably a few other things. Under normal circumstances, a CAA conversion takes about 2 weeks and costs some money (I know they can and do help in exceptional cases, but this is the norm). FAA is about 3-4 days and free.

So - IF you may wish to use your license somewhere other than JAR and/or FAA land, then it may well be an idea to do the FAA IR and then the conversation to JAR IR. Gives you both.

3rd Jan 2010, 17:48
Also, most non-JAA CAAs validate FAA licenses more or less directly into their own national ones. Sometimes there is an oral exam, sometimes 1 exam, sometimes 1 flight test, and quite often just a payment.

The FAA stuff is much more doable for a busy person. However, while one can do all the training over here, the European checkride option is now severely restricted, so I would suggest just going to the USA and finishing it there in a hard ~ 2 week session. Much safer.

3rd Jan 2010, 17:56
The required class attendance is nothing more than a consolidation course.

If you know your stuff you can do this in one weekend.

3rd Jan 2010, 18:17
If you want the path of least resistance, i think its far less hassle to go down the FAA route. Its a bit of a pain to get the licence converted initially as you have to get authorizations, confirmations etc but the FAA route in my opinion is a far more common sense approach to an IR whereas the JAA route is purely designed with commercial flight in mind. To convert your UKK JAA licence you can either get a piggy back 61.75 and attach the IR to that but if you dont intend to at some stage to an FAA CPL then you would be better advised to obtain an FAA stand alone license to attach the IR to. It is actually possible to complete the FAA route and gain the rating without actually leaving Europe providing you have access to an N registered aircraft to complete the flight test in which certainly makes things easier.
Check out the following site as it gives a full insight into the process.
How to get an FAA Instrument Rating ? Golf Hotel Whiskey (http://www.golfhotelwhiskey.com/how-to-get-an-faa-instrument-rating/)

3rd Jan 2010, 18:37
The only time one needs to convert any UK papers is if doing the 61.75 piggyback PPL route, which is extremely inadvisable these days.

During 2009, hundreds (at least) of European FAA 61.75 pilots were sent scrambling all over the place trying to get the ICAO engligh language proficiency statement added to their piggyback licenses. Some of the stories I've heard would - one hopes - make nobody ever want to do a 61.75 FAA PPL again...

And if you do a standalone FAA PPL, and the FAA IR, you need nothing, zero, zilch, from the UK CAA. You just end up with two loads of completely separate papers: the UK ones, and the US ones.

Then, on any flight, you can choose which sets you want to fly on, and in many cases you will be able to use either one.

Later, you will be able to choose which of these is presented for a validation into another country's papers.

It's a much better way. A 61.75 license is a house of cards.

3rd Jan 2010, 19:30
Just for once - just once - wouldn't it be nice if something, anything connected with aviation was easy? I so do look forward to the day that would happen (never).

I suppose it'll have to be the standalone FAA route to an IR and then convert. TSA clearance here we come. More time wasted. Months before I can even go near an aircraft over there. And I thought I'd do a seaplane rating in the meantime on the quick...

May I bitch a bit more? Went to Gatwick to get CAA to exchange my Swedish JAA PPL for a UK one. They quickly relieved me of 176. Instantly, in fact. However, now 6 weeks later the license still hasn't turned up. They say it might be another 3 more weeks. Maybe I should wait 9 weeks with my payment next time, see how they'd take to that?

By the time I get the bleeding paper something else will be due - don't you just know it.

3rd Jan 2010, 19:48
More time wasted. Months before I can even go near an aircraft over there.Not that bad, Adam. I sent you a URL to a detailed checklist for this stuff.

Wot you do is you get your ducks in a row while still over here.

FAA PPL maneuvers
PPL Written exam
Night x/c flights
Oral study

Then go to the USA and within a few days you will have a standalone FAA PPL.

Now you can fly an N-reg worldwide VFR.

You can also fly a G-reg worldwide VFR (Ref ANO art 26).

Then you can go back to the UK, and get some more ducks in a row.

IR Written exam
IR 250nm x/c flights, or other flights as is convenient
TSA (already done)
Oral study

and go to the USA and in 2 weeks you will have a shiney new IR.

Now you can fly an N-reg, worldwide, VFR/IFR. Fantastic.

You can also fly a G-reg, worldwide VFR, and worldwide IFR but only OCAS (not very useful).

And later, if forced, you can get a JAA IR by doing some flying at a European FTO and an IR checkride, plus the 7 exams. I would seriously consider doing all this in Greece (much better weather, more relaxed, easier procedures, etc). The UK CAA IR exams are done at Athens. Can't avoid the 7 exams though - unless you follow yet another route involving a specific non-JAA country, and there are some complications there (probably worth doing for the CPL/IR route because then you would have 14 exams).

American pilots have it much easier (PPL and IR at the same school etc) but here we pay the price for European protectionism.

3rd Jan 2010, 20:02
The required class attendance is nothing more than a consolidation course. If you know your stuff you can do this in one weekend.Not entirely correct - Appendix 3 to JAR-FCL 1.055 states "The amount of time spent in actual classroom instruction shall be not less than 10% of the total duration of the course." Given that the total duration of the modular ATPL(A) theoretical knowledge course is a minimum of 650 hrs it would be a rather busy weekend!

3rd Jan 2010, 20:34
Not for a PPL/IR

3rd Jan 2010, 20:53
Yes, you are right. So that is another $300 isn't it?

But you don't need a second fingerprinting session.

The main thing about the FAA route is that it is made up of a number of little bits which are relatively much easier to slot into one's life, than the JAA IR.

4th Jan 2010, 04:47
Oh yes, I remember. The first school I registered with was a Part 61 so could not generate the I-20 so I could not get the Visa, so I had to pay a second TSA fee, this time for the Part 141 school. Then this school sent the I-20 to the home of the UK instructor dealing with them (would never talk to me direct) and as he was away this got lost. IIRC I then had to pay 3rd time, or something like that... One has to follow the checklist which I believe is posted in one of the stickies on this forum.

4th Jan 2010, 08:20
Not for a PPL/IRGood point! That'll teach me to read the whole thread before responding. Mind you, the 10% requirement still applies to the IR(H) theoretical knowledge course, which still means a busy weekend.

Fuji Abound
4th Jan 2010, 08:44
I thought you could still do an IR in outer Mongolia or somewhere like that and have it converted when that country joined up with the rest of Europe.

4th Jan 2010, 09:16
Yes you can. A well known forumite here converted his FAA CPL/IR into (what became) a JAA one via Hungary; that route closed last summer.

There are other options like that which I know about, but are either a load of hassle, or you need a "relationship" with a commercial operator of that country. The "relationship" bit is doable by e.g. going to that country and becoming an instructor there, or flying for some operation that operates a plane registered in that country. Obviously having one's ear on the ground helps, as these things are never advertised.

The challenge is finding a country which will let you do that and then become a JAR-FCL country. Not many options left.

If I knew of an easy way I would not be posting it because that CAA would be inundated :) But it is clear there used to be very easy ways; often involving Canadian and Irish intermediate steps. And curiously much easier for an ATP than for anything below that, although an ICAO PPL is still being validated by some non-JAA countries directly (for what that is worth; the official JAA route is only 3 exams once you have 100hrs TT).

4th Jan 2010, 10:23
Yes you can. A well known forumite here converted his FAA CPL/IR into (what became) a JAA one via Hungary; that route closed last summer.

Yawn..... How many more times are you going to trot this one out along with trilander pilots scud running at 400ft?

Hungary have never converted FAA CPL/IR into JAA ones. As I have posted in the past they issued a CMC (Crew Member Certificate) that validated an ICAO CPL/IR for use in Hg registered aircraft. Hg have been a JAA member since virtually the start although they did struggle with FCL1 compliance for a long time as they had to issue CMC's in order to get enough pilots and the JAA Inspection teams did not like this (despite it being ICAO compliant). Now that they are FCL1 compliant CMC' certificates are no longer issued and the current ones will expire this summer. After that you will need a Hg JAA CPL or other JAA CPL FCL licence to fly Hg registered aircraft commercially. Other ICAO licences will be validated automatically for private VFR flight the same as the UK does.

If you want/wanted a full Hg CPL/IR then you must sit the JAA CPL/IR exams and take a flight test with a Hg CAA Staff Examiner (same as the UK CAA). What holding an ICAO CPL/IR did credit you for was not having to do any compulsory training and if flying a type rated aircraft you were allowed to take the test as part of an LPC (but still with Hg CAA Staff Examiners).

I would suggest you stop making yourself look like a prat and perpetuating myths and rumours that are completely untrue. Stick to pontificating about the FAA system Peter. You stand less chance of getting caught out.

4th Jan 2010, 15:24
Not sure that is quite the full history of Hungarian FCL procedures ;) (and Hungary used to be a popular destination for large numbers of JAA airline pilot candidates looking for a CV test they could pass) but as I say it is "history" so hardly important now.

It was relevant to mention this in the context. The FAA IR is a good route to various other things - more so for someone moving about the place.

Fuji Abound
4th Jan 2010, 15:41
Bose - you do seem to be quite an expert on these procedures - do you speak from personal experience?

4th Jan 2010, 15:52
Bose - you do seem to be quite an expert on these procedures - do you speak from personal experience?

I worked as a consultant out there and now work for a Hg EASA AOC operator so am intimate with the inner workings of the Hg process.

Peter, to use one of your favourite sayings please provide documentary proof about Hg procedures. Once again I know for a fact that Hg CAA requirements are full JAR FCL 3 compliant and so CV standards are the same as the rest of the JAA countries.

4th Jan 2010, 19:13
It is cheaper and quicker to put our aeroplane on the n reg than for me to convert to jaa. As the co owner has nothing and wants to do an ir then it makes it far cheaper still. We then also benefit from faa maintenance (ie no calendar time for the 50 hr checks) and cheaper and easier avionics installations.

Fuji Abound
4th Jan 2010, 20:35

So have you given up diving and consultancy now - I am confused.

I know you were in charge of an organisation with 600 odd employees and involved with special mixes and spent some time backwards and forwards to the CIs. Are you just concentrating on trying to make a career out of flying?

4th Jan 2010, 20:59
I am more like a leaf being taken with the wind........:p

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