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PPL and hour building in the USA vs UK

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PPL and hour building in the USA vs UK

Old 19th Jul 2019, 12:03
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: London, United Kingdom
Age: 26
Posts: 37
PPL and hour building in the USA vs UK

Hi all!

Before I start my PPL I need to make sure I make the right choice... I'm working full time in London but I believe I can get 4-6 weeks of unpaid time off, i.e. to fly to the US.

If I was to do my PPL in the USA:

1) Is it in fact cheaper?
2) Would I eventually need to convert the FAA PPL to an EASA PPL?
3) Can I do the CAA Initial Class 1 here before I go? Or do I need to complete an FAA Initial Class 1 in the US?
4) I looked at getting an EASA PPL in the USA just because the weather is better and I would rather be there, but the flyaaa flight school in San Diego has some pretty bad reviews. Can you recommend an EASA flight school in the US?
5) If I get an EASA PPL here in the UK, how can I hour-build later on in the USA if I need an FAA PPL to do that?

Thanks a lot for your help and apologies for the nooby questions. :-)
pjharb is offline  
Old 19th Jul 2019, 12:06
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Oahu
Posts: 100
try bartolini in poland for PPL , avoid AAA in san diego, there is other schools !!
r10bbr is offline  
Old 19th Jul 2019, 14:27
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
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Originally Posted by pjharb View Post

1) Is it in fact cheaper?
2) Would I eventually need to convert the FAA PPL to an EASA PPL?
3) Can I do the CAA Initial Class 1 here before I go? Or do I need to complete an FAA Initial Class 1 in the US?
4) I looked at getting an EASA PPL in the USA just because the weather is better and I would rather be there, but the flyaaa flight school in San Diego has some pretty bad reviews. Can you recommend an EASA flight school in the US?
5) If I get an EASA PPL here in the UK, how can I hour-build later on in the USA if I need an FAA PPL to do that?

Thanks a lot for your help and apologies for the nooby questions. :-)
You're more then welcome.

1. NO, not cheaper if you just do your Private. Maybe a little quicker but not cheaper.
Consider visa fees, accommodations and travel cost.
So for just 40-45 hours it will probably be a wash.
Substantial savings (can) come in if you fly more, Private and Instrument rating or even to Commercial depending on what your goals are.
2. Depending on what your goals are.
For EASA Private you'll need to take the written exams and a flight test, you can do this back home.
3. you don't need a First Class for just a Private, if you plan to continue then yes and yes.
4. DO NOT and I'll explain why. There are only 3-4(?) EASA "certified" schools in the US and they all have a spotty reputation to say the least.
In comparison you have a couple of hundred FAA Flight schools that are authorized to train foreign students which means you have much more choice.
5. Yes, but that is an easy validation if you go from EASA>FAA PPL. Process is easy but may take up to 90 days so do not delay in the application.

If your plan is to train towards a EASA "frozen" ATPL I would suggest you do 0-FAA CPL in the USA in about 6 months then bury yourself and pass the 14 EASA ATPL exams and do a license conversion.

B2N2 is offline  
Old 19th Jul 2019, 15:07
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Age: 26
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
You're more then welcome.

1. NO, not cheaper if you just do your Private. Maybe a little quicker but not cheaper.
Consider visa fees, accommodations and travel cost.
So for just 40-45 hours it will probably be a wash.
Substantial savings (can) come in if you fly more, Private and Instrument rating or even to Commercial depending on what your goals are.
2. Depending on what your goals are.
For EASA Private you'll need to take the written exams and a flight test, you can do this back home.
3. you don't need a First Class for just a Private, if you plan to continue then yes and yes.
4. DO NOT and I'll explain why. There are only 3-4(?) EASA "certified" schools in the US and they all have a spotty reputation to say the least.
In comparison you have a couple of hundred FAA Flight schools that are authorized to train foreign students which means you have much more choice.
5. Yes, but that is an easy validation if you go from EASA>FAA PPL. Process is easy but may take up to 90 days so do not delay in the application.

If your plan is to train towards a EASA "frozen" ATPL I would suggest you do 0-FAA CPL in the USA in about 6 months then bury yourself and pass the 14 EASA ATPL exams and do a license conversion.
An EASA fATPL is my goal... how much is the 0-FAA CPL route roughly? I'm working full time in the UK and so I can only really quit if I have enough money for the whole 6 months of training including accommodation and living costs...

Edit: I've dug into it and checked out flyeft's $50k EASA fast track course, as well as FlyingAcademy's $33k FAA course. Thing is they take about 9 months on average, so I would need to quit my job, get an M-1 visa and just study/fly in Florida for those 9 months. With the latter course the total cost would therefore be around $45-50k, and this won't include the FAA-CAA conversion, and the ATPL ground school and 14 exams. Factor in time and money for these, and it's 0-fATPL in 18 months and 43,000, unpaid/without work. Ouch. Not gonna lie, I don't have anywhere near that (saved only about 18k), but I can get an unsecured loan for about 30k since I have a good job - but I'd need my family to pay it off for 2 years until I'm an FO... double ouch.

Last edited by pjharb; 19th Jul 2019 at 15:56.
pjharb is offline  
Old 19th Jul 2019, 18:59
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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As I've told you before in other threads, the FAA route is cheaper if you're going "all the way", which you are.

The PPL is just a stepping stone so it doesn't matter which you get, you certainly don't need to convert an FAA PPL to EASA - you can go straight to CPL.

If you take the FAA route, you only need PPL and multi IR - you don't need commercial. This is because the FAA commercial is 250 hours, which means 270 hours by the time you convert. That would be daft since the EASA CPL is only 200 hours!

​​​​​​If there's one thing I've learned from aviation - whatever you plan now will end up being completely different. All routes start with a PPL. Get your medical, get a PPL and then stop flying and pass the ATPL exams. That's the hardest bit. IF you make it that far you'll know by then what the rest of the plan is and you won't have borrowed anything. The good news is an fATPL won't cost any more than 40k so you won't need to borrow anything until the final few months.

And you don't need to give up work.
rudestuff is offline  
Old 19th Jul 2019, 21:29
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,351
Id suggest you do your your FAA PPL & IR for that BP18k.
Then go back to work and start looking at the ATPL exams.
Keep saving for your FAA CPL and conversions.
B2N2 is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2019, 08:58
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,597
This is about Commercial and Instrument rather than Private (I did one of my PPLs in Florida in 2000, but that is so long ago that everything has changed) - a thread I made "the other side", and might be useful guidance to you on practicailities and costs, if not a direct map.

https://forums.flyer.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=112676

It might help.

In my opinion however, do your PPL in EASAland - learn how to fly to the highest possible standards in the UK, and probably do your IMCR too.

Then seriously consider hour building in the USA or Canada, which is an amazing and affordable experience. A Canadian ridealong PPL is a lot less aggro than an American one incidentally (I've done both, albeit that I now have my standalone FAA CPL/IR so the 61.75 has been officially torn up.)

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2019, 09:20
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: UK
Age: 41
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As you can see there are more than a few ways of doing things. What is your primary motivation? If it's cost, then cost out the different options.
rudestuff is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2019, 13:39
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
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Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
As I've told you before in other threads, the FAA route is cheaper if you're going "all the way", which you are.

The PPL is just a stepping stone so it doesn't matter which you get, you certainly don't need to convert an FAA PPL to EASA - you can go straight to CPL.

If you take the FAA route, you only need PPL and multi IR - you don't need commercial. This is because the FAA commercial is 250 hours, which means 270 hours by the time you convert. That would be daft since the EASA CPL is only 200 hours!
Part 141 the FAA CPL is 190 hrs..........

B2N2 is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2019, 14:28
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Good point
rudestuff is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2019, 15:16
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
As I've told you before in other threads, the FAA route is cheaper if you're going "all the way", which you are.

The PPL is just a stepping stone so it doesn't matter which you get, you certainly don't need to convert an FAA PPL to EASA - you can go straight to CPL.

If you take the FAA route, you only need PPL and multi IR - you don't need commercial. This is because the FAA commercial is 250 hours, which means 270 hours by the time you convert. That would be daft since the EASA CPL is only 200 hours!

​​​​​​If there's one thing I've learned from aviation - whatever you plan now will end up being completely different. All routes start with a PPL. Get your medical, get a PPL and then stop flying and pass the ATPL exams. That's the hardest bit. IF you make it that far you'll know by then what the rest of the plan is and you won't have borrowed anything. The good news is an fATPL won't cost any more than 40k so you won't need to borrow anything until the final few months.

And you don't need to give up work.
Have a read of my thread about training for CPL/IR in the USA on the Flyer Forum - the USA route is not necessarily cheaper any more for Brits.

There is also the fundamental point of primacy - what is learned first, tends to stick best. If our OP is serious about obtaining an EASA fATPL, and currently has no licence, doing their PPL to start with, in the UK / Europe, ideally with a commercial school who understand the nature of the EASA professional licences well, will set them up for later doing well with the EASA professional licence.

And I'm saying this as somebody who recently did FAA professional licences, and has historically flown in the USA every couple of years - I thoroughly enjoy flying in that country, and believe that they are extremely good at it. I just don't think it's the right solution for the OP's PPL. (As I also said, I think that doing hourbuilding in North America would, conversely, be an excellent idea.)

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2019, 15:29
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,597
Just coming back to the original question.

Originally Posted by pjharb View Post
Hi all!

Before I start my PPL I need to make sure I make the right choice... I'm working full time in London but I believe I can get 4-6 weeks of unpaid time off, i.e. to fly to the US.

If I was to do my PPL in the USA:

1) Is it in fact cheaper?
Almost certainly not - the exchange rate isn't that brilliant nowadays, and the visa / permissions / travel costs will pretty much wipe out any cost savings per flying hour.
2) Would I eventually need to convert the FAA PPL to an EASA PPL?
Unlikely. You can fly day-VFR in the UK on an FAA PPL, all you need to do is get a UK based EASA examiner to sign a form confirming that you are sufficiently knowledgeable about UK airspace and RT procedures. Any ICAO PPL,including the American one, is fine to start a CPL course.

Putting the question the other way around, a "61.75" ridealong FAA PPL can be issued on the back of an EASA PPL and will let you hour-build in the USA.

3) Can I do the CAA Initial Class 1 here before I go? Or do I need to complete an FAA Initial Class 1 in the US?
If you are going to go EASA pro, you need an EASA class 1 before you spend any other money. To fly in the USA, you can fly on a 61.75 with an EASA licence, or you can get an FAA medical there. A class 2 (for commercial) cost me $150 and about half an hour.

4) I looked at getting an EASA PPL in the USA just because the weather is better and I would rather be there, but the flyaaa flight school in San Diego has some pretty bad reviews. Can you recommend an EASA flight school in the US?
I can't. I did a JAA PPL in Florida in 2000 with a school, long gone, who specialised in training for UK/European licences. The place was not well run, and the aeroplanes were very poor. I've heard little good about any other school in the USA training for European licences either.

Conversely, the USA has many excellent schools and FBO who serve a mixture of local and international markets.


5) If I get an EASA PPL here in the UK, how can I hour-build later on in the USA if I need an FAA PPL to do that?
Regulation 61.75 allows you to be issued an FAA licence off the back off an EASA licence and medical. There is guidance on how to do this all over the internet, just google it. It'll take a little money, and a little more time, a trip to an FAA office in the USA first time you go there to fly, and an FAA biennial flight review which can double as a rental checkout.

Thanks a lot for your help and apologies for the nooby questions. :-)
We were all noobies once.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  

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