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ATPL in Germany as a non EU/US national

Old 1st Sep 2022, 15:36
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ATPL in Germany as a non EU/US national

Hey everyone, i am planning to start my ATPL training soon, and would like help with some information.
Here's my current status: CASA (Australia) PPL and ELP Level 6. About 150 hours on a C 152. I plan to join a flight school in Germany for both my theory and flying. I have already contacted a few schools which have training in English, and they said i could join. I am not an EU or US national.

Here are the queries i have at the moment. I hope to add more to this post when i need help.
1) Any schools you'd recommend?
2) Can i join modular courses as a foreign national?
3) Can i join a theory only school as a foreign national?
4) What is brush up?
5) Since the training is in EN, would i need a German or English language certificate for the Visa? Can i use my ELP instead?
6) I can't easily figure out if i need a Student or Vocational Visa. I already emailed the Bürgerservice des Auswärtigen/ Federal Foreign Office Berlin, and their reply was not helpful. Please help.
7) I understand I need a EASA Class 1 medical & can use my unconverted PPL to sit the ATPL theory classes & ATPL exams. Am i mistaken?

Any information will be of great help to me. Thank you in advance.

EDIT:
I am a old forum user, but with little posts. Hence, my posts and replies need mod approval. Please pardon the delay.

Last edited by wheniwasin; 3rd Sep 2022 at 17:58. Reason: adding info
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Old 2nd Sep 2022, 09:21
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I lived in Germany for a while and before I answer some of your questions, may I ask why you want to do your training in Germany as opposed to the rest of EASA countries?
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 17:50
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Originally Posted by Warlock1 View Post
I lived in Germany for a while and before I answer some of your questions, may I ask why you want to do your training in Germany as opposed to the rest of EASA countries?
Thank you for your reply.

I picked Germany mainly because i have a few friends and relations living in Germany. If the worse comes and i have some emergency, i wouldn't be all alone in a foreign country. Also, seeing some familiar faces once in a while would help.

I do have friends in some other EASA countries; UK, Switzerland, Austria, but they seem too expensive for ATPL.

I know there are cheaper places for EASA ATPL, but i would have to learn a new language anyway (for day to day use), and be completely on my own there.

Germany felt like a balanced combination of expense, and safety.
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Old 9th Sep 2022, 12:39
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Hi
sorry for the late reply.
When I wanted to do my conversion, the LBA simply told me to find a flight school and come up with a conversion plan and submit it to them. Based on that plan, they would also give me the approval and the OK to go ahead. You also need a verification of your license by this authority.
The 14 written exams are a different story. From what I heard, the German Database is very different and involved, including questions that require you to explain your answers.
Like you mentioned, doing your training in Germany is way more expensive than say, Poland, Greece etc.
Best of luck
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Old 9th Sep 2022, 14:02
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Thank you for the information.

May i ask when you trained in Germany.

Originally Posted by Warlock1 View Post
the LBA simply told me to find a flight school and come up with a conversion plan and submit it to them. Based on that plan, they would also give me the approval and the OK to go ahead.
I don't think i will need this, since i am not planning on converting but getting a stand alone EASA ATPL.

Originally Posted by Warlock1 View Post
You also need a verification of your license by this authority.
My existing CASA PPL?

Originally Posted by Warlock1 View Post
The 14 written exams are a different story. From what I heard, the German Database is very different and involved, including questions that require you to explain your answers.
I'd have thought the whole of EU would have the same questions and syllabus, at least the English version. Are they not multiple choice answers?

Originally Posted by Warlock1 View Post
Like you mentioned, doing your training in Germany is way more expensive than say, Poland, Greece etc.
I will look up the exams and rethink.

In case you have some information about my queries in the first post, please do post them. Thanks.

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Old 9th Sep 2022, 17:44
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I wanted to add a question for everyone. I'm looking at the "Time frame for examinations" and i can see a few exams (Air Law, Instrumentation, Flight Planning and Monitoring, Human Performance, and 3 more) have different durations under ATPL, IR, and CB IR. I don't fully grasp what this means. Do i have to write 2 Air Law exams to get an ATPL with IR or is ATPL Air Law exam all encompassing, and includes the IR/ CB IR etc...

(I can't post URL's due to my low post count but i will post what to click to get to said document: Google: easa atpl exams germany > LBA Department of theoretical examinations (1st link) > FCL examinations.link > Time frame for examinations)
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Old 9th Sep 2022, 19:34
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Hi,
I’ve been in a similar situation like you. My best advice is do the ATPL exams first. You can do the exams with your PPL only. You don’t need to have a EASA medical for the exams but I recommend you get one before starting anything. Since you have 150 hrs, you can get a validation in order to train for CPL/ME/IR. You don’t have to convert unless you want. The only issue is you’ll have to go back and get your medical renewed till you get the EASA CPL/ME/IR.
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Old 9th Sep 2022, 20:33
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Originally Posted by wheniwasin View Post
I'm looking at the "Time frame for examinations" and i can see a few exams (Air Law, Instrumentation, Flight Planning and Monitoring, Human Performance, and 3 more) have different durations under ATPL, IR, and CB IR. I don't fully grasp what this means. Do i have to write 2 Air Law exams to get an ATPL with IR or is ATPL Air Law exam all encompassing, and includes the IR/ CB IR etc...
The 14 ATPL exams are the only exams you need if you've got a PPL. The cover the theory requirement of both the CPL and IR. The only reason to do the CPL or IR exams is if you definitely don't want an ATPL eventually. Even then you'll likely find the ATPLs easier because 99% of QBs and training is geared towards them.
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Old 10th Sep 2022, 03:52
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wheniwasin, the ATPL theory course, including the revision/consolidation weeks, can be completed remotely. You're free to choose which competent authority administers the exams. The only condition is that all papers are done under a single authority. Thereafter, you are free to choose which EASA member state issues the licence. The state of licence issue must hold your medical records, meaning the state that issues the medical certificate will be the state of licence issue. The medical and licence records may be transferred to another state, though it will cost three to four figures and may take one or two months to complete. The competent authority for professional licences in Germany, LBA, is notorious for being inefficient. Popular choices include Austrocontrol and Transport Malta. Austrocontrol has established numerous ATPL exam centres across Europe and several more may be found overseas.

I have no idea what language proficiencies are required for a German visa. If you wish to hold a German general radiotelephone operator certificate without speaking German, you must apply for the AZF E. The requirements for this are set out in the German regulations, FlugfunkV, appendix 1, section 5. Bundesnetzagentur publishes the exam questions and answers here.
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Old 10th Sep 2022, 05:01
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Do you have the right to work in the EU? I don't know much about this stuff but you'd want to be absolutely certain you can actually get work with these qualifications before you go to spend the time and money doing EASA ATPL exams.
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Old 10th Sep 2022, 16:52
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Thank you everyone for your responses. It has helped me get a better picture of things. My post didn't get many replies for a while, so i was worried i'd not find the information easily.

Originally Posted by Tharaka737 View Post
...My best advice is do the ATPL exams first.
Yes, this is my plan, to study on my own, attend class as per requirement, and then attempt the exams.

Originally Posted by Tharaka737 View Post
You can do the exams with your PPL only.
ICAO (CASA) PPL and not EASA PPL?

Originally Posted by Tharaka737 View Post
You don’t need to have a EASA medical for the exams but I recommend you get one before starting anything.
Yes i will. i already have Class1 medical from 2 countries, but i will take an EASA Class 1 just so nothing pops up later on.

Originally Posted by Tharaka737 View Post
You don’t have to convert unless you want.
I can fly on my CASA PPL in EU as a student without converting?

Originally Posted by Tharaka737 View Post
The only issue is you’ll have to go back and get your medical renewed till you get the EASA CPL/ME/IR.
Yes, im aware of this. I will renew my CASA medical right before i have to present my PPL where required.

Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
The 14 ATPL exams are the only exams you need if you've got a PPL. The cover the theory requirement of both the CPL and IR. The only reason to do the CPL or IR exams is if you definitely don't want an ATPL eventually. Even then you'll likely find the ATPLs easier because 99% of QBs and training is geared towards them.
Yes, i am definitely doing the ATPL exams. I was a bit confused because there were different durations for each theory subject in the document. And the system is slightly different in different countries. (one can attempt ATPL exams only if they have a valid CPL in mine) I have a CASA PPL by the way, not an EASA.

Originally Posted by selfin View Post
the ATPL theory course, including the revision/consolidation weeks, can be completed remotely.
I read that some minimum hours need to be in a physical classroom. Is this old information? Is this "brush up" the same as "revision/consolidation"? Can you tell me what exactly that means, if it has some specific relevance? Do you think i'd be able to do the remote study while out of the country? And go to the class only when required? I'm guessing since the 14 exams would be attempted in smaller sets, that will not be possible.

Originally Posted by selfin View Post
The only condition is that all papers are done under a single authority...... The state of licence issue must hold your medical records
This much i learnt while researching.

Originally Posted by selfin View Post
The medical and licence records may be transferred to another state, though it will cost three to four figures....
Are you saying it will cost close to 1000 EUR to transfer? Also what would be the need to transfer? Isn't an EASA ATPL valid the same all over?

Originally Posted by selfin View Post
LBA, is notorious for being inefficient.
I thought the German one would be top notch 😂

Originally Posted by selfin View Post
Popular choices include Austrocontrol and Transport Malta. Austrocontrol has established numerous ATPL exam centres across Europe and several more may be found overseas.
I will look into this. Thank you. This is for the theory exams, correct?

Originally Posted by selfin View Post
If you wish to hold a German general radiotelephone operator certificate without speaking German, you must apply for the AZF E. The requirements for this are set out in the German regulations, <link rem>, section 5. Bundesnetzagentur publishes the exam questions and answers <link rem>.
Thanks again. I will need this "general radiotelephone operator certificate" to do my ATPL flight training in Germany, correct? (even if i have an ICAO FRTOL)

Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
Do you have the right to work in the EU?....
I do not, and at the moment i do not plan to work in the EU afterwards. I would need to be proficient in the local language for that. My country has a big preference/ requirement for EASA ATPL. That's my goal as of now.

---------------------------------------------

Thank you EVERYONE for your replies. I learnt aspects i was not even aware of. This has been very helpful.

I have an additional two questions:

Can anybody help explain what the new Area 100 KSA is? I read that it isn't an exam per se, but it seems pretty vague.

Do i get to carry a scientific calculator and/or a CR-2 (circular slide rule flight computer) for the exams?
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Old 11th Sep 2022, 04:11
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An ICAO PPL is enough to enrol in the ATPL theory and CPL courses. Points B.1. & E.2. in appendix 3 to Part-FCL.

A foreign licence validation may be used to gain outstanding PIC experience, if the LBA will issue one. Point (3) of article 8 in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/723. AOPA Germany provides an overview of this option here. Alternatively, German law might automatically render third-country licences valid for Annex 1 aircraft registered there.

The revision weeks for the ATPL theory course can be done online, assuming it's offered by the training organisation. These are intensive periods of knowledge consolidation intended to condition you for passing the exams. Your physical location while attending online is immaterial. The thirteen subjects and associated exams will be divided into modules. Austrocontrol has exam centres in numerous European countries, in addition to Port Alfred, South Africa, Naples and Fort Pierce Florida, Portland Oregon (Hillsboro Aero Academy, soon to be an EASA ATO), and in São Paulo, Brazil. There are bound to be more outside Europe under other EASA authorities, eg there's one under the Romanian CAA in Johannesburg, and another under Transport Malta in Sebastian Florida.

Transfer of licence and medical records is typically done as a condition of employment. Do yourself a favour and pick the initial competent authority based on positive feedback from licence holders. Examples of transfer fees are discussed in this post, UK issued EASA licence after 31st Dec 2020

The AZF E will be needed to control a German aircraft radio station. While under dual instruction, that role will fall to the instructor, making it unnecessary for you to hold a German certificate. Bundesnetzagentur can tell you whether a foreign radio telephone operator certificate is acceptable.

If you select Germany as the state of licence issue, you'll need to complete a background check, called a ZÜP (Zuverlässigkeitsüberprüfung). See Luftsicherheitsgesetz (Aviation Security Act), § 7.

The KSA module and its method of assessment is explained by one of the leading theory providers here. For the exams you'll need an ARC-2 or CRP-5 flight computer and an electronic calculator such as a Casio FX 83 or 85.
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Old 11th Sep 2022, 16:18
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Originally Posted by selfin View Post
An ICAO PPL is enough to .....
..... electronic calculator such as a Casio FX 83 or 85.
Thank you very much for all the info. You've been very helpful. I'll need some time to read all the references.
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