View Full Version : FAA in UK: Helicopter Night Solo

21st Jan 2013, 14:33
I have an FAA CPL(A) and a JAR PPL(H). I would like to do an FAA CPL(H) add-on by doing a combined FAA PPL(H) and FAA CPL(H) test.

One of the requirements of the FAA CPL(H) is to do 5 hours of solo/PIC night in VFR condition. I have quite a few night hours in fixed wing aircrafts and +5 hours of helicopter night instruction, but I do not meet the requirements to do a JAR helicopter night rating yet.

I live in the UK so I fly G-reg helicopters. Per FAA regs, I understand that I can fly night solo with the appropriate endorsement in my logbook from an FAA CFI. I have two questions:
- Does this apply to a G-reg helicopter flown in UK airspace?
- If the answer is 'yes', could I do a cross-country trip rather than simply circuits on the basis of that endorsement?

Thanks a lot for your help!


21st Jan 2013, 14:45
If you don't meet the requirements on your JAA licence what on earth makes you think you can override them by switching to another authority?

The answer is no.

21st Jan 2013, 18:36
The answer is, as I understand it, that with any FAA pilot certificate while flying a G-reg in the UK, you are only allowed Private Pilot level, Day-VFR privileges. This is written in the CAA rule book somewhere. That's as much as I know, and I await to be corrected by someone who can quote chapter and verse or knows better.
I've never heard of a "combined PPL/CPL" test, surely you'd do one or the other? So simply add the Helicopter Rating to your FAA Commercial, or go another way and just get an FAA Private Heli Certificate based-on your JAA PPL(H). Obviously you'd need to meet the Private Pilot training requirements, as well as Commercial, but it wouldn't be 2 tests in one, it would just be the Commercial manoeuvres etc, and the boxes ticked for Private Pilot before undertaking the Commercial pratical.

I'm a CFI/CFII ASEL, so I'm not too sure about night endorsements (must be a heli thing), as with a standalone FAA airplane pilot certificate, there isn't a "night rating" or endorsement and it's just part and parcel of the training and certificate. You probably know this?

Also, as with any use of FAA pilot certificates in the UK... Just be thankful for what you've got! We're lucky to be part of the FAA system, and also should be thankful to the UK CAA (for once!) in that they allow FAA pilots to operate a G-reg, Day-VFR, with no need to sit any exams, pay them any money or do any flight tests. Come 2014, this will supposedly all go to sh1t anyway, so make the most of it while it lasts.
WHERE I DRAW THE LINE, and seemingly people like Bose get their underwear in a twist, is when people try and operate in the grey areas and knowingly bend the rules a bit, by inventing piecemeal ways of thinking they can operate to suit themselves. If you want to fly a G-reg helicopter in the UK at Night, then it's up to YOU to do whatever you need to, so as to be legal. You should know what is involved re: FAA requirements for certificates/ratings, or at least know where to look for them in the regs as you're already a Commercial Pilot, you just need to know just what you can and can't do in a G-reg heli on a foreign licence.

If you don't meet the requirements on your JAA licence what on earth makes you think you can override them by switching to another authority?

The answer is no.

I know what you're getting at, but...
On my JAA PPL, I don't have VP or retractable undercarriage differences training, and only an SEP rating. On my standalone (ie not based on a JAA licence) FAA Commercial, I have a complex endorsement, and a multi-engine rating. So that means I can fly a G-reg twin, day-VFR on my FAA certificate in the UK?! Or I can fly something like an Arrow as PIC/P1 on a G-reg with my FAA certificate, which I couldn't legally do on my JAA licence?! Seems that way (I haven't done either) as far as I can see. Same goes for Aerobatics. There isn't an FAA aerobatic rating, but I can't see anything that prohibits me flying aero's in a suitable G-reg on my FAA ticket.

Looking forward to somebody taking my post apart with suitable references to the relevant rules and regs!

21st Jan 2013, 19:44
if you did the night training AFTER PPL checkride, simply count it as 'FAA PIC' time as per the wording of 61.129 relevant bits. While I understand the slight differences, you should meet the FAA requirements for CPL issue/taking practical flight test. Simply annotate the logbook entries, make spreadsheet if necessary, to make sure you meet the night landings and any night xc time, such s the 2hr night VFR conditions xc. Look at the 'performing duties of PIC' put there for the night flying experience for CPL in FAA system. You don't have to do any solo at night for that.

The ANO Articled 26 and 62 are for using ICAO licenses for DAY VFR, so you can't use FAA privileges, if you had PPL or higher. It does not apply to any studetn pilot privileges and sign-offs by instructor. It'd not work on G-reg especially, unless it's UK CAA/EASA compliant endorsements for solo by UK CAA/EASA licenses instructor.

As for the CPL checkride, all you need is private licence, as per FARs/14CFR etc. Well, the 61.75 foreign validation/conversion is important to act as PIC on N-reg aircraft. You'd have to check with any internatiional DPE if you do the checkride on other reg (nont N-reg) and I can't recall all the rlevant bits this moment, but it was discussed on pprune. Any training (paid) or checkrides on G-reg are subject to special rules and permissions by foreign rated instructors.

Now I looked at your post again. You got the FAA CPL(A). So you know the regs enough.

21st Jan 2013, 23:04
I think the responders are missing the point.

He has a Jar PPL(H) - so surely he can already fly solo at night for the purpose of obtaining a (JAR/EASA) night qualification - regardless of whether he has an (FAA- i presume) ?) endorsement - without circumventing anything -
so the answer to the first question would be yes -no?

and the second question - can it be cross country solo - I presume it can since only 3 of the required 5 night hrs need to be dual - have i understood that correctly?

22nd Jan 2013, 07:57
No. He does not meet the requirements to gain a JAA night qualification on helicopters. Requirements are very different to fixed wing.

22nd Jan 2013, 09:28
The requirements for the JAA Helicopter Night rating can be found here: FCL.810 p43 of the COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 1178/2011 (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:311:0001:0193:EN:PDF)

Helicopters. If the privileges of a PPL for helicopters are to be exercised in VFR conditions at night, the applicant shall have:
(1) completed at least 100 hours of flight time as pilot in helicopters after the issue of the licence, including at least 60 hours as PIC on helicopters and 20 hours of cross-country flight;
(2) completed a training course at an ATO. The course shall be completed within a period of 6 months and comprise:
(i) 5 hours of theoretical knowledge instruction;
(ii) 10 hours of helicopter dual instrument instruction time; and
(iii) 5 hours of flight time at night, including at least 3 hours of dual instruction, including at least 1 hour of cross-country navigation and 5 solo night circuits. Each circuit shall include a take-off and a landing.

As far as I understand, these state the minimums to be granted the night rating, not the minimums to start training for the night rating. In which case AnFI's point makes sense, doesn't it? After all I might only be a few hours away from meeting the JAA helicopter night rating requirements and thus could start training for it and fly solo night with the appropriate supervision and training, isn't it?

22nd Jan 2013, 13:24
I fly G-reg helicopters. Per FAA regs, I understand that I can fly night solo with the appropriate endorsement in my logbook from an FAA CFI You cannot fly in the UK as a student pilot on the approval of anyone other than a qualified EASA Flight Instructor.
Requirement for appropriate licence to act as member of flight crew of EASA aircraft
registered in United Kingdom
50 (1) Subject to paragraph (2), a person must not act as a pilot of an EASA aircraft that is
registered in the United Kingdom without holding an appropriate licence granted,
converted or rendered valid under the EASA Aircrew Regulation.
(2) A person may act as a pilot of an EASA aircraft without holding an appropriate licence
granted, converted or rendered valid under the EASA Aircrew Regulation when
undergoing flying training, including solo flying training authorised and supervised by
a flight instructor, in accordance with the EASA Aircrew Regulation as amended from
time to time.

23rd Jan 2013, 06:36
Do you get out of the 'no' side of bed every day?

bose-x :No. He does not meet the requirements to gain a JAA night qualification on helicopters. but to gain one you MUST fly solo - so he CAN fly solo - please re-read my first post and tell me if I am wrong.

Whopity seems to have it ... at least 3 hrs dual??

23rd Jan 2013, 11:22
Some days, I just don't get out of bed. Although today I might get up in half an hour and go get some breakfast as 23c and the sun is shining already.

23rd Jan 2013, 16:11
Thanks a lot for all your answers! Much appreciated and very enlightening.

I just wanted to come back to sapperkenno and MartinCh comments about day-VFR limitation.

Here is what I read in the ANO Part 6 Art 62 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/1751/article/16/made) (my bold):

Deeming a non-United Kingdom flight crew licence and any Part-FCL licence valid for non-EASA aircraft and deeming a non-United Kingdom radiotelephony licence valid for any aircraft

62.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), this article applies to any licence which authorises the holder to act as a member of the flight crew of an aircraft and is—

(a)granted under the law of a Contracting State other than the United Kingdom but which is not a Part-FCL licence;
(b)granted under the law of a relevant overseas territory; or
(c)a Part-FCL licence.
(2) This article does not apply to such a licence if it authorises the holder to act as a student pilot only.

(3) Subject to paragraph (6), for the purposes of this Part, a licence to which this article applies is, unless the CAA gives a direction to the contrary, deemed to be a licence rendered valid under this Order.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), the privileges of a licence deemed valid under paragraph (3) are restricted so that it does not entitle the holder—

(a)to act as a member of the flight crew of any aircraft flying for the purpose of commercial air transport, public transport or aerial work or on any flight for which the holder receives remuneration for services as a member of the flight crew; or
(b)to act as pilot of any aircraft flying in controlled airspace in circumstances requiring compliance with the Instrument Flight Rules or to give any instruction in flying.
(5) The restrictions in paragraph (4) do not apply to a flight radiotelephony operator’s licence or a Part-FCL licence.

(6) A Part-FCL licence with single-engine piston aeroplane privileges is not deemed to be rendered valid for a microlight aeroplane unless the holder of the licence has undergone differences training in accordance with Section 2 of Part B of Schedule 7, appropriate for a microlight aeroplane class rating.”.

Until recently, night flying in the UK implied IFR, so this effectively restricted the privileges of ICAO licenses to day-VFR.

Now, since the implementation of the information notice IN–2012/145: Introduction of Visual Flight Rules (VFR) at Night in the UK (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/InformationNotice2012145Corrected.pdf) on 17-Sep-12, I am not sure the day-only limitation for an FAA license holder (i.e. with night privileges embedded in the license) still holds.

23rd Jan 2013, 18:37
Art 62 was modified in the latest ANO amendment and if you read the title, you will see it only applies to Non EASA aircraft. Unless you are flying an Annex II aircraft it does not apply to you.

23rd Jan 2013, 21:49
so if he can get European/UK CA FI to sign him off for night solo, even thoug not getting Euro night rating yet, he can get the FAA 'compliant' night time out of way then. I don't know the rules governing Euro/UK FI sign-offs, hence talked more of the FAA stuff. OP didnt' state access to local instructors and I'd presume he/she would be ready to answer this fast.

Oh, scrolling through Alistair's new post. Well, unless the ANO says otherwise, ICAO licence holders are allowed to do what it says as OK.

It's not just IFR/night stuff, but in your own bold, it talks about controlled airspace and IFR.

Good luck getting definite answer from CAA.

24th Jan 2013, 06:46
the diversity of views just shows that the rules are too complex
5 people 5 opinions
who was the architect of this mess?

24th Jan 2013, 10:32
Which explains why the CAA staff cannot even give you a consistent correct answer. And this is just the tip of the Iceburgh!
I don't know the rules governing Euro/UK FI sign-offsIts not a case of a sign off, you will need to complete the course at an ATO or RF!

24th Jan 2013, 13:25
Which brings me nicely back to No......

You can't create hybrid rules from different authorities to suit. If you want to do this under the FAA then go to the US and do it. The whole European system is not geared up for the type of flexibility you are wanting especially with rotary operations.

24th Jan 2013, 14:46
As far as I am aware, a third country licence is no longer automatically validated in the UK for use in an EASA aircraft. Since 17 Sep it has been necessary to have the licence validated in accordance with Annex III of Regulation 1178/2011. Such revalidation is for one year and is non-renewable, although it may be extended if the holder can show that he is working towards the issue of an EASA licence. In the event that an EASA licence is already held, I doubt that the UK would consider validating the third country licence at all.

24th Jan 2013, 18:28
as long as it is a part of a complete the course at an ATO or RF! (to quote Whopity)
you don't have to complete the course though - it's just part of it.

so is it a yes or a no?

the answer to most things is normally no - the difficult thing is finding the yes "Shirley?"

25th Jan 2013, 00:18
Find me an ATO that will take you on specifically so that you can circumvent the rules and you will have your yes.......

In the meantime I refer you to my original answer!

25th Jan 2013, 07:01
when you put it like that I agree

but there are other ways you can obtain a yes - ie by actually doing the EASA Night Qual - after all there is no indication that he wishes to circumvent anything merely wants to work out how he can obtain his FAA 'tickets'.

International people and others are just tormented by complex incompatible regionally different regulatory requirements and there is a negative assumption that they are 'circumventing' whereas they are often merely attempting to jump through the hoops in as many jurisdictions as they can in order to enjoy something approaching personal freedom.

maybe I have an overly constructive and positive approach ....

25th Jan 2013, 11:22
maybe I have an overly constructive and positive approach ....

Not really. It's just that we have a training and Licencing regime in Europe. If you want to operate under another countries regime then go to that country and gain the ratings you want. That way the local regs apply and you are not trying to hybrid something to fit.

And That way at least you are putting money back into the system directly that you are going to take from for ever more as a free loader.

Now I must get out of bed and go flying. Key West or Marathon today.....

25th Jan 2013, 21:35
And That way at least you are putting money back into the system directly that you are going to take from for ever more as a free loader.

Dont think that makes sense - he'd be flying and paying in Europe keeping 'our' bloated and overpaid workforce and bureaucrats in baked beans - rather than take his money pointlessly at inconvenience and extra expense to somewhere else in the world with a free market approach where he could perform the exercise under an open US administrative arrangement. The US do not charge (significantly) for these services.... so they would hardly be losing out if that's what you meant.

Unless you're talking about the £50 the 'Competent Authority' in Europe might make - hardly worth sacrificing the £3000 of economic activity just to try and avoid 'circumvention' of payment of £50 - Do u think anyone would mind paying the £50 to administration company (CAA Ltd) if that's what you're talking about?

It's just that we have a training and Licencing regime in Europe. - and they don't elsewhere in the world?
Europe's not a prison - at least it shouldn't be.

25th Jan 2013, 22:39
Then why does he need an FAA rating?

26th Jan 2013, 10:12
good question - I don't know, maybe he doesn't need one but would just like one, or maybe he'd like to enjoy the freedoms which an FAA license affords the holder internationally - perhaps the freedom to fly any type under 12500lbs based on his own assessment of whether that's a good idea without having to go to an EASA approved ATO.... or be 'examined' every year on every type - maybe so he can fly a Bell206 in Mozambique at night - maybe he just likes the idea that a State will permit him these judgements himself rather than be treated like a junior member of the Armed Forces or a criminal 'out on license', I just don't know.... I guess the whole debate about how much freedom a citizen needs to give up in exchange for living in an 'ordered State' is pertinent. Perhaps that is a key difference between Europe and America? In Russia the citizens were not permitted the freedoms 'we' had in the west, maybe its all changing now?