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Old 17th Jul 2017, 16:17   #1 (permalink)

Probationary PPRuNer
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 4
Advice please - PPL(h) in USA as UK resident


I hope this is okay to post as a new thread - I have tried looking through the other posts.

I won't be quitting my job to train but have a unique situation where I could go abroad for a few months so I'd like to gain my PPL(h) in the USA, preferably South Florida. (CPL may be waaay in the future but not a priority now)
I live in UK & would continue to hour build in UK after obtaining my PPL.
I believe PPL in USA used to be cheaper than in UK, although I'm not sure if this is still true. Despite this I want the experience of living in the USA for a while.

I have already spoken to a number of flight schools but I wanted to get some other opinions & input on a few questions.

-Has anyone done this / got any advice?
-Can I fly in UK with an FAA (perhaps with a few dual flights first)?
-When I do convert to EASA does anyone know how long this takes or how much it costs?
-I have seen some schools in USA offer EASA training - does anyone know if these are cheaper than the UK or not? has anyone completed one of these courses? is there anything to do back in UK or is it completely covered in the USA?
-I would be travelling out there with my wife...some places have said we need an M1/M2 visa, others have said VWP is enough - any advice re this?

Finally - any recommendations of schools....or ones to avoid?

Thanks so much!
Col1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Jul 2017, 17:49   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: UK
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Welcome to the forum.

The licensing isn't as easy as you may think. The USA and U.K. Run on completely different licenses as you will have found out with your research. It's all about being efficient with your decisions and money. The syllabus for both licenses are vaguely similar but there are quite a few stark differences. Hence why it takes quite a lot of time, effort and money to fly in the other licensing authority's airspace with the other license.

My advice would be to research which schools do both FAA & EASA. They should have a training programme set up so that you can train for both licenses and sit separate flight tests at the end.

Hot_LZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Jul 2017, 21:33   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 805
Speak to Geoff painter at cloud9 helicopters in Florida. He's a Brit and owns the school so well versed in all the requirements and won't rip up off.

Good luck.
havick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Jul 2017, 09:24   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: London
Posts: 134
Should you proceed with training for an FAA license in the USA, upon passing your final checkride with the examiner you can fly that same day with the “Temporary Airman Certificate” you will be given on the day (your plastic card will come in the post subsequently). Back in the UK, it is possible that you can self-fly hire helicopters on your FAA ticket, but will be at the discretion of the location (back in 2006, I did SFH on my FAA for 3 months until receiving my JAA). Your FAA license will be valid for life and only require a Biennial Flight Review and valid FAA Class III Medical to remain valid and does not have type ratings for helicopters under 12,500 lbs.

As for conversion to EASA, the term is incorrect as you are actually getting another separate license. You will have done most of the requirements under your FAA training, but will need to do the following to sit your EASA examination checkride:

- 9 written exams & radio verbal exam (FAA has just one big computer-based exam)

- 5 hours instrument awareness dual flying (flying with the “foggles”) unless this requirement has changed; it was the main difference in FAA and European Syllabi

Regarding training locations, Cloud 9 noted above is in West Palm Beach as is Ocean Helicopters (both good, but over an hour drive from Miami). I would also look at The Heli Team in Orlando – also owned by a Brit.
RMK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Jul 2017, 10:31   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 48
When I did my PPL in 2005 it was about 35% cheaper per hour than the UK, this included all travel and accommodation plus flying divided by the hours I flew. The exchange rate at the time was much more favourable than now so that will make a big difference, and I flew full time so the extra costs were kept down. I was also in a state with no sales tax so that helped too.

I did SFH from 2 organisations upon my return on my FAA PPL while doing the ATPL exams and then did my JAA CPL as my first UK licence. I've not had a look at how things may have changed with EASA.
Noiseboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Jul 2017, 20:26   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Asia
Posts: 34
Atlantic Helicopter in Fort Pierce is worth checking out as well. Working closely with Bristow Academy and the examiners there, Martin Sims running Atlantic is an EASA examiner himself and can get you certified for both with no additional tests to be done in the UK.
Cloud 9 is ok, but I don't think they actually offer any EASA skill tests.
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 21:13   #7 (permalink)

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Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for all your replies - the info has been really useful to help me with my plans. I have already been in touch with Cloud 9 & Ocean Helicopters so good to hear the recommendations (they have both been really helpful so far).

My shortlist at the moment is (in no particular order)......
Cloud 9
Ocean Helicopters
Palm Beach Helicopters
Revolution (EatSleepFly) - been helpful, based in CA

Others I have contacted...........
The Heli Team - thanks for the recommendation...I've emailed them
Atlantic Helicopters - waiting to hear back (they offer EASA course)
Corporate Helicopters - haven't heard back from them
Sky Eagle - haven't heard back from them
Pelican Flight Training - haven't heard back from them
Helistream (vague re costs, wanted a large sum up-front)
Bristow (too expensive & course duration too long)

Any recommendations (or warnings) about any of these?
I'm trying to be very thorough in my research & decision of where to train
Col1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Jul 2017, 21:17   #8 (permalink)

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I've just written another post so hopefully these appear in order...
Given the info from everyone & some of the responses from schools I'm not as worried as I was about getting the EASA while in the USA. I'm happy I can build hours in UK with an FAA licence, and £3000 with approx. 6 hours flying & some exams to get the EASA at a later date sounds okay.
If I can manage to do FAA & EASA at the same time that would be ideal, but I'd also need to see if that adds to the cost.
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