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Instructor Aspirations (UK vs USA)

Old 1st Dec 2023, 21:32
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Cool Instructor Aspirations (UK vs USA)

I hope this message finds you all in good spirits. In light of recent developments, I've opted to pursue the Class 2 medical route post my Class 1 initial exam setback and the challenges I faced with the eye test. The plan is to delve into instructing, not only to amass valuable experience but also with an eye on a potential retry for the Class 1 exam when I'm closer to obtaining an ATPL, hoping my vision will miraculously fix itself (I'm aware this is unrealistic).

As I embark on this new trajectory, I find myself pondering the confines of instructing under a Class 2 medical certification. Specifically, I'm curious to know if instructing extends beyond small single-engine planes primarily utilized for PPL usage. Is there a possibility of instructing on more advanced aircraft, such as business jets, for example, Gulfstream?

My overarching dream is to fly jets, and I'm optimistic that the path of becoming an instructor can harmonize with this objective. Consequently, I'm contemplating pursuing instructor training in the United States, envisioning that a significant portion of my training would transpire there. I also thought that the FAA Class 1 may be easier to obtain, but also because there may be different rules regarding instructing allowing me to fly bigger aeroplanes. However, my concern centers around potential visa complications. If any of you could share insights or direct me to resources regarding both CAA and FAA regulations, it would be immensely appreciated.

Understanding the intricacies of obtaining a work visa in the USA is crucial at this juncture. Your collective wisdom will be instrumental in shaping my decisions as I navigate this pivotal phase of my aviation journey.

Thank you all sincerely for your time and consideration. I eagerly await your golden guidance.
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Old 2nd Dec 2023, 09:18
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It's a good idea to have a backup plan and if flying really is your dream then you should keep trying until the bitter end. Get yourself an FAA class one at the same time as doing everything you can to get a CAA or EASA class one (You have a LOT of different options there).
You have your entire career ahead of you so getting into the US shouldn't be hard if you want it enough. Options go from M1/F1 all the way through to marriage. It is relatively easy to get a visa to train and work as a flight instructor up to (I think) 2-4 years/1500 hours. It's also a lot cheaper to train in the US. A lot can happen in those few years so you could well find yourself married with a green card - in which case you'll be a jet pilot by your early 20s.
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Old 2nd Dec 2023, 19:23
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Hi rudestuff, while the possibility of marrying and getting my green card sounds great, it's not necessarily something I'd want to rely on, although it is probably the best way. I noticed you mentioned being a jet pilot in my early 20s but is that even possible with a Class 2? Even with the FAA Class 2 I'm unsure what you can and cannot fly commercially. I suppose after doing my flight instructor training I could try apply for jobs and that could help me obtain a visa, what do you think?

Also any way I could marry someone with a prenuptial agreement and have absolutely no affiliation to them but be legally married? lol
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Old 3rd Dec 2023, 05:11
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Originally Posted by bakerin
Hi rudestuff, while the possibility of marrying and getting my green card sounds great, it's not necessarily something I'd want to rely on, although it is probably the best way. I noticed you mentioned being a jet pilot in my early 20s but is that even possible with a Class 2? Even with the FAA Class 2 I'm unsure what you can and cannot fly commercially. I suppose after doing my flight instructor training I could try apply for jobs and that could help me obtain a visa, what do you think?

Also any way I could marry someone with a prenuptial agreement and have absolutely no affiliation to them but be legally married? lol
In the UK/Europe you'll need a class one for any kind of commercial work. You can get away with a class 2 for flight instruction but that's about it.
The US has 3 classes of medical and you can fly commercially on a class 2. You'd only need a class one to exercise the privileges of an ATP certificate, which is required to be a multi crew captain. (Simplified)
The reality is you'd probably get an FAA class one quite easily as it's just a basic eye test.
Right now there isn't a sponsored visa route into the US for pilots, but that could change. A prenup will cover your assets but you'll need to live with and poke it in her a few times im afraid 😜 - The Feds will spot a sham marriage pretty easily, and anyone daft enough to write it down on paper would probably end up up arrested/in prison/deported. What you can do is legally come to the end of your visa and apply for another one just before it runs out, which will by you a few more months/years.
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Old 3rd Dec 2023, 13:30
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Hmm, tricky one then. I guess the fake marriage route isn't the way to go haha. Living and working in the US has always been a "dream" for some reason, I guess it's not as simple as I thought to obtain a visa, I guess I could apply for the temporary stay and then try to quickly find a job as a flight instructor, and then try to extend for that reason? Thanks for your words
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Old 3rd Dec 2023, 13:42
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Certain visas come with certain limitations such as the requirements to leave the USA for a specific amount of time after the visa runs out.
With a 4 year visa you should be able to fly 2000-2400 hrs and get at least one if not more self funded type ratings.
At least one of them 737 as its worldwide the most flown narrow body. Maybe a Citation business jet type also.
This will boost your employability as an advanced instructor outside of the US/EU.

The FAA is a lot more understanding with corrective surgeries then the UK/EU authorities are (or used to be).
Also look at Canada as their immigration policies are a little bit friendlier then the USA.

https://www.faa.gov/ame_guide/app_process/exam_tech/item31/amd/general

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Old 3rd Dec 2023, 13:55
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Yeah I wouldn't suggest a fake marriage. But a real one has the highest probability of getting you a green card and the career of your dreams. Then you just need to decide between .45 and 9mm.
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Old 3rd Dec 2023, 13:58
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
Yeah I wouldn't suggest a fake marriage. But a real one has the highest probability of getting you a green card and the career of your dreams. Then you just need to decide between .45 and 9mm.
Considering the divorce rates it’s a little bit silly to keep suggesting this.
Unless you want to have to give away half your life savings and half your future earnings.
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Old 3rd Dec 2023, 23:30
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Ok, so plan is to go out for 2-4 years and get my instructors license, and marry within that time with a prenuptial agreement

Right?
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 02:41
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Originally Posted by bakerin
Ok, so plan is to go out for 2-4 years and get my instructors license, and marry within that time with a prenuptial agreement

Right?
No you need to look into the very real possibility that you’ll have a lifelong career outside of UK/EU, likely after surgery.
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Old 6th Dec 2023, 09:57
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Thanks for the reply, although my comment was a joke you have given me valuable information regardless.

I do understand this, but do not understand how to 'kickstart' it, for example extending my stay long enough to work there. For example I will do my PPL shortly after christmas in Florida, and hope to do a lot of my training there to become an instructor, I was thinking I could start looking for a job straight after I obtain my instructors license and hopefully if I do get a job offer they will grant me a work visa. But then that probably means I would have to do the FAA instructors license, which could be risky if I do not secure a job out there and have to come home to the UK.
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 03:57
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It is possible you’re about to make a very costly error.
I don’t know where you’re going and I frankly don’t need to know either.
For your PPL you require an M1 visa, you may even have it already.
As far as I am aware an M1 visa cannot be transferred into a work visa or work permit.
So on an M1 you can train all the way to instructor tor but then you couldn’t work as one.
Do not rely on what schools tell you, they may not always know and it’s not their problem to fix.
A school that can provide an F-1 visa will generally require that you do ALL training with them, from zero.
So a PPL on an M-1 at one school may very well disqualify you from getting an F-1 at another school.
Also…there is a darker side, once a school has you on a (work) visa you are tied to them hand and foot. That can lead to abuse of that situation.
Certain schools in Florida were known to do that.
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 11:58
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Thumbs up Confusion

Originally Posted by rudestuff
In the UK/Europe you'll need a class one for any kind of commercial work. You can get away with a class 2 for flight instruction but that's about it.
The US has 3 classes of medical and you can fly commercially on a class 2.
This is interesting, as far as I am aware you need a CPL for an FAA CFI, which requires a class 1 medical (which unfortunately I cannot get), so I don't see how you can fly commercially on a class 2, if it's the CPL license that requires a class 1. Could you elaborate please? I am intrigued. I am aware that you can become a CFI in the UK though, without a CPL (therefore without a class 1).
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 14:10
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Here's a chart showing what medicals go with which licenses. See section 61.23(d):

https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-1...t-61#p-61.23(d)
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 14:43
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Originally Posted by bakerin
This is interesting, as far as I am aware you need a CPL for an FAA CFI, which requires a class 1 medical (which unfortunately I cannot get), so I don't see how you can fly commercially on a class 2, if it's the CPL license that requires a class 1. Could you elaborate please? I am intrigued. I am aware that you can become a CFI in the UK though, without a CPL (therefore without a class 1).
Nope, none of that is correct. An ATP as PIC requires a class 1, CPL requires a class 2 and Private requires a class 3 (to use the privileges). So you can get both commercial and CFI with just a class 3. Instruction is not considered commercial work by the FAA so you would need a class 3 to teach private pilot students. No medical is required to teach anything above private as the student would be PIC.

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Old 7th Dec 2023, 14:58
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Originally Posted by bakerin
This is interesting, as far as I am aware you need a CPL for an FAA CFI, which requires a class 1 medical (which unfortunately I cannot get), so I don't see how you can fly commercially on a class 2, if it's the CPL license that requires a class 1. .
Where are you finding your information? I have been an FAA certificated flight instructor for nearly 40 years and I have never held an FAA class 1 medical. I did hold a class 2 when I was flying commercially (glider tow and jump aircraft)

FAA separates the requirements for instructing from the requirements to act as pilot in command. It is possible, and legal, to provide fight instruction in USA with no medical at all. The "student" will need to be qualified to act as pilot in command. E.g. an instructor with no medical could give tail wheel instruction, aerobatic instruction, and flight reviews in single engine aircraft as long as the "student" was rated private single engine and had a current medical (or Basic Med) and flight review.

Note that in USA the requirement for a medical is linked to the privileges that are being exercised, not to the level of certificate held. E.g. I'm rated commercial and CFII but I currently fly, and instruct, on Basic Med with no FAA medical certificate.

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Old 7th Dec 2023, 15:05
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The mention of 1 and 2 makes me think he/she/they are confusing FAA with EASA.
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 15:18
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https://www.faa.gov/ame_guide/standards
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 15:37
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But wait, there's more -

There is no FAA requirement to hold a second class medical certificate to take the commercial or fight instructor flight tests. A third class medical, or Basic Med, is all that is required.

"(3) Must hold at least a third-class medical certificate—(i) When exercising the privileges of a private pilot certificate, recreational pilot certificate, or student pilot certificate, except when operating under the conditions and limitations set forth in § 61.113(i);

(ii) When exercising the privileges of a flight instructor certificate and acting as the pilot in command or as a required flightcrew member, except when operating under the conditions and limitations set forth in § 61.113(i);

(iii) When taking a practical test in an aircraft for a recreational pilot, private pilot, commercial pilot, or airline transport pilot certificate, or for a flight instructor certificate, except when operating under the conditions and limitations set forth in § 61.113(i); or

(iv) When performing the duties as an Examiner in an aircraft when administering a practical test or proficiency check for an airman certificate, rating, or authorization."

ref https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-1...pter-D/part-61
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Old 7th Dec 2023, 15:55
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Thanks for all of the help, your knowledge is very valuable to me. So then it is possible that I have a successful career instructing in the United States with an FAA class 3 medical? Provided I can get some sort of citizenship (which is the difficult part). I also wondered if there was a chance of instructing outside of PPL, specifically bigger planes, maybe jets (I'm aware this may be pushing it, but it is my dream after all)
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