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Aspiring Pilot - Have Some Questions

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Aspiring Pilot - Have Some Questions

Old 21st Aug 2012, 12:52
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Arrow Aspiring Pilot - Have Some Questions

Hello all,

After having an excellent flight into Gruyères as co-pilot this past weekend, I'm now thinking seriously about getting my PPL. I've decided that I definitely want to do it in Florida and have already chosen my school. I just am wondering on the licensing questions.

To explain, I am a US citizen with Swiss residence, and plan on staying here, so I believe I fall into the JAR/EASA category in terms of what license I need. As far as I know, there's no visa requirement/TSA clearance required for me to train in FL (right?). But what I do have questions on:

1. I see you can get an FAA PPL and then convert to an EASA license when you have 100 hours and Swiss air law etc. That sounds good, but to get the FAA PPL, that would mean when I come back to CH after having done my requisite 40-60 hours, I still have to do another 40-60 (total 100) hours on an N-registered a/c in Switzerland, right? Or can I fly a Swiss-reg plane on an FAA PPL?

2. What is the difference between JAR and EASA? Unless I'm reading this wrong (FOCA - Introduction of the European Regulation concerning Aircrew Licences (Part.FCL) Section 5 Training), the major differences re training are that you cannot self-study, and cannot take exams in different countries. But apparently, you can get grandfathered into the EASA system if you get your JAR-PPL now, doing self-study? The reason I ask is because self-study, and doing theory exams either in USA or CH before I go for practical in USA would be VERY attractive to me. Any guidance?

3. Re self-study, if it is possible, then where do I get the books/materials? Which ones are best? I've heard there are good iPad apps around. Suggestions?

More later. Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 15:57
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As you are a US citizen I suppose you indeed do not need the visum and TSA clearance. Not sure if they make a difference w/ you being a non-resident though.

For the licence you can as well go straight for the EASA PPL (UK) in Florida and then convert that to the local EASA version of CH. That would be the most easy. If you choose to first do the FAA then, yes, you could apply for a conversion once you have your 100h on a N-registered plane. The hours you spent for the training are included in those if I am correct.

JAA/EASA: JAA is history, EASA is the current future and we are in full transition period. Am not sure about the school locations etc you refer to in your Q2 but I think the Florida based schools recognised by the UK's authorities are still doing fine under EASA's rules.

Self study: the way to go, at least for me; did the same (for UK JAA) while in Hong Kong and at least did not fall asleep in the class. I am not familiar w/ the study sources for the FAA program, but there are plenty around. For the UK books I relied mostly on Jeremy Pratt's books, and airquiz.com.

Hope this helps

Last edited by XLC; 22nd Aug 2012 at 00:41.
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 22:02
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Thanks XLC for the info.

Re conversion: Typically is there anything required other than local Air Law and a valid medical (as well as other smaller requirements like criminal record?)? Just not looking to get an EASA (UK) PPL only to have to pay boatloads to have it converted to a Swiss PPL.
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 22:13
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Originally Posted by StingrayCH View Post
Hello all,

After having an excellent flight into Gruyères as co-pilot this past weekend,
Passenger, but if you were allowed to handle the controls, I'm sure that was enjoyable.

I'm now thinking seriously about getting my PPL.
Good on you.

I've decided that I definitely want to do it in Florida and have already chosen my school. I just am wondering on the licensing questions.
I did some training in FL a few years back, fun flying, and if you get a good school, I'm sure you'll enjoy that.

To explain, I am a US citizen with Swiss residence, and plan on staying here, so I believe I fall into the JAR/EASA category in terms of what license I need.
Correct. For most purposes, JAA is no more and it's now EASA but it's easiest just at the moment to think of the two as interchangeable.

As far as I know, there's no visa requirement/TSA clearance required for me to train in FL (right?).
As a US Citizen that would be my understanding also.


But what I do have questions on:

1. I see you can get an FAA PPL and then convert to an EASA license when you have 100 hours and Swiss air law etc. That sounds good, but to get the FAA PPL, that would mean when I come back to CH after having done my requisite 40-60 hours, I still have to do another 40-60 (total 100) hours on an N-registered a/c in Switzerland, right? Or can I fly a Swiss-reg plane on an FAA PPL?
You'll have to check locally, but certainly here in Britain you could fly on an FAA PPL, and in the USA a JAA/EASA PPL holder can easily obtain a derivative FAA PPL, so I doubt you'll have any trouble, but generally regulations vary a bit from country to country.

2. What is the difference between JAR and EASA? Unless I'm reading this wrong (FOCA - Introduction of the European Regulation concerning Aircrew Licences (Part.FCL) Section 5 Training), the major differences re training are that you cannot self-study, and cannot take exams in different countries. But apparently, you can get grandfathered into the EASA system if you get your JAR-PPL now, doing self-study?
JAA is the old organisation, which is now superceded by EASA. So far as I know, you can no longer get a JAA licence and need to get an EASA licence.

The reason I ask is because self-study, and doing theory exams either in USA or CH before I go for practical in USA would be VERY attractive to me. Any guidance?
That is a very good idea, but a workaround is probably to do all the study, go and do an FAA PPL, and then convert in a year or two once you have your hours. Alternately, just do the PPL at home anyhow - don't anticipate much real saving doing it in the USA, because flying in Europe / Switzerland will be substantially different and you'll have to spend a fair bit of quality time with an instructor once you're back.

3. Re self-study, if it is possible, then where do I get the books/materials? Which ones are best? I've heard there are good iPad apps around. Suggestions?
Various combinations, but the favourites are generally a set by Trevor Thom or an alternative set by Jeremy Pratt (which personally I slightly prefer) for the JAR/EASA licences. If you're doing an FAA licence however, ask your school there what they'd recommend.

G
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Old 22nd Aug 2012, 15:25
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Stingray,
Although I am UK based I decided on the Florida route for my PPL, for study purposes I used Gleim Aviation
My flight school suggested the Gleim study course
Their online course gave me the chance to study while home in the UK, by the time I arrived in Florida to begin the first stage of my flight training I was ready to take my FFA written.
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Old 22nd Aug 2012, 17:34
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I would go for the FAA and later conversion route. There are quite a few advantages to learning in the US, not least the flying 'in the system' which in general is sorely lacking in European flight training. Others are night VFR and generally more training to use the nav instruments.

I don't know if and how EASA will impact the conversion process, under JAR it was pretty painless. Air Law (which you'll need anyway) and Human Factors test, then the checkride and - at least in the UK - the radio license.

There's one more advantage to doing it this way - you end up with two standalone licenses. This can be a huge advantage, especially if you want to validate one of them somewhere else in the world, as the FAA is usually much, much quicker in replying than most European CAAs (and I don't even want to think about response times from EASA, if it's them who do this in the future).
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