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Moved to Germany; How can I keep my FAA PPL current without flying to the US?

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Moved to Germany; How can I keep my FAA PPL current without flying to the US?

Old 17th Jan 2019, 14:29
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Munich
Posts: 4
Moved to Germany; How can I keep my FAA PPL current without flying to the US?

I have an FAA PPL, ~130 hours, and recently moved to Germany. I have a very long to-do list to go through the EASA conversion, and I'd like to stay "current" meanwhile / do some fun flights if possible before the full conversion happens. My BFR expires in July, and I'm really hoping I don't need to fly back to the US to keep "current."

Is there anywhere closer to Europe that has FAA-registered aircraft that I could fly (with a local instructor)? Is it possible that an EASA-rated instructor pilot + EASA plane could be used to suffice for a BFR for the FAA license? Any other creative solutions?

Also... any of you have a plane in Europe and want to fly?? I'm happy just being a copilot/passenger occasionally, to save some money (an engineer's pay here is NOT what it is back in the 'states!)

Thanks!!
jb68321 is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2019, 15:07
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here
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You need an FAA instructor, but that's it (I think it can even be done in a EASA-reg aircraft - someone can confirm). There must be a bunch of these in Germany...

Second suggestion, get active on the local flying FB sites, flying clubs etc. - there'll be lots of people happy to share cost to fly more...

Safe flights, Sam.
Sam Rutherford is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2019, 15:08
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
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Hi jb68321. Might I suggest that you contact AOPA (Germany) at https://aopa.de/ueber-uns/kontakt/kontakt.html ?

See also https://aopa.de/ueber-uns/for-foreig...gn-pilots.html .
BEagle is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2019, 15:25
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Munich
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
Hi jb68321. Might I suggest that you contact AOPA (Germany) .
Thanks, I had no idea that they had a separate German chapter! I am an AOPA member, so that could be a useful resource indeed.
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Old 17th Jan 2019, 15:33
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: EBZH
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... or you could launch the question on the very lively "Pilot und Flugzeug" forum. I couldn't say whether it needs to be done on an N-reg plane but I do know that there is no shortage of those. There even used to be a few for hire, I think, search for "Lisa".
Jan Olieslagers is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2019, 16:23
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,338
Ok first of all...
Under FAA rules and regulations there is no requirement you fly an N-reg.
So you can fly a German registered airplane with a dual rated instructor ( EASA/FAA CFI) for your flight review.
As long as you are within 24 months of your last flight review or if you’ve never had own your last check ride w/examiner you can log PIC time as ‘sole manipulator of the controls’ and it’s an airplane you’re actually rated for....such as fixed gear single engine.
There should be a bunch of FAA CFI’s in Germany.
B2N2 is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2019, 20:44
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Augusta, Georgia, USA (back from Germany again)
Posts: 138
Pedantic Instructor hat on: You don't have a "BFR" and with 130 hours probably never did. "BFR" disappeared in 1997. The FAA prefers - in writing - the term "Flight Review" because "biennial" means "two years" and the period for a Flight Review is not two years, but rather "24 calendar months."

I was able to get a then-German-now-EASA PPL using my FAA Private Pilot Certificate. I had to take the Air Law and Human Performance(?) tests and a practical test with an examiner. I later converted the German license into a modern EASA one. I'm glad I did this, but actually only flew a few SEP - single engine piston - hours in Europe.

Some thoughts about flying in Germany. What you would think of flying in the US is called "Echo Klasse" in Germany. This is generally really expensive to fly. A nice 172 can approach $300/hour. What you would call "Light Sport" in the US is an "Ultralight/Ultraleicht" in Germany - "Mike Klasse." Some of these are really attractive, fun flying airplanes. You can transition into one of those quite readily.

"Everything" in flying in Germany is expensive. Every written test. Every time something needs to be added to your license like language ability. Every renewal. You will need an expensive radio license. Unless you speak German you will be very limited in where you can fly as most fields will not have someone in their "tower" who speaks English - at least not pilot English.

Maintaining an EASA license can be a daunting experience. It must be extended every two years. In the last 12 months you must have flown at least 12 hours, though no more than six of these can be with an Instructor - FI(A) - on board. You must have at least one hour of dual in the last 12 months of the 24. Of fly with an examiner...

In Munich you have access to some great glider flying opportunities. When the US Army sent me to Germany in 2011, I became a glider pilot. It's a great experience. You are very close to the incredible German Alpine Soaring School. The Germans invented high performance soaring. You can fly where they did that, too.

I have a good friend who instructs just outside of Munich. I can put you in touch with her. She can get you on the right track for training and paperwork. Excellent English - colloquial and aviation.

You will definitely be able to find someone who is an FAA CFI there who can help you keep your FAA ticket current. But, I'd ask the question, "Why bother?" If you are going to be in Germany for an extended period of time, you'd need a checkout wherever you go when back in the US. Make that the reset FR. After all, you will be a current pilot, even if not "FAA current." BTDT.

Look at glider flying, Touring Motor Glider (TMG), or "Ultralight" as much more cost affordable options. Do you speak German? Mine was rather good when I arrived and pretty amazing after two years of weekends at the glider field! (He says modestly.)

My yahoo! is [email protected] - just send me an email and I'll give you some information about where to fly/train.

Hope the above doesn't make me seem like a "Debbie Downer." Germany is expensive and Bureaucratic when it comes to flying - "only rich people can afford to fly."

The people in German aviation are great. Once you get to know some people you will begin to have access to all sorts of experiences and some really cool, old aircraft you'll never find in the US. Enjoy it!

One closing though. The FAA doesn't care what you fly or what country it's registered in. Flight time is flight time.

Terry
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