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FAA rules - definitive answer?

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FAA rules - definitive answer?

Old 20th Jul 2019, 07:33
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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FAA rules - definitive answer?

Hi all, can somebody please explain American licencing rules to me? I'm genuinely lost.

I started in gliders. I then got a 3-axis microlight licence. I then upgraded it to the UK national SSEA licence.
I was very unlucky in that when I was doing this I just missed the boat for the LAPL conversion cut-off date. So I was unable to go from NPPL SSEA to LAPL by the paperwork route. However, I'm currently flying an EASA plane on this NPPL SSEA under the existing CAA derogation.

I currently have 140 hours total (microlights + SEP) of which about 50 hours are PIC. I also have about 60 hours in gliders. I can't remember how many of them were PIC, but I could dig out the old logbooks.

I also worked in Russia for three or four years and flew there, on a Russian national sub-ICAO licence. I have about 50 Russian hours, of which about 30 were P1, mostly in the DV20 Katana. I'm told these hours count for nothing whatsoever because they were flown under the Russian equivalent of NPPL (which was a simple upgrade from the UK NPPL M) and in Russian sub-ICAO reg aircraft. I understand this makes those hours not worth anything outside the country.

So, if you count up the total of microlights, SEP, gliders and those hours in Russia on the Katanas, that makes about 250 hours total and about 80 hours PIC.

Now, here's the question. If I were to go for an FAA PPL licence, how many of these hours will "count"? And what will they count for?

I've heard so many different answers, - including from qualified American CFIs. Some say only 10% of my hours will count, and then, to the maximum of 10 hours. Others say all my SEP hours will count, but none of the microlight hours. And there's even a school of thought that none of the hours will count because they were all flown outside America.

What's my best option for getting a definitive answer?

Please don't ask me why I'm inquiring about a FAA licence, it'll open a whole different can of worms.

Thank you!
agfoxx is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2019, 07:52
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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The simple answer is that they all count, as they are in your logbook and you cannot unfly them. But I would suggest finding a flight school where you want to study for the FAA PPL and working it out with them. There is a good chance that you won’t be able to make use of your hours within the PPL course (I can’t find the applicable FAR right now), which means that you would have to fly the minimum hours for the course, but with that experience, I have no doubt that you will be able to pass an exam once you reach the minimum hours required.
Jhieminga is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2019, 09:25
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Everything counts. The question is what does the certificate need? It's all in Part 61 Google it. I'm not going to look it up for you but I'd hazard guess it's 3 hours.
rudestuff is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2019, 16:38
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Well first, do you want a FAA PVT SEL or glider certificate? FAR 61.109 lists the aeronautical experience required for a PVT certificate. You would have to go through your logbook and see what you have a training record of and see how that meshes with the FAA requirements. As rudestuff said, there is a 3 hour requirement of test prep by a FAA CFI that you'll need. If you're going for the glider rating the requirement is 3 instructional flights with a CFI-G. Those are minimums. Everything else will be hit and miss. There is a requirement for 3 hours of night training for the SEL in a SEL airplane. Say you have 5 hours night training - that square is filled. But, of those 3 hours of FAA night training there has to be a 100 mile X-C flight. No night X-C training logged? You'll have to head out 51 miles with an instructor. Same thing for hood work, solo X-C time, controlled field landings, etc.
MarkerInbound is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2019, 21:07
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What is required is in black and white here:

61.109 Aeronautical experience.
(a) For an airplane single-engine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (k) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b)(1) of this part, and the training must include at least—

(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a single-engine airplane;

(2) Except as provided in §61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane that includes—

(i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(3) 3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;

(4) 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in a single-engine airplane in preparation for the practical test, which must have been performed within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test; and

(5) 10 hours of solo flight time in a single-engine airplane, consisting of at least—

(i) 5 hours of solo cross-country time;

(ii) One solo cross country flight of 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.
Tick off what you have done and you will know what remains to be done. Get it clear in your mind before you approach a flight school. Fixed wing microlight hours count for the solo and cross-country requirements, but only hours with an ICAO compliant instructor count. I had only 5 hours with an ICAO FI from the Microlight to NPPL SSEA conversion, so had to do 15 hours under instruction in the US.
patowalker is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2019, 10:01
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In my opinion (having just done FAA CPL/IR on top of my existing EASA CPL so reasonably up to speed on the regs at the moment)...

- All the hours in anything but gliders (or any flexwing time you might have) count as hours, both dual, and solo. To the Americans, European 3-axis microlights are just aeroplanes.

- Any cross countries will count, but solo means solo - FAA requirements for solo time really do mean that. Flying as a qualified pilot with a pax does not (nor in my case, requiring me to repeat a flight in the USA, does flying as an instructor with a student).

- Check really carefully FAA requirements also for cross country distances and ensure that you can prove you meet them.

Your sub-ICAO licences, on the other hand are worthless in the USA.

So, I think you'll be doing instruction as required, the FAA PPL written (as an existing qualified pilot however, I recommend the ASA "Test Prep" book, which should get you through it pretty painlessly), FAA PPL Checkride (comprising an oral, then a flight test - again, get the ASA oral book, and memorise it. I really mean memorise.) Also learn your way around FAA charts, and the US government weather forecasting system.

In my opinion, not having flown with you, your profile suggest you'll need around 10-15 hrs of instruction to meet the checkride standard. What PatoWalker has posted is correct, but also download the FAR AIM 2019, read all of it (that will take a while), and check in there any detailed interpretative material about requirements. There may be stuff not in part 61.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2019, 17:41
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I did exactly what Genghis outlines above. Don't forget you will need the required night experience if you don't already have it. I broke down all my flight time on a spreadsheet and colour-coded all of the flights which contributed towards a particular requirement (cross-country, solo etc).

The real trick is to find a school which will support you doing it that way. Sadly the school I used a few years ago no longer exists.

Don't underestimate the importance of the oral exam - a number of people where I was never in got as far as the "airplane" on he check ride as they failed the oral.
this is my username is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2019, 15:57
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Originally Posted by this is my username View Post
I did exactly what Genghis outlines above. Don't forget you will need the required night experience if you don't already have it. I broke down all my flight time on a spreadsheet and colour-coded all of the flights which contributed towards a particular requirement (cross-country, solo etc).

The real trick is to find a school which will support you doing it that way. Sadly the school I used a few years ago no longer exists.

Don't underestimate the importance of the oral exam - a number of people where I was never in got as far as the "airplane" on he check ride as they failed the oral.
And make sure you have the dual night experience.cross country etc. Solo doesn't count as dual...

the real trick is to find a DPE that you can talk to prior to the checkride - hand over a copy of that spreadsheet and ask if they need any of the places /flights printed out as a map to verify the distances.

You also don't need the instructors endorsement for the check ride if you have the equivant grade of foreign licence.
custardpsc is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2019, 17:02
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Originally Posted by custardpsc View Post
You also don't need the instructors endorsement for the check ride if you have the equivant grade of foreign licence.
Do you have any reference for this? No endorsement is required for anyone taking an ATP check ride. But FAR 103 for the PVT and 123 for the commercial both list an endorsement requirement. And the 8900.1 Inspector Handbook lists “Ensure that the flight instructor has signed the endorsement block no more than 60 days before the application was submitted” as one of the procedures to complete before the checkride for both PVT and commercial applicants. Neither the regs or the 8900.1 show any wavier for foreign license holders.
MarkerInbound is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2019, 10:14
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It is irrelevant to this case, as the OP has a UK NPPL SSEA, which is a sub-ICAO, day only VFR licence.
patowalker is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2019, 11:19
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Also irrelevant, as nobody in their right mind presents for a flying test in any regime, without having ensured that a local and knowledgeable instructor agrees that they are flying to the required standards, and understands them.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2019, 14:54
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Marker Inbound - the reference is in 61.39

(e) A person is not required to comply with the provisions of paragraph (a)(6) of this section if that person: (1) Holds a foreign pilot license issued by a contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation that authorizes at least the privileges of the pilot certificate sought;

AS Genghis says, it isn't of any real use. I must be the only person ever to use it ... but I did get to use it when I stepped up from a 61.75 to a full private certificate. I emailed the DPE beforehand to check as part of the process. In the end it was a wasted effort as the instructor endorsed me anyway because he figured I was a good bet to pass and would add to his passing percentage. The only real reason to mention it is that it does remove the need to endorse for 3 hrs training in preparation for the checkride. If your TSA training clearance has expired or you have had to change locations for the checkride after the training then it could be a lifesaver.
custardpsc is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2019, 17:33
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Thanks. Aviation is just a giant trivia contest. I have have always just used 61.103 and .123 as the checklist for what has to be met. And I haven’t had a foreign student in years.
MarkerInbound is offline  

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