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EASA CPL conversion to FAA

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EASA CPL conversion to FAA

Old 9th Jun 2021, 21:59
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Apr 2019
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EASA CPL conversion to FAA


I am thinking about converting my European licence to an American one. I have been working for an airline in Europe for some time but am no longer due to youknowwhat. I currently have EASA Commercial Pilot Licence with Single Engine, Multi Engine, Multi Engine Instrument Rating, Flight Instructor and a jet Type Rating. I am also a US citizen and have lived there for some time, but have no FAA experience and basically little idea how things work over there when it comes to certifying and licencing airmen. I have read threads on similar issues and Part 61 but still have some questions and would like to clear everything up.

First step to get FAA commercial certificate would be to obtain the private one. To do that I need to send over the AC8060-71 form to the FAA so that they can confirm my documents with the CAA which issued them. After it is completed I have 6 months to schedule a meeting in a local FSDO. Can the office mentioned in the form be changed later? It would be best for me to send it now but I am still not sure where in the US I will be staying. Also, I have read somewhere that it is advantageous to register in IACRA, pass the 1st class medical and pass the written IR (the regular one, not for foreigners?) exam before the meeting. After the meeting I apparently have to perform a simple checkride to finally obtain the private certificate.

After that, what should I do next to have my current ratings (single and multi engine, IR, maybe FI) put on it? I easily meet the requirements from part 61 to have them (not sure about the FI). Does that mean I will only have to pass the checkrides (PTSs?) without any additional training? I assume that (as in EASA) the ratings from private automatically transfer to commercial when switching but Im not sure about that. Accordingly, after certyfying my ratings I understand that to get the commercial certificate all I would have to do is pass the written commercial theoretical test (ATP-CTP?) and a checkride later.

Last but not least, the jet type rating. Would it be enough to schedule an exam session in a certified sim center and pass it to get the TR on the FAA certificate if I already have some experience on the aircraft?

Please let me know if my understanding is wrong anywhere. All feedback is welcome if anyone has already been through this path or has some experience on this matter.
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Old 10th Jun 2021, 01:51
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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I believe you can change the FSDO but that would best be a question for the FAA in Oklahoma City. Once you get the 61.75 PVT certificate based on your foreign license you will need a Flight Review which is a minimum of one hour of ground training and one hour of flight training before you can fly as PIC. Realistically I think it would be a few hours of ground training for a foreign pilot who has not flown in the US before the CFI would sign you off. That “based on” certificate will have all your current ratings. After that there really isn’t any “conversion.” You go through the same process as any regular US pilot. For your Commercial rating you’ll have to pass the Commercial written and a Commercial checkride for each category and class you want on your certificate. For your instrument to apply to your Commercial certificate you will have to pass the regular FAA instrument written and pass the instrument checkride. If you want the CFI there are two writtens and a checkride. If you want the Instrument Instructor rating there’s another written and another checkride. The ATP-CTP is class to fill the knowledge gap between a 1490 hour CFI and a 1530 hour regional jet pilot that is a requirement before you take the ATP Multi engine written. It does not prepare you for the ATM written. To get your type rating on anything other than your “based on” PVT you’ll have to go through a training center’s training program. It will be some ground school, some sim training and a checkride. The checkride has an oral examination and the maneuvers in appendix F to part 121. The oral is a couple hours of questions on the airplane systems.
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Old 10th Jun 2021, 16:57
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Thanks for the detailed answer.
Given that I already meet the hour requirements for Multi Engine, Instrument Rating etc stated in Part 61 I won't have to complete any practical trainings, only theoretical ones and pass the forementioned written exams and checkrides? Also, is it in any way better to pass the IR and so on after obtaining the commercial or it costs and works just the same as if I only had the private certificate?
Lastly, does getting the TR on my private certificate make any real sense? As far as I understand I won't be able to use it for work in the US anyway, and the TR will most likely expire on my EASA licence before I get the FAA commercial.
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Old 11th Jun 2021, 13:49
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You'll need practical training from an FAA CFI. It's all in part 61. The FAA commercial test contains maneuvers not in the EASA syllabus, and the IR is not a doddle. If you have the hours, then getting an ATP might be a better option.

Last edited by rudestuff; 11th Jun 2021 at 14:03.
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Old 11th Jun 2021, 22:25
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Having done this recently from EASA CPL to FAA ATP, my route was essentially:

1. Foreign license verification to FAA
2. FAA medical
3. ATP CTP course
4. FAA Written
5. ATP training and check-ride

Good luck navigating it,

Chauderon is offline  
Old 16th Jun 2021, 23:58
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Thank you for your answers.
Unfortunately I do not meet the requirements for FAA ATP... Because of that I will have to take a more difficult path than Chauderon did.
Part 61.41 says:

61.41 Flight training received from flight instructors not certificated by the FAA.

(a) A person may credit flight training toward the requirements of a pilot certificate or rating issued under this part, if that person received the training from:

(1) A flight instructor of an Armed Force in a program for training military pilots of either—

(i) The United States; or

(ii) A foreign contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

(2) A flight instructor who is authorized to give such training by the licensing authority of a foreign contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, and the flight training is given outside the United States.

(b) A flight instructor described in paragraph (a) of this section is only authorized to give endorsements to show training given.
Which indeed means I will basically also have to do the trainings all over again, not only checkrides and written tests. That is probably a sensible procedure for people with not so much experience (and none in FAA).

To sum up, the most suitable order of things in my situation would be to complete (after obtaining the 'based' private certificate and medical of course):
IR (training + written + checkride) -> Multi Engine (training + written + checkride) -> Commercial (same or similar) -> CFI (same) -> when I meet the hour requirements ATP-CTP, course, written, training and check ride.
Again please correct me if I'm wrong anywhere. Maybe there is another way of scheduling the trainings to reduce costs and time, or some of them may be combined together to do that, or maybe the order just makes no difference at all? Also, (regardless of how it could be done) as far as I understand there is no point in obtaining the TR that I have now on my EASA licence because I will just not be able to make any use of it.

Last edited by justwannaflyaway; 23rd Jun 2021 at 22:19.
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Old 22nd Jun 2021, 15:35
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I did basically the same as Chauderon did, except that I didn’t take any ATP training but did a shortened type rating course in the jet I was flying at the time. That way I combined the type ride with the ATP checkride.
My conversion was EASA ATP to FAA ATP though. So I can’t give any advice on converting from a CPL, but I sounds odd to me that with all your EASA certificates you would have to do so much training (again) in the US.
Good luck!
Sunrig is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2021, 03:11
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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It is strange that there is no equivalency at the commercial level in the FAA world. So your plan is basically correct. A couple points. Some of your foreign instruction can count towards the FAA requirements. You would have to go line by line through your logbook to see what would apply. You must hold a commercial certificate in the category and class you want on your CFI. You could do your ME and commercial training together for one checkride. But if you want a SE CFI you would have to get a commercial SE rating. But there is only one commercial airplane knowledge test. As to the type, some people think it’s easier to do the training and checking in an airplane they are current in versus going back to a light twin they haven’t flown in years. You would have to make that decision.
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 22:53
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Thanks again for your answers.
I was also very surprised to learn that I will have to basically go through almost all of the trainings again, but then again there is some common sense in it. However I believe it should be in way easier, because in comparison converting the ATPL is a piece of cake in bureaucratic and cost terms.

Originally Posted by MarkerInbound View Post
A couple points. Some of your foreign instruction can count towards the FAA requirements. You would have to go line by line through your logbook to see what would apply.
Any advice on how to tell which of my training hours could be counted towards the FAA requirements and which ones not? I cannot find anything specific on this matter, just the quoted before Part 61.41. Does it depend on the syllabus, the types of the trainings or something else and how can it be verified?

Last edited by justwannaflyaway; 29th Jun 2021 at 00:41.
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 19:44
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If you have the following flight time,

250 hours of flight time, 100 hours of which must be in powered aircraft, and 50 must be in airplanes. 100 hours of pilot-in-command time, 50 of which must be in airplanes. 50 hours of cross-country time, 10 of which must be in an airplane.

If you have all of these then you just have to show proficiency in the FAA maneuvers for the CPL test and the head instructor must be satisfied you are ready for the test. Any school telling you that all the training flights must be undertaken like you are a zero hour student is telling you b*llsh*t.

To take the IR these are the requirements,

Fifty (50) hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, of which 10 hours must be in an airplane AND:Forty (40) hours of actual or simulated instrument time, of which 15 hours must be received from an authorized instructor who holds an instrument-airplane rating.

If you can show an instructor you know what to do and have the flight time, you can do the checkride. Both the written CPL and IR test must be completed too of course.

The only EASA hours that don't count in FAA land are PICUS/ICUS or whatever it's called now.
Climb150 is offline  
Old 19th Jul 2021, 21:23
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Augusta, Georgia, USA (back from Germany again)
Posts: 199
It's "training" not "trainings." But, whether an -s or not, you don't have to do it all. Just what you are missing...

The FARs list the requirements. If you have met them, dual or solo as applicable, you do not have to meet them again. The FAA does not care what registration was on the airplane.

In addition to the specified requirements, you must be able to fly specified maneuvers to specified standards. In addition to being able to fly, you must pass the oral portion of each check ride before you get to show how well you can fly. The maneuvers you fly and what you say are rather different in FAA Land.

The comment above about doing the ME commercial and instructor in one check ride is wrong. You must be a ME commercial pilot to take the check ride. Ditto for SE. You can do SE then ME or vice versa, your choice. IF you meet all the FAR 61.129 requirements for ME as your initial commercial certificate, if you are more current in ME you may want to do that.

There is no need to do a flight review before you start training as long as the instructor is willing to eventually sign it off before you fly solo.

There is a requirement to for the instructor to certify three hours of flight instruction in the previous two months. If you are working on ME commercial and instructor, this could be the same three hours. Ditto for SE.

The 61.75 validation process will give you an instrument rating you can use with that private certificate. You cannot use it for an FAA commercial certificate.

So, find a good instructor to review the requirements and your logbook*. Identify what requirements have been met and what you need to do. There are great ways to economize. When you fly out/back to do the commercial maneuvers, fly approaches when you get back to the airport. Saves some money. Consider doing the SE commercial and CFI at the same time and take both check rides in the right seat.

Here's what I think you need:

Get a medical

Instrument written
Instrument rating

Commercial pilot written
Airplane flight instructor written
SE commercial in the right seat
Followed immediately by SE CFI (instrument rating required)

Your choice
Instrument instructor written and check ride - likely more marketable, or
ME Commercial, ME instructor (Maybe just ME commercial if you have plenty of ME time to be eventually marketable)

Get an instructor job.

Build time to 1,500 hours. Get a job that will pay for your ATP and type rating.

Good luck!

By the way - it's not a "conversion" despite the constant use of the term. Your EASA license is not converted into anything.

*This is actually all legit ground instruction for things you need to know for these certificates and ratings, so pay him/her for his/her time! It will likely take a couple hours to get it sorted and for both of you to understand what's required. Well worth it if you map out an efficient plan.
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