View Full Version : FAA ATP to JAA ATPL

9th Dec 2002, 02:51
I am new to pprune and was wondering the best way to convert my FAA ATP to a JAA ATP. I have about 2500hrs with 900hrs in light twins which I continue to build up as a flight instructor. Some specific questions if anyone here has heard are

1. Is it better to start my JAA ground or flight training here?
2. Would distance learning for the ATPL writtens be okay being that the FAA knowledge level is lower.
3. Does anyone know anything about airlines validating your license?
4. I hear oxford is really good, but expensive?

Thoughts are appreciated. :confused:

9th Dec 2002, 08:20
Here's a quick and hopefully not too brutal response.

No license, FAA or other, can be directly converted to a JAA license unless the civil aviation authority of the issuing state becomes recognized by the JAA (i.e. Italy is now in the process of becoming a fully recognized JAA state and thereafter all licenses will be automatically converted to JAA after some "in house" JAR training etc).

You would be required to take ALL the exams which can get very costly. Oxford is a good school and you may take some exams via correspondance but not the finals. You would have to attend, I believe, at least a two-week course and final exam phase.

Before you dive into this, however, think twice. To be hired in Europe you need a current FULL European ATPL or a JAA Frozen (writtens completed) ATPL. The practical portion is then done from within the company after hiring and line flying. You also need either a European passport or a working visa (difficult to obtain for us yanks, I have dual citizenship by marriage).

As usual, the European system is complicated and expensive. As dismal as the situation in the States may seem, it's even more difficult to be hired here without the license and type ratings.

Best of luck and feel free to ask any more info as required. Sorry to be the bearer or negativity but better the truth than a possible maybe. I would still contact the Oxford school for more info. They're really nice and helpful folks. Maybe the Brits can get you a working visa but I don't think so. There's a Brit working with me in Italy and he's somewhat distraught that he can't get a visa to work in the States.

Good luck.


9th Dec 2002, 12:13
To limit your risk I would do the distance learning option. Bristol are another school that you should look at. You can fly over and do the brush ups and then the exams. Remember you need a Class one medical to get a reference number for the CAA.
Flying wise, with an ICAO IR you need to do a minimum of 15 hours to get a JAR IR.
Go to the CAA's website to get the latest info. The CAA are a law unto themselves and seem to change their minds at will..... Very expensive sometimes.
Without any multi pilot time you qualify for a JAR CPL (with ATPL exam credits = frozen ATPL).

9th Dec 2002, 22:36
Thanks for the info Sodapop...I too plan on getting married soon to a brit. But am scared about the dismal future ahead....

Thanks redsnail.....will check with the caa

11th Dec 2002, 05:40

Sodapop and redsnail pretty much said all the correct "skinny" about you converting your ratings - just a couple points from my perspective - (been in this business for 25 + years).

1 - had a "Fed" on board one of my flts to BRU last year - she was the FAA rep in Brussels working on the FAA/JAR/ICAO agreements- I asked her about converting my ATP plus type ratings - and the first words was "why???". I said in case I want an early retirement job. She said it wasn't worth the hassle - My ratings were good anywhere because if somebody really needed my experiance they would do the paperwork. Besides alot of the agreements were more on a political level -so everything is subject to change - look at the EU's decision on changing cabatoge ie: open skies agreement w/ the US recently.

2. Had some friends go to work in Europe during the mid 90's w/ FAA certificates - They all got jobs - through employment agencies flying DHL frieight or commuter a/c- BUT They were all type rated w/ plenty of PIC time on type. Thought of taking a LOA then and trying it out - but it was a paycut at the time and w/ the usual ex-wifes etc it wasn't feasable.

3 - So my advice to you would be keep instructing for now - I see DAB is your home - so I guess your w/ Riddle. Also while you have money coming in and are saving for your weddding and honeymoon- apply at some commuters like Gulfstream, Comair etc. I will tell you this - it might be a pay cut, but at least you could get some decent Turbine time and possible a type rating out of it. Also w/ the only growth in the RJ and Low cost carrier market - jump on those - for even though a carrier like Jet Blue cant fly you to Europe, it will be a while before we will be hiring in the majors. At least you can make somewhat of a living w/ the domestic fleets and you would be flying in equipent that would build your resume up.

Listen it is not that dismal out here - when I started you needed 3 lunar landing and an endorsement from Neil Armstrong just to get your foot in the door with a major. So if the only growth is in the smaller fleets, jump in no matter where the job is just for the experiance for that is what you need now more than anything.

If the wife wants to go back to the UK- well in some ways I don't blame her, for the English countryside is some of the most beautiful land I have seen on this planet, but the reality is there isn't much flying going on now at least for you at your level there.

Get on with a small airline that you can get the experiance and maybe with pass benefits and jumpseats you can visit alot or do a long distance commute. (believe it or not I have seen people commute from half way around the globe for their job- including me a one point)

Then when you get a type rating or two - you can apply for a position maybe closer to where you and the Misses want to be. Besides maybe the political types will have a decent agreement worked out by then. Or stay here and maybe the Majors will be back in full swing. Since most of my group will be retiring in the next few years.

Whatever you do -remember - it is not dismal - just a little more challenging - so hang in there - the jobs will return.


Wibbly P
11th Dec 2002, 10:13
Yawn..... How many times must this question be asked!!!

11th Dec 2002, 15:28
Wibbly P, This question will be asked time and time again! if it's that boring don't read the post. If people who have FAA licences want to then get a JAA one, the best place to find out is PPRUNE. Why not help them out, instead of putting them off.
I think Redsnail is wrong about needing a class 1 to take the exams. You don't even need a JAA PPL to take the ATPL theory exams. You can do them with a foreign licence.

11th Dec 2002, 16:23
A CAA reference number is needed in order to sit the exams. A medical causes that number to be issued.

11th Dec 2002, 22:54
That's what I was alluding to as well. However, as many have found out the JAR Class 1 is ever so slightly different to the FAA's, CASA's and so on. I'd hate to do those rotten exams and then fail the medical. As a foreign licence holder, easiest way to get a ref number is to do the medical.

12th Dec 2002, 01:21
Johnny pick...thanks for backing me up there...all i can say is some people don't like sharing info.

Redsnail, I agree the claas I medical here in the states is more than a joke.....and thus that route would make sense.

Clearsomeland...I am far from discouraged....as I tell my students if your in it for the money go do a MBA...those who make it really want it. The reason instruction gets old is cause i miss flying myself, I think its wrong taking the controld frommy students all the time.

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