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UK ATPL to FAA

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UK ATPL to FAA

Old 19th Aug 2022, 22:37
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UK ATPL to FAA

I'm relatively new to aviation and this is my first post here.

I've been reading some through threads on the internet regarding this topic, but found it quite confusing and unclear - I'd really appreciate if someone could please help me out by providing a clear explanation.

I have two scenarios and would like to know how one can get a job with the major airlines in America for each.

Scenario 1: I'm flying in the UK with an airline such as Easyjet (A320) and possess a full UK-CAA ATPL (1500 hours+)

Scenario 2: I'm a freshly graduated cadet from flight school in the UK and therefore possess a Frozen UK-CAA ATPL (less than the 1500 hours required to unfreeze the ATPL).

Can someone please explain (for each scenario) the steps (not relating to the immigration aspect, rather the licencing aspect) required in order to get a job with a major american airline. I'm aware there is no direct conversion of a UK ATPL to the FAA counterpart, but I'd appreciate if someone could explain the steps needed to be eligible to fly for an airline in America, including costs involved and how long each step will take. If I have over 1500+ hours with a UK airline, would it be possible to get a job directly with a US major (after the 'conversion' process)?

Similarly, would my frozen ATPL have any value in the US? I appreciate that I may not be able to get a job with US Major directly since I don't have the required 1500, but would I be able to get a job with a regional airline straightaway? - or would I have to build up my hours as a CFI to get to 1500 hours?

Any other guidance on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 23:15
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Originally Posted by Hass777 View Post
I'm relatively new to aviation and this is my first post here.

I've been reading some through threads on the internet regarding this topic, but found it quite confusing and unclear - I'd really appreciate if someone could please help me out by providing a clear explanation.

I have two scenarios and would like to know how one can get a job with the major airlines in America for each.

Scenario 1: I'm flying in the UK with an airline such as Easyjet (A320) and possess a full UK-CAA ATPL (1500 hours+)

Scenario 2: I'm a freshly graduated cadet from flight school in the UK and therefore possess a Frozen UK-CAA ATPL (less than the 1500 hours required to unfreeze the ATPL).

Can someone please explain (for each scenario) the steps (not relating to the immigration aspect, rather the licencing aspect) required in order to get a job with a major american airline. I'm aware there is no direct conversion of a UK ATPL to the FAA counterpart, but I'd appreciate if someone could explain the steps needed to be eligible to fly for an airline in America, including costs involved and how long each step will take. If I have over 1500+ hours with a UK airline, would it be possible to get a job directly with a US major (after the 'conversion' process)?

Similarly, would my frozen ATPL have any value in the US? I appreciate that I may not be able to get a job with US Major directly since I don't have the required 1500, but would I be able to get a job with a regional airline straightaway? - or would I have to build up my hours as a CFI to get to 1500 hours?

Any other guidance on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
You need an FAA ATP (which in turn requires 1500 hours ordinarily*) whether it's a major airline or regional.

It might be easiest to say what exactly your current situation is - and ask for advice on getting from that point to where you want to be. I've gone from UK ATPL(A) to FAA ATP and would be willing to advise. It is complicated and there's no simple answer to the scenarios you've given.

It sounds like from your scenarios you're at the start of the whole pilot journey?

* US military aviators and graduates of certain aviation programs qualify for reductions in the 1500 hour requirement
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 10:41
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Don't forget you don't magically get an ATPL at 1500 hours, you have to pass the LST in the Sim as well.

Your EASA theory exams are worth nothing in the US but your licence and logbook hours are. Look at Part 61 to see what you need.

Each Certificate and Rating has a single theory exam which can usually be passed with a few days study.

If you don't have 1500 hours you'll need a CPL/IR which means 3 exams (Private, instrument, commercial) although you could get a 61.75 piggyback PPL.
You will not be permitted to fly for a Part 121 operator (Airline) until you have an ATP, but you may fly for a Part 135 operator (<30 seats)

If you DO have 1500 hours you can go straight to the ATP, using your foreign CPL/IR to qualify. Again that's a single exam and flight test - but here's where it gets tricky: before you can take the ATP written exam you need to attend an ATP-CTP simulator course, which is similar to a MCC course. With an ATP you can fly for a Part 121 operator, but only in the RHS as an FO. This is the same for anyone with less than 1000 hours Part 121 experience.

To have a fighting chance at a job with a major you'll need a Degree.

They won't care about any type ratings you have - they'll put you on whatever fleet they need you on.
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Old 20th Aug 2022, 23:56
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Chauderon and rudestuff, thank you very much for your answers, I really appreciate the help.

Chauderon - Yes you are correct, I'm at the start of my pilot journey. I was about to start flight training here in the UK, but then was considering the US option, since I'm a dual citizen. My situation is:

- Recently completed A-Levels
- I was initially planning to start studying for my UK ATPL this year but my family is considering moving back to the US in a year or two, so I thought about joining a US flying school instead of UK, as I see myself with my family in the US - but in about 2 years time.

Hence I was looking for some advice.

So in summary I think I have 3 options, as below:
1. If I complete my UK ATPL here in the UK, and then when I move to the US with my family in 2 years time, I can convert my frozen ATPL licence accordingly by following the steps rudestuff mentioned above. Although I think this may not be the best option if I'm eventually moving to the US. Please advise.
2. Or should I just start my training in the US and my family can join me later in 2 years time?
3. Or should I do anything else in the UK for those 2 years such as, volunteering, working or anything else such as studying something relevant? (suggestions welcome)

Also, I have looked into US flow-thru/regional airline programmes which lead you to a guaranteed interview with their major airline partner after flying with the regional for some years. From what I have researched such programmes won't require you to have a bachelors degree in order to get a job with the Major airline. What are your thoughts on this please? Is this true?
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 14:04
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I fly in brown pants for a major US cargo company, don’t waste ANY time or money with getting a UK license if your goal is to fly in the USA anyway, in fact I’d tell you with the right to live and work in the USA, you are letting your peers get ahead of you right now..
Find the cheapest, fastest school where you can knock out your tickets ASAP, any school requiring you to wear a uniform for example is wasting your money right off the bat.
I have no degree, many pilots are finding the top tier jobs these days without a degree and the further this shortage goes the less required it will be.
Get into a cockpit over here ASAP.
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 15:34
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Agreed. The USA is mecca for pilots. You have 100x the opportunities over there. Having said that there's nothing stopping you doing the ATPL exams as well after your FAA PPL.
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Old 21st Aug 2022, 23:47
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Thank you for clarifying where you are at - will make the advice much more appropriate for you. I agree with the previous responses, with the main point being there are 100x the opportunities here. Look at where you would start as a Year 1 regional pilot, compare that to British Airways / Virgin Year 20 Captain. Yes, the UK is shockingly awful in comparison. The caveat to all this is, as I'm sure you're aware but it's always worth reminding ourselves, this is a cyclical industry. What we're getting today could be gone tomorrow. Some sectors are more resilient (e.g. our colleague in brown pants above).

Having said all that, having gone through the EASA CPL(A) to ATPL(A) process, then having got my FAA ATP... I don't think your initial thoughts on getting a UK ATPL in a short timeframe will work. Just to get the theoretical exams complete will take between one and two years before you even start the CPL ME IR and building those required hours. Then to get a job in Europe is much more competitive. So in two years, realistically, you will have a CPL(A) and will be in a difficult market job hunting. To be honest, I don't think you will have started a flying job in two years from now. So as the others have said, if you want to fly in USA, go to USA. You have one written exam instead of over a dozen. It will be so much quicker and cheaper, and you can typically go the Flight Instructing route to get the required hours to get taken on at an airline. If the market is similar to now, you will have opportunities such as Breeze who are paying you to fly the hours from 1000 to 1500.

In summary, come to USA, train here, get the licenses quick and jump on with an opportunity. UK and converting to US does not appear to be a good option. Good luck with it all!

Let us know if you have more questions!
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 09:42
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Originally Posted by Chauderon View Post
..If the market is similar to now, you will have opportunities such as Breeze who are paying you to fly the hours from 1000 to 1500.
Chauderon,

Perhaps I've misunderstood your statement, but the OP will need 1,500 hours total time to fly for any Part 121 carrier, like Breeze or any regional, unless he has access to some college program offering a restricted ATP at 1,000 or 1,250 hours. But as you say, instructing is a good way to get the 1,500 hours.
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 11:53
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Originally Posted by bafanguy View Post
Chauderon,

Perhaps I've misunderstood your statement, but the OP will need 1,500 hours total time to fly for any Part 121 carrier, like Breeze or any regional, unless he has access to some college program offering a restricted ATP at 1,000 or 1,250 hours. But as you say, instructing is a good way to get the 1,500 hours.
“Breeze is Hiring - Join Us! Breeze Airways is searching for candidates for our innovative new sponsored time building program! Selected participants will work with our partner flight school vendor to exclusively build your last 500 hours towards ATP minimums quickly, with Breeze covering the cost of aircraft and fuel! Breeze Boost is a trial program with limited capacity. We hope to expand the program in the future”.
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 12:41
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Chauderon,

Looks like I did misinterpret your post. I wasn't aware Breeze had this time-building program (or just forgot if I ever knew). Sounds like a familiar type of program. I thought you were suggesting someone could fly for Breeze, the Part 121 airline, with only 1,000 hours.
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 15:00
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Just as a follow-on to this Breeze time-building program, I found the link to the description. It's an interesting hybrid...I guess ? They say the CFI is "preferred" but don't say outright that the people will be instructing, only that they're putting in 500 hours to reach 1,500. And they don't mention what flight school they're using.

I'd guess they will be instructing ?

"Selected participants will work with our partner flight school vendor to exclusively build your last 500 hours towards ATP minimums quickly, with Breeze covering the cost of aircraft and fuel! Breeze Boost is a trial program with limited capacity."

https://startup.jobs/breeze-boost-jo...ays-tm-3567607

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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 15:44
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It sounds to me more like they will just be flying around so they can start the type rating soon. If someone needs the full 500 hours, Breeze could pay perhaps $100 an hour and just send them on cross country every day. If those hours
were flown 6-8 hours a day in their Florida or Alabama locations (as mentioned in the link above), they’ll have a pilot with an ATP and starting the type rating in a few months. I’m sure that $50,000 will come with strings attached in terms of commitment to the company, of course. Quite a clever move, as that level of investment is nothing compared to the bonuses the regionals are throwing around at the moment - and they’ve got a pilot from the approaching ATP minima pool, instead of their competitors getting him or her.

This also shows how fickle the industry and pilot requirements are though. It was not long ago you had to be what they called Captain Qualified First Officer - type rated with all the experience and hours to be Captain, to work and be paid as First Officer.

Anyway, back to the aspiring pilot - this is an example of how hot the market is here in the US and how airlines are competing to get you qualified and employed.
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Old 22nd Aug 2022, 16:00
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Eventually, I'll get the Big Picture. Here are some specifics and it appears instructing is part of the deal ?

https://startup.jobs/breeze-embark-p...ays-tm-2998010
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Old 25th Aug 2022, 18:48
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Hello Guys!

Thank you very much for all your help and guidance, it's all highly appreciated. I understand that it would probably be a better idea for me to commence my flight training in the USA.

However, while exploring my options in the US, I have come across another issue. I have started a separate thread regarding this topic, but I'm posting it here as well, if you guys have any advice or information regarding the topic, that would be very helpful.

It's regarding the facial hair policy of the airlines in the US. Would it be ok for me to have a short, tidy and well-groomed beard? Would airlines like Delta/Endeavor etc. allow this?
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 14:14
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Originally Posted by Hass777 View Post
Hello Guys!

Thank you very much for all your help and guidance, it's all highly appreciated. I understand that it would probably be a better idea for me to commence my flight training in the USA.

However, while exploring my options in the US, I have come across another issue. I have started a separate thread regarding this topic, but I'm posting it here as well, if you guys have any advice or information regarding the topic, that would be very helpful.

It's regarding the facial hair policy of the airlines in the US. Would it be ok for me to have a short, tidy and well-groomed beard? Would airlines like Delta/Endeavor etc. allow this?
Can’t speak for every airline out there but at UPS one can look like Chewbacca if one feels the need.. but honestly I think you might need to re-adjust your priorities ..
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 21:52
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Originally Posted by Hass777 View Post
Hello Guys!

Thank you very much for all your help and guidance, it's all highly appreciated. I understand that it would probably be a better idea for me to commence my flight training in the USA.

However, while exploring my options in the US, I have come across another issue. I have started a separate thread regarding this topic, but I'm posting it here as well, if you guys have any advice or information regarding the topic, that would be very helpful.

It's regarding the facial hair policy of the airlines in the US. Would it be ok for me to have a short, tidy and well-groomed beard? Would airlines like Delta/Endeavor etc. allow this?
You will have to shave. Usually a mustache is the only thing that is allowed.
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Old 28th Aug 2022, 05:13
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Most operators in Europe you can have a beard, most in the USA you can't. I grow a beard when I'm off duty, I'm clean-shaven when I'm flying. You'll get paid much more over here in the US, and treated much better. I'd rather keep a beard but, for me - the overall package outweighs that annoyance.
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Old 28th Aug 2022, 22:46
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Originally Posted by Chauderon View Post
Most operators in Europe you can have a beard, most in the USA you can't. I grow a beard when I'm off duty, I'm clean-shaven when I'm flying. You'll get paid much more over here in the US, and treated much better. I'd rather keep a beard but, for me - the overall package outweighs that annoyance.
Chauderon,

You have delivered the definitive answer on the facial hair issue. Little else needs be said.

You'll have to forgive an old guy, but I just don't understand why such things as facial hair, uniform hats and tattoos are such issues for pilot applicants. It almost seems like these issues are the hills on which people are willing to fight and die.

I just don't understand. A pilot for an airline is an employee and the employer will require certain things from you. Want to fight them over such frivolous issues ?

I wish you luck.
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Old 9th Sep 2022, 20:29
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Hello Guys, again I'd like to thank you all for your responses,I really appreciate it - apologies for the delayed response.

I understand that the beard issue might seem a little frivolous but my religion requires me to keep one so unfortunately shaving it off completely wouldn't be an option for me I’m aware most airlines in the US do not allow beards but after doing some research and reaching out to some airlines, I found that there are some major airlines that do allow beards (Allegiant, JetBlue etc.). Part 135 operators that I contacted also allow beards, however none of the regionals that I researched or contacted allow any beards.

So my question was, would it be possible to go through all my ratings with a flight school that allows beards and then build up the necessary turbine hours required by the major airlines at a part 135 operator and then get hired by a major (such as Allegiant)? This route avoids the regionals since they do not allow beards. Do major airlines consider hiring pilots who meet their requirements but have no regional airline experience? From your experiences/knowledge would this be possible?

Any other tips or guidance you may have for me would be greatly appreciated
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Old 10th Sep 2022, 05:25
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Originally Posted by Hass777 View Post
Hello Guys, again I'd like to thank you all for your responses,I really appreciate it - apologies for the delayed response.

I understand that the beard issue might seem a little frivolous but my religion requires me to keep one so unfortunately shaving it off completely wouldn't be an option for me I’m aware most airlines in the US do not allow beards but after doing some research and reaching out to some airlines, I found that there are some major airlines that do allow beards (Allegiant, JetBlue etc.). Part 135 operators that I contacted also allow beards, however none of the regionals that I researched or contacted allow any beards.

So my question was, would it be possible to go through all my ratings with a flight school that allows beards and then build up the necessary turbine hours required by the major airlines at a part 135 operator and then get hired by a major (such as Allegiant)? This route avoids the regionals since they do not allow beards. Do major airlines consider hiring pilots who meet their requirements but have no regional airline experience? From your experiences/knowledge would this be possible?

Any other tips or guidance you may have for me would be greatly appreciated
I'm sorry that wearing a beard for religious reasons is problematic with some employers here. I'm not an expert on where beards are allowed or not, but I would recommend Part 135 flying. Having done that and airline flying, I'm in no rush to go back to an airline.
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