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Transport Canada to FAA conversion

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Transport Canada to FAA conversion

Old 14th Aug 2020, 17:16
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: California
Posts: 4
Transport Canada to FAA conversion

I have been reading AC 61-135A to convert TCCA to FAA pilot license. I think it is clear, but I just wanted to double check with this forum.
I have a Transport Canada ATPL from a long time ago. I renewed it in 2018 and received a new Aviation Booklet valid till 2023, but my medical is expired in 2016. I was surprised TCCA renewed it since my medical was expired.
Fast forward to 2020 and I moved to USA permanently (obtained "Green Card") and I want to get back into aviation again. (rent a local C172 with a FAA private pilot license).
I saw the TCAA to FAA conversion process so I sent in my form to FAA and they verified my TCCA pilot license, but noted my expired Canadian Medical.
I thought I could obtain a US medical, say CAT 3, write the written exam, and I could obtain my FAA Private License based on my Canadian License.
But now I am reading the fine print and it appears I must continue to have a valid Canadian Pilot licence in order to keep the FAA conversion license valid. Is that correct?
Do I continue to have my Canadian medical current AND a current US medical to hold the FAA Private Pilot license based on Canadian Pilot License?
I looked and I cannot find any doctors to perform a Canadian Medical renewal where I live, in southern California.
I also don't intend to return to live Canada until maybe retirement age. (I am currently over 40 so Canadian medical expire every 2 years)
Anyone gone through this process?
Maybe it is just easier to start from scratch with my FAA Private Pilot training, and I should breeze through it quickly due to my previous flying experience.
I tried contacting the local FDSO by phone, but no response.

Amberleaf22 is offline  
Old 15th Aug 2020, 05:53
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Age: 43
Posts: 3,094
Last time I read it it was a straight conversion:

1 get an FAA medical.
2 pass the CPL and IR exams (~20 questions)
3 they'll give you a FULL CPL/IR.

​​​​​If you do the ATP/CTP course (~$4000) you can get the FULL ATP instead. Once you have it there is no requirement to keep your Canadian licence at all. Why would you want a private?

rudestuff is online now  
Old 15th Aug 2020, 17:21
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: California
Posts: 4
Yes, that is what I understand.
But I am not clear if I need a current Transport Canada Medical when I apply and continue to have a valid Canadian medical to keep my FAA equivalent license valid. Does anyone know?

When I read the fine print, I need a valid Canadian Pilot License, which I interpret as having a valid Canadian medical.

I am just looking to rent a C172 on the occasional weekend, so I would only need a private. But if I could get a commercial license, I would take it. No need for Instrument Rating.
Amberleaf22 is offline  
Old 17th Aug 2020, 14:18
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Augusta, Georgia, USA (back from Germany again)
Posts: 200

From the FAA's perspective "valid" means "not suspended. Don't confuse "valid" for "current." The FAA will require you to have Part 61.56 Flight Review to fly anyway, so you regain currency.

Seems from your description that you haven't flown much in the last few years. The suggestions above about pursuing the FAA Commercial Certificate are quite valid. You need to get current to fly safely anyway. You can get with a local instructor and prep for the Commercial Pilot Knowledge Test and fly in preparation for the Commercial Pilot Practical Test. I really would suggest doing the instrument rating too. You'll be flying anyway. You get a limited Commercial Certificate w/o it. Plus, it makes your flying much more flexible.

Both of the above will really help familiarize you with flying in the US, too. You can do all of the above with a 61.75 Private Certificate. If the CAA doesn't want to cooperate for some reason, you could do a combined Private/IFR checkride. Then Commercial/ATP/whatever later. If you are going to permanently reside in the US it removes one more bureaucratic obstacle. 61.75 certificates include the number of the foreign certificate it's based on. If the home CAA gives everyone a new number - like the UK CAA did a few years ago, then then FAA certificate is no longer valid...

Welcome and enjoy flying!

LTCTerry is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2020, 00:50
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,853
There are two paths you can take. Part 61.75 allows a FAA private certificate to be issued based on your Canadian license. You would need either a FAA medical or a Canadian medical. There’s no written or checkride, just the verification of your Canadian license. I don’t know TC regs but to operate with a 61.75 certificate the “based on” license has to be valid, not suspended or expired. As pointed out, you would need a flight review to bring you up to FAA currency. Or, because TC and the FAA have a deal worked out, you could get a FAA ATP with your type ratings carried over. Again, you would have to have your Canadian license verified, get at least a FAA third class medical, complete a 40 hour ATP Certificate Training Program which is designed to bridge the knowledge gap between a 1480 hour C172 instructor and a 1525 hour regional F/O. There’s also a special ATP written test of 60 questions to pass. But no checkride.
MarkerInbound is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2020, 00:43
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 72
Lots of misunderstandings

First, download the Canadian medical form and at an FAA Medical get the doctor
to fill it in, sign it, comply with age requirements, send it to TC and wait 2 weeks to get
a fresh sticker. This does NOT work doing a TC medical and sending it to the FAA,
it only works one way.

Comply with

TC to FAA private Conversion done.
SCPL_1988 is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2020, 01:09
  #7 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: California
Posts: 4
Thanks for your tips and information. Okay, I did some more research and it appears I do not need a valid Canadian Medical. I only need to obtain an FAA medical.
I have completed the first stage, had my Canadian APTL verified by FAA in Oklahoma and they sent me and my local FSDO the verification letter. I am currently studying for the written "conversion exam". It appears there is not much difference between the Private and the Commercial "conversion" exam, so I plan to write the Commercial exam. My verification letter shows I have a Canadian Instrument rating (multi-engine), but it is expired. Per AC 61-135A, in order to obtain FAA instrument rating, I need a valid Canadian Instrument rating and pass the written "conversion" exam. At this point I am not interested in the instrument rating or APTL. .
This what I understand are the steps
1. Request FAA verification of Canadian License, to Oklahoma, that letter then sent to local FSDO, COMPLETE
2. Write written "Conversion" FAA Exam with PSIExams.
3. Obtain FAA medical. (I will obtain Class 3).
4. Register with IACRA and submit application for a FAA Commercial License based on Foreign (Canadian) License .
5. Make appointment with DPE, with all the docs and my logbook, if all is good, I will be issued a temporary license.
6. Obtain Flight Review with an Instructor and pass a formal check out at a local flying club. (will likely be several hours as I have not flow recently).
7. Wait for the plastic card license in the mail.

I will let you know how it goes.....
Amberleaf22 is offline  

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