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Bringing my N reg C172 to UK?

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Bringing my N reg C172 to UK?

Old 11th Mar 2018, 05:50
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Bringing my N reg C172 to UK?

I'm a Brit expat living in the Dom Rep. I'm a B1/B2 engineer for the European airlines. I'm also FAA A&P with IA and FAA private pilot.

With a potential move back to the UK on the cards, I'm wondering what hoops I would have to jump through to bring my N reg C172 to the UK.

I want to keep it on the N reg. It's registered with a trust company in the US and perfectly legal as far as FAA is concerned. And because I'm an IA I do my own maintenance and annual inspections. Plus the FAA is a lot more relaxed on maintenance issues, such as lifed components compared to EASA.

Could I simply just fly it (or ship it) to the UK and fly there on my FAA PPL? Obviously I would need to acquaint myself with flying in the UK. I've heard it's no where near as fun as the Caribbean or the States, but I'm not ready to give up flying yet.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 08:12
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I don,t see any reason why not you have perfection with your licensing set up.Forget flying it put it in a container and combine it with a major inspection and any improvements you want to make.I imagine you have gained lots of hours since you got your PPL you will need I believe over 100 hours to get an EASA PPL required to demonstrate “equivalence” with EASA.Others will hopefully be able to advise in more detail.I believe we met in POP ?Before retiring I was a TOM 76 skipper and seem to remember chatting a few times when you were covering for DA?I keep a light aircraft in South East UK happy to help if you need it.Regards Stampe
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 11:10
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You can use your FAA licence in the UK in your N reg without formalities, at the moment. However, EASA is constantly throwing new regs at us.

You'll have to choose your airfield very carefully. Certain areas of the country have waiting lists for hangar space, which is very expensive, and some airfields will not allow you to carry out your own maintenance whatever your qualifications. Even monthly outside parking can be expensive and hard to find.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 12:04
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The good news is because you have owned and used it for over 6 months you are allowed to bring it back with you as you ‘repatriate’ tax and import duty free. Simply fill out the HMRC form and they will issue you an import number which you put on the shipping docs. On the US end if there are any questions just tell them you are repositioning your aircraft and couldn’t be arsed flying it over so are shipping it instead.

Edit to add: Once it arrives get some instruction on the slight differences on the flying this side of the pond then just continue on flying and maintaining it as normal with your FAA tickets till someone says otherwise.

Last edited by piperboy84; 11th Mar 2018 at 12:21.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 13:09
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This post may be of interest if you're considering container shipping:

Container shipping a plane
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 15:49
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Originally Posted by Stampe View Post
I don,t see any reason why not you have perfection with your licensing set up.Forget flying it put it in a container and combine it with a major inspection and any improvements you want to make.I imagine you have gained lots of hours since you got your PPL you will need I believe over 100 hours to get an EASA PPL required to demonstrate “equivalence” with EASA.Others will hopefully be able to advise in more detail.I believe we met in POP ?Before retiring I was a TOM 76 skipper and seem to remember chatting a few times when you were covering for DA?I keep a light aircraft in South East UK happy to help if you need it.Regards Stampe
Hi Stampe, yes I do believe we have met. i am still at POP at the moment and so is DA, although he may also be retiring soon. But you know what TOM is like. they can't make their minds up!

I've owned it for seven years now and logged around 500hrs. I was thinking about doing the inst rating before I come back. Can I use an FAA inst rating in the UK? Is there such a thing as night VFR in the UK?

I used to live in Hove before I moved here, so Shoreham was my nearest airfield. But we are now looking at South Wales for our relocation. I was considering keeping it at Cardiff or St Athan (I was stationed there for my last tour in the RAF)

I'm also wondering about availability of an FAA DME to do my medicals and a CFI to do my biannual flight reviews. There must be some in Blighty.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 16:21
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Great to hear from you definitely do your IR over there no problem using it with an N reg on a stand-alone FAA PPL over here at the moment.CFIs and FAA medics readily available.The south of England is a nightmare nowadays for GA limited availability and high cost of everything.South Wales will be a much better bet especially if you can get your next employer to find a hangar space for you.If I can help let me know I usually know someone in the know!Regards to DA he,ll never leave that piece of paradise he has created! Stampe

Last edited by Stampe; 11th Mar 2018 at 20:20.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 16:33
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Flying back to Blighty is good fun and an interesting challenge but you will probably find it considerably cheaper to fly it to an East coast airfield and put it in a container for shipping.
Don't forget that you will need at least one VHF with 8.33 spacing. That plus any other upgrades (perhaps a repaint?) are much cheaper in the USA, we have to pay import duty plus VAT at 20% on everything here so take advantage of your personal goods and chattels exemption!
Whatever you do don't put the aircraft on the UK register.....it's still a very costly and frustrating paperwork nightmare however EASA would like you to think.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 17:03
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Originally Posted by Marchettiman View Post
Flying back to Blighty is good fun and an interesting challenge but you will probably find it considerably cheaper to fly it to an East coast airfield and put it in a container for shipping.
Don't forget that you will need at least one VHF with 8.33 spacing. That plus any other upgrades (perhaps a repaint?) are much cheaper in the USA, we have to pay import duty plus VAT at 20% on everything here so take advantage of your personal goods and chattels exemption!
Whatever you do don't put the aircraft on the UK register.....it's still a very costly and frustrating paperwork nightmare however EASA would like you to think.
Ah yes, 8.33 spacing. I hadn't thought of that. I have a Garmin 430W installed. I think I can change that in the settings. Will have to dig the book out. Funny that the pilot's handbook for the 430 is thicker than that of the plane!
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 08:23
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Fly it across! About $12K for a C172 all-in, which won't be much (if anything) more than containerising - and much, much more fun/interesting.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 08:39
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I agree. Fly it back as you will have fun! I have flown the North Atlantic four times in a Cessna 185, and it is no big deal as long as you do your homework. Also not that expensive. I have just looked at my costs from Montana to the UK and they were £2100 for fuel, landing fees, handling etc. The bad part is that you will have to pay VAT when you import in to the UK.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 08:42
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Don't do it that quickly. Spend 2 weeks (and more money) over it, go the roundabout way, and have the experience of a lifetime!
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 10:24
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Hello Winglit! Whichever suits you, the adventure of flying it yourself....or sending it in a box on a boat - my Supercub traveled in a box, and ended up with the entire airframe becoming magnetised! seems the boat travelled in a long straight line all the way!

And when I tried to fly in the UK with my US Instrument Rating, it would have been better to forget it! ATC in the UK did not want basic aircraft cluttering up their screens. I tried to climb into clearer airspace in the Birmingham zone, denied, denied, denied. A local airliner reminded me "You're not in America now, you know!"
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 12:23
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And when I tried to fly in the UK with my US Instrument Rating, it would have been better to forget it! ATC in the UK did not want basic aircraft cluttering up their screens. I tried to climb into clearer airspace in the Birmingham zone, denied
There certainly are differences flying GA IFR in an SEP in the UK versus US - I have been doing it for nearly 10 years - but if you are on an IFR flight plan you are accommodated reasonably well. (I have been in Class A a lot and over-flown Heathrow at 10,000'.)

IFR OCAS works OK and in my experience gets (slightly) preferential treatment compared with VFR.
And not VFR it is not so bad either - had many transits through Birmingham airspace, directly through their overhead.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 16:17
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I have 42 gals fuel capacity and can cruise at 8gph if I lean slightly rich of peak. I don't like to push my luck as someone who has flown around the Caribbean. I limit my endurance to 4 hours which will give me 60 mins reserve. I cruise at 110kts. So my max "no wind" leg would be 440 nautical miles. Will have to get the charts out and decide if I need to install a ferry tank.

I'm all for the challenge of flying myself.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 17:46
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If flying, you'll need to look into raft, PLB and immersion suit.

EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Ditching an Aircraft
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 22:03
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Our 'shortest leg' route across has nothing longer than 250nm...
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 10:11
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Is it mandatory to use trustee? Is it not cheaper to open Your company in Delaware?

And i heard that it is possibly to import plane in EU via Malta paying just 5% import tax, does anyone heard something like this?

Last edited by muntisk; 25th Mar 2018 at 10:52. Reason: misprint
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 10:52
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Group trustee is always cheaper as the fixed costs are covered by many 'owners', but I've used both systems in the past as there are positive and negatives.

Currently in a group trust (Southern Aero), and unlikely to go 'solo' again any time soon.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 13:29
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If you've owned it for more than 6 months, I believe you should be able to import it free of VAT as a personal possession. You certainly can with cars.
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