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Thai DCA Pilot licence conversion

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Thai DCA Pilot licence conversion

Old 9th Jun 2014, 02:16
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 2
Thai DCA Pilot licence conversion

Thai DCA Pilot licence conversion
Hello to whoever may be reading this and in a similar position to myself. I came back from Australia in March 2014 and have been undergoing my pilot licence conversion from a CASA licence to a Thai Department of Civil Aviation licence. This is only for Thai citizens as expats have to undergo the validation process which is just a human factors test and a law test with no additional flying required. What this post is about is the Thai conversion which as stated before is only applicable to Thai citizens. A couple of notes before we start:

As with anything with governments, everything takes time. I've been doing this since April and I'm still not even half way done!
When interacting with people in aviation in Thailand, DO NOT CALL! You need to physically be there. Plus it looks good.

Before you leave the country where you got your licence make sure you ask the authority for a licence validation for overseas. If the country of origin, in my case Australia, suggest that it be sent to the DCA do not do this. The DCA are prone to losing things and not finding it. Make the licence validation be sent to your email. This will save time and will give you a copy for yourself. This process takes 2 weeks so I would allow for 3 weeks. If you do not know where you are going to be in three weeks send it to your residence in Thailand but be aware that the post is slower. Once this is done, you are ready to leave the country of origin.
Now that you have arrived in Thailand, go to the DCA ASAP! It is located on Soi Ngam Duplee, use the MRT Lumpini station to get there and then walk to the 'mouth' of the soi about 200 meters from the station and get a 20 baht motorcycle taxi to the 'Grom Gan Bin'. Once there look for an open concrete area with a desk and an entrance to the building. The opposite side of the entrance has wooden or concrete benches that people are sitting on. Go into this building and there should be two elevators. Get in the elevator and press the number 4. Exit the elevator and turn right. Wait at the counter until served. I normally aim to get there at 10:30 or by 1:30 because like most establishments in Thailand, if you arrive at lunch time, there is a more than likely chance that no one will be there to serve you.
Once there you need to book your theory exams. It's not like Australia or the EU where you can book it for anytime at a number of venues. Before you do this, if I recall correctly, you have to fill in 3 sheets of paperwork which takes about 30 minutes in total. I recommend if you can read Thai and even if you can't, fill it in there because they will know the aviation terms and you can ask questions. Where the forms talk about instructor or CFI sponsoring you, you just sign in yourself because you are sponsoring yourself. The DCA theory exams can only be sat on a specific date with three month intervals. Luckily I started all this in mid April and the test was in early May which was convenient. When you go to the DCA to book your exams, make sure you bring a copy of every relevant document under the sun. First time I was lucky enough to have everything there already. Here is a list I remember needing but once again if you think you need it and I have not mentioned it, BRING IT! Before you leave make sure you have a receipt that tells you the day of your 4 exams, the venue and the date they release the results.
ID card
Tabien Baan
Licence Validation for overseas organizations
Certificate of the school you finished from
2 1 inch photos
University transcript
Copy of every page of your logbook
Another thing I suggest you do with hindsight is to ask to get a Class 1 medical at Bhumibol Hospital. They may say that since you don't have the theory tests or the skills tests done, they cannot authorize that. Try an politely reason with them informing them that the waiting period is 6 months (which it is) and that if you book tomorrow you will have a place close to the time frame when you finish both the theory and skills test. Once you have got a medical letter of authorization, book the medical at Bhumibol hospital near Don Muaeng Airport. Now if you're like me you should get a 6 month waiting period. I went to see them personally and saw the schedule, it's quite full. The reason for this they claimed is because they have 5 doctors for the whole country. You may say that that's quite a lot but these doctors also do the medicals for the Airforce, Navy, and Army. Additionally, the armed services, airlines, and flight schools pre book their appointments years in advance.
Now that you have booked your exams, go study! Now you should on'y have to take 4 exams over a two day period. I took Met, Nav, Law, and Human factors. If you need any study material you should ask around and people have a few sheets that they used to study from which are very handy. Study should take no more than 4 days. I allocated a week and found that I had alot of time on my hands so 4 days should be fine. When you take the test bring your, ruler, whiz wheel, and protractor. The test is taken in "The Old Building" across the grass field from the building where you booked the test. I went the day before to scope out the place.
Now that you have done the test there is a month of waiting to do before your check flight. Since waiting a month is a great time to get paperwork done, I suggest you update your tabien baan if it needs updating, renew Thai ID, and most importantly get a copy of your criminal record (see my blog post about getting your criminal record in Thai). This last one is important because any employer in Thailand and abroad (Laos) may need it. Also it takes 15 days to process which is very tedious but like I said since the results take month to come out you have time to kill. Once you've don that, what I suggest now is pick a check flight school that is convenient for you. I picked the Civil Aviation Training Center (CATC) in Hua Hin. The other possible branch is in Don Muang Airport. The CATC have DA40s and 42s along with a sim and more available airspace due to not being shared with many commercial or military flights. But the decision is up to you. Once decided, I suggest you buy 3-4 hours of flying to get a feel for their organization and airspace.
When the results for the test eventually come out, go straight back to the flying school with the piece of paper saying that you are allowed to fly and have passed all four theory tests. This is currently where I am in the process. Assuming you didn't do step 4 like me, you will now get a letter of authorization saying that you are allowed to do a Class 1 medical. Now the day of getting this or ASAP call Bhumibol hospital near Don Muaeng Airport. As stated in step 4 expect a 6 month waiting period at least. If you are in this situation as I am, there is another hospital that does medicals where the waiting period is no longer than 2 weeks called Bangkok General Hospital. Expensive but at least you will get a licence. What you must know is that the major airlines do not accept this medical so be aware. I will switch medicals when my appointment for Bhumibol hospital comes up.
Expect the BGH hospital check to take at least 3 business days. The first day is physical, bloods, eyes, ear, and the works. Should take no longer than 6 hours. On the second day you will be required to do an aptitude test. This consists of three parts. The first part is a rorschach test (ink blotches). The second is a short term memory test. Where you are shown a picture for 5 seconds then need to draw it. This is repeated for all 9 pictures. Then after that you are shown the same pictures and are allowed unlimited time to draw and view it. Finally, they will ask you to draw all pictures from memory. The last test is a 187 question sheet in Thai. I had to get the psychologist to help me with the translation (the only time in this whole process where my Thai wasn't up for the task). The whole process took no more than 3 hours. They will then book one more follow up day to talk to a psychiatrist about the results. They said that it should take no longer than 30 minutes. You then come back the next day to talk to the psychiatrist who then has a 30 minute interview about your motives and stuff. After that, you're free to go. They said that the paper work takes about two weeks and that if you haven't gotten your licence within 3 weeks find out what the go is with the DCA.
After two weeks I get a text from a random number texting me in Thai "Come pay for your CPL" I presume it's from the DCA. So now you'll go to the DCA same place as ever, 4th floor talk to a lady. She was expecting me and had my packet (all my documents I'd given her thus far) ready to go. She'll now direct you to go to the general administrations building and take the packet with you and pay for the CPL. It costs 5000THB at the time of this writing. Once you pay for the CPL you'll get a receipt which you then present to the same lady on the 4th floor and she'll take the packet. I asked her how much longer it would take and she said it'd be ready the next day at 9 am.
As promised at 9am the next day I went in and went to pick up my medical and licence. Took about 2 minutes. Check that everything is in order and sign the licence. After that you're good to go. After almost 5 months I've got my Thai CPL. I will come back with an update about my Bhumibol class 1 medical in January. Thanks for the reading!

Will give more updates

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Last edited by thai_jedi; 9th Oct 2014 at 15:22. Reason: Gotten further into conversion process
thai_jedi is offline  
Old 27th Oct 2015, 02:54
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: A few degrees South
Posts: 813
Does anybody know what recency of flight experience is required to validate a foreign ATPL?
latetonite is offline  
Old 27th Oct 2015, 03:28
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 88

I'm interested in Validating my CPL also- this may be of interest. Seems someone will do most of the work for you
yarrayarra is offline  

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