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How does one get an ATP in the US?

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How does one get an ATP in the US?

Old 23rd Feb 2022, 21:51
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How does one get an ATP in the US?

Hi guys,

I have always heard of Aussies heading over to the US to get the ATPL and then back home to convert it. My question is what is the process for this if I need to do it in a flight school in a generic twin. I know I can get a full type rating but that's going to be an expensive affair.
I have already finished the ATP CTP written exam as I am in the US currently. Would it be possible for me to do a few flights in a twin and get the US ATP if I join a local flight school?

Thanks.
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 22:02
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Why not post in the North American forum?
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 22:21
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Originally Posted by Capt Fathom View Post
Why not post in the North American forum?
I was wondering if any Aussies who have gone through this route might be able to chime in
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 23:27
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I havent been through the process, but I am of the understanding that to convert an ATPL you would still have to do an ATPL flight test in australia, and have completed an MCC course and the conversion exams.

I think it comes down to CASA's assessment of your experience as to how many hoops you have to jump through.

And with regards to how long - CASA takes 6-8 Weeks to process a licence application at the moment... so you're probably looking at that window just to hear back from them once you have all your paperwork in order.
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Old 24th Feb 2022, 00:04
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Where are you wanting to chase a job? Which side of the pacific?

Certainly is very challenging training abroad and even working for a turbine operator and then attempting to get a job back home.

Some of my right time right place job offers, and then following pathway, would not have occurred if I wasnít trained locally.
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Old 24th Feb 2022, 03:11
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Not sure if anything has changed, but CASA used to be very reluctant to transfer a US ATPL to a preexisting CASA license holder, for the obvious reason that it's a way to get around CASA standards.
I know they (used to) happily recognise US ATPLs when people came here with foreign licenses - that was just recognition of foreign licenses.
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Old 24th Feb 2022, 04:11
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I don't think there is any bi-lateral license exchange, except for Canada.
  1. TSA approval for Sim
  2. ATP-CTP course (includes Sim)
  3. ATP written
  4. TSA approval for Sim
  5. Combined Type Rating & ATP check-ride (Sim)
If this is done through an E3 visa, expect your new employer to co-ordinate all this.

Good luck
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Old 24th Feb 2022, 06:25
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If you are hoping to convert a US ATP to an Australian ATPL, to add to dr pixie's and awair's posts above. If you already hold an Australian CPL it is not the easy path it may have been many years ago. Even for those who are initial applicants for an Aussie licence by converting a foreign licence, CASA looks hard at whether the applicant has actually operated on the particular licence, or is simply trying to circumvent their 'system' by rocking up with something bought last week out of a vending machine in Mumbai or Memphis.
As far as I am aware, there are no reciprocal arrangements between CASA and the FAA for equal licence transfer. Both may issue one grade lower - ie an ATP in one country gets you a CPL (with not much more than a medical and air law required) in the other.
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Old 24th Feb 2022, 10:08
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When I moved to the USA 25 years ago with an Australian ATPL I went to a FSDO and got issued with a US CPL which was endorsed with language which basically said it could not be used hire and reward. It was basically a license to train. I then went to a training organization that offered a structured ATP course and did that. Trained on a Seminole and did a flight test and got the US ATP. Bear in mind that in the USA you will not get everything on your Australian license carried over to the US license. I did the test in a twin so that's all that is on my US ATP, multi engine. I would have to do a ATP flight test in a single if I wanted to add Single Engine to my ATP..I can't comment on the converting to Australian bit as I already had that ticket. Did things the right way without shortcuts.
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Old 24th Feb 2022, 20:54
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Like peter I too had a limited US ATP issued on the basis of a European license but decided that I wanted a proper back up. I had a question/answer book airfreighted which covered dispatchers, choppers, jets and prop aircraft licences and read through it twice not realising that there were only certain sections revalent. I flew to Vegas, flew a twin over a week including a day trip to Phoenix to take my theory test and on the 8th day did my flight test. A few years later I added a sailplane commercial although I’ve never needed to use either license.
Found the theory exceptionally easy compared with my European written but then again I’d been flying for nearly two decades. Good luck.
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Old 25th Feb 2022, 01:03
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Perhaps the US views the ATP they issue to a pilot being something the pilot is using every day and makes the written relevant to the aircraft the pilot is actually going to fly, not an aircraft that is rarely used in their airspace anymore. Now there's a thought! And perhaps the FAA puts the onus on the airline that is training the pilot to train them in the operation they are going to operate in? Now there's another thought!

And perhaps an Australian pilot that returns from the US with a few years under their belt has experienced more weather than a pilot operating purely in Australia will experience in a lifetime? Maybe, just maybe a pilot not operating in Australia is worthy of a CASA ATPL with a weighting on practical experience and command decision making rather than the lofty, theoretical Austronaut standards that are brainwashed from birth as the worlds best?

Really gotta laugh at the continued debate over the 'cheats' that head over to the States, spend years over there gaining experience, have an absolute ball then return to the land of ignorance and arrogance, thought the ignorance and arrogance was meant to come from the other side of the Pacific?
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Old 25th Feb 2022, 01:25
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Originally Posted by tossbag View Post
Perhaps the US views the ATP they issue to a pilot being something the pilot is using every day and makes the written relevant to the aircraft the pilot is actually going to fly, not an aircraft that is rarely used in their airspace anymore. Now there's a thought! And perhaps the FAA puts the onus on the airline that is training the pilot to train them in the operation they are going to operate in? Now there's another thought!

And perhaps an Australian pilot that returns from the US with a few years under their belt has experienced more weather than a pilot operating purely in Australia will experience in a lifetime? Maybe, just maybe a pilot not operating in Australia is worthy of a CASA ATPL with a weighting on practical experience and command decision making rather than the lofty, theoretical Austronaut standards that are brainwashed from birth as the worlds best?

Really gotta laugh at the continued debate over the 'cheats' that head over to the States, spend years over there gaining experience, have an absolute ball then return to the land of ignorance and arrogance, thought the ignorance and arrogance was meant to come from the other side of the Pacific?
Indeed, it is for good reason that we are derogatorily called Austra-nauts.

We produce way too many Swiss Cheese theorists. I think itís a result of too many former hairdresser colleges now churning out Aviation degree holders. The ivory towers of academia have little else to hang their PhD hats on.

In my experience, Iíve found FAA ATP holders to be of generally superior quality to our home grown Austra-nauts. There are of course exceptions to that observation, but it is a generalisation that covers an uncomfortable majority.

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