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EASA PPL in the US

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EASA PPL in the US

Old 21st Apr 2024, 20:06
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Question EASA PPL in the US

Hi.
I am looking to finally get into flying by getting my PPL in the states. I'm from Norway and intend to go back here after my time in the US and fly here as a hobby, but would simply like to do the course itself abroad for some new experiences.

I understand that going to the states to get a license I will mainly be using in Europe is not ideal since I won't be able to fly on an FAA license in Europe. After having spoken to the Norwegian CAA I understand that converting an FAA PPL to an EASA PPL might be a bit of a hassle and naturally come with extra costs. My question then, is whether someone on here has any experience to share, in order to help me deciding. Should I be looking for an EASA approved ATO in the US, or do an FAA license and convert once I'm back home? I am somewhat lost trying to navigate this question, and would love for someone to give me some pointers, e.g. if I'm crazy to do an EASA license in the US because this or that.

I would also love some recommendations of particular schools (I'm thinking Texas, NM, AZ or maybe Florida), but any info is much appreciated!

Thanks a lot in advance
Will
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 00:25
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There are thousands of flight schools in the USA where you can train for an FAA pilot license and only 2-3 that are authorized to do an EASA PPL, usually these were satellites for UK based schools.
As a non US resident you’ll need to find a 14 CFR Part 141 approved school ( hundreds of them) that can issue a M1 visa for flight training.
More correctly they’ll issue an I-20 form with which you can apply for an M-1 visa at the US embassy or consulate in your home country.
Here’s a tip,
Do the EASA PPL written exams at home then go to the US for an FAA PPL then do whatever is required flying wise for your EASA PPL.
DO NOT do an EASA ppl in the USA as you’ll be flying in US airspace in US registered airplanes with mostly US instructors that are generally very poorly standardized.
You’ll need transition hours to get used to flying in Sweden anyway.
Take the adventure and added experience of flying in the US then convert.
Good luck.
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 06:56
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B2N2 has given you some good advice, but I disagree with his suggestion that you should do an FAA ppl, I would say find a school that will do an EASA ppl in the States. This is what I did 13 years ago, and it worked for me. Get a Class 2 medical before you start to make sure your not wasting your time, then complete as many of the exams at home as you can. Once you have your ppl and have returned home, take some local lessons to get used to the differences in things like radio & airspace.
The school I used is no more, but I did a daily blog of my time there, and you may find it will give you an idea of what to expect. You can find it here
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 10:11
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Thanks for both your quick replies, it's nice to talk some actual people about this.
Just as you suggested Bob, I got my medical class 1 some time ago, so as to not waste my time (this was before I decided not to go down the ATPL route after all). Thanks for looking out.

My initial plan (based on nothing more than my own thoughts) was to do everything in the states, over a period of around 4-6 months. I realize now, that as you both suggest I can instead complete some/all(?) EASA written exams in Norway instead of having my face buried in theory the first month or so of my time abroad :P If pursuing the EASA written's in Norway, I assume I just sign up for either physical or remote ground school here and take the exams along the way?

If I decide to go for B2N2's suggestion of doing the FAA license rather than the EASA when in the US, will the EASA written exams I pass back home first translate to having passed the FAA written's when I go to the states to fly? If so, I see no problem with this except for the costs I'll incur back in Norway, and it seems this has a better chance of giving me a solid foundation than if I "gamble" on getting a good EASA-experienced CFI in the states? I also worry that relying on an EASA instructor might give me less priority or limited options during flight training, and that I might end up being the only one at my flight school undergoing EASA training while my peers are doing FAA (regarding socialization etc.).
Thanks for taking the time to help me

PS. I appreciate the first hand insights from your blog Bob, looks like a great time!

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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 13:24
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If you just want to fly throughout EASA Member States' airspace 'as a hobby', why bother with USA and the FAA? Just train for an EASA LAPL(A) in Europe, then decide at a later stage whether you want to upgrade it to a PPL(A).

In any case, I don't believe that there are many US training schools offering bona fide EASA PPL training these days?
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 13:49
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Originally Posted by BEagle
If you just want to fly throughout EASA Member States' airspace 'as a hobby', why bother with USA and the FAA? Just train for an EASA LAPL(A) in Europe, then decide at a later stage whether you want to upgrade it to a PPL(A).
Yes, I understand it might seem weird. The short answer is I simply want to do some living abroad while I'm still young and have always been adamant on flying some day. So why not combine the two. If I was only after getting my license the easiest way possible I would absolutely stay in Europe.
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 15:39
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You can probably do an FAA & EASA PPL at the same time. I think there are some differences in the syllabi & exams but flight skills & knowledge are the same.

List of outside EU ATOs.

FAA to EASA "conversion" rules, section 3, article 9. It's the 100 hours minimum time that's the biggest showstopper, pure protectionism.
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 16:06
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  • Flying in US airspace
  • Flying N-reg airplanes
  • Flying with US (FAA) instructors
  • Having to comply with all US training regulations (in order to solo)
  • Techniques and procedures taught will be different

You’ll need a decent amount of time just to get used to all of the above that are different in NORWAY When you’re a PPL with 40-50hrs those differences are significant.
Those differences diminish with experience.

I also don’t know how easy it is to mix and match nowadays, “EASA” medical in one country and written exams by another country and license issuance.

The list shows 3 schools in the US, I’m pretty sure Flightsafety does not do PPL training for recreation which leaves two.
There are almost 500 (!) 14 CFR Part 141 schools.

Last edited by B2N2; 23rd Apr 2024 at 01:42.
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Old 23rd Apr 2024, 06:17
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If you have taken a Class 1 medical, I assume you want to go CPL eventually. If so, you will need to do some hour building, so another route you might consider is getting your ppl nearer home, then going to the States for a few months hour building.
There were plenty of guys doing that during my ppl course, and believe me, we had no problems in socialising together. !
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Old 26th Apr 2024, 09:56
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"FAA to EASA "conversion" rules, section 3, article 9. It's the 100 hours minimum time that's the biggest showstopper, pure protectionism."

The US–EU BASA has created an alternative conversion route—limited to the EU subset of licences—which doesn't require 100 hours as a pilot. The implementation procedures set out the conversion steps (TIP-L).

Hillsboro Aero Academy in Oregon is also trying its hand at so-called European training as a satellite base of RotorSky, Austria, IIRC.

American Aviation Academy (formerly Anglo American Aviation) in San Diego still holds an EASA approval. The last I heard, its assets were acquired by Sling Pilot Academy.

I think BEagle makes a sensible point. If you will only do recreational flying, you'd be better off receiving the training locally. Nobody teaching FAA courses in Florida can prepare you for mountain waves in Norway.
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Old 7th May 2024, 16:30
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From what I understand if you want to fly both places get the EASA then convert to FAA. I'm told is pretty painless.
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Old 28th May 2024, 19:26
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Hi again guys, and sorry for the very late reply.
Thanks to your help I was able to find my way further along and have spent the past few weeks talking with places like my local CAA and flight schools as well as flight schools in the US, asking them some more specific questions based on your insights.

I have learned that there is no way to credit an FAA PPL to an EASA license without the 100 hours as PIC.
I have also learned that doing EASA theory and crediting it to skip parts of the FAA curriculum is not possible as you need the endorsement for the FAA written. If not doing the FAA theory while in the states I have seen plenty of promising remote courses which will get me there without spending much of my few months abroad buried in books, like BobD suggested..

Based on this I'm now leaning towards extending my stay in the US to get my 100 hours once I'm over there to begin with. That is, if I can find an appealing flight school in a part of the country somewhat resemblant of Scandinavian terrain. Then just do the very cheap and straight forward credited conversion when back in Norway (and make sure to get some good lessons adjusting to the Norwegian terrain which I understand the instructors are very used to doing here).

If for some reason that shouldn't pan out I'll consider the suggestions of doing the EASA PPL and then find some other excuse to go flying in the states at some point (hour building, or just simply going the easier route of crediting the EASA license for an FAA one).

Either way, I have a lot of researching (and saving up) to do before reaching a final decision, and will surely be posting more here with specific questions as they come up.

Until then, thanks for the input. I have read each of your posts several times now, and though I don't think I'll be answering all of them separately they have been most helpful.

I am still very open to more suggestions such as recommended flight schools in the Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico area or any other tips you might have.

And a last hail-mary; is there absolutely no way to make money while also building flight hours if I don't have my CPL?
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Old 29th May 2024, 07:27
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The C in CPL stands for commercial, which basically means that without it, you are not allowed to make money from your flying. There are some exceptions, but none that would apply to someone just building their hours such as yourself AFAIK.
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Old 11th Jun 2024, 14:06
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Yeah, figured as much. Thanks
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Old 11th Jun 2024, 14:22
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FAA study materials can be downloaded for FREE from the FAA website:

https://www.faa.gov/pilots/become

https://www.faa.gov/regulations_poli...dbooks_manuals
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Old 11th Jun 2024, 14:45
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Thanks!
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Old 11th Jun 2024, 14:58
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Make sure with your aviation authority if solo time (pre PPL flight exam) counts as PIC towards the 100hrs or if they require the 100hrs PIC after the flight exam.
There has been confusion in the past.
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