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FAA to EASA. Are there any jobs in the EU?

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FAA to EASA. Are there any jobs in the EU?

Old 19th Aug 2019, 12:20
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FAA to EASA. Are there any jobs in the EU?

Hey all,

First I'd like to apologize if this is a repetitive topic, I've read through many other threads that mention lots of different things but sometimes very vague on what I'm looking to get help with.

Hopefully some fellow pilots in the EU will be able to shine some light...

I am currently a 737 captain for a US carrier. I'm 32 years old, and my personal life is taking me to Europe. I'm applying for a Spanish passport through my parents so the legal right to work in EU is being taken care of...

I'm just starting to learn of the whole process for converting my license and type ratings, but some things are still not clear... for ex:

As an FAA ATPL holder, do I need any sort of endorsement/approval from a flight school in the EU to take my 14 exams? Is there any way to completely study on my own, then register and take the tests without having to go through a school?

Why is it 'better' or 'worse' to take these exams in certain countries and not in others? If so, what are the best countries to take it in? Are there any benefits to having it in one or the other? Would I possibly later need to have it issued from a country different than the one I originally got it from? Is getting it issued again in a different country involve taking more tests/exams?

What happens to the type ratings I have on my FAA license? Do they get transferred over? Do I have to buy my own type ratings if I want them included in my license?

And, last but not least... what is the current job outlook in the EU? What airlines/jobs would be the easiest to look for and apply to? What are the best? Are there direct entry captain positions? Is anybody hiring? Would it be easier to get hired already being a 737 CA? What is a normal salary for a 737 CA in the EU?

Hopefully this can also turn into a discussion and we can all kind go back and forth with ideas and different point of views regarding the process.

I appreciate any help, thank you all
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Old 19th Aug 2019, 15:44
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Given your level of experience you should be able to do your ATPL exams without the need of an ATO.
I'm not going to talk about which country is best for the exams because it's been more than two years since I've done mine, but you might want to avoid the UK due to Brexit and whatever might happen after October.

Regarding your type ratings, you need to do a LST in a simulator and there are job opportunities for captains.
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Old 19th Aug 2019, 20:38
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Jobs

I recently ran an OCC for a Canadian guy in your position and it was relatively painless conversion for him, I think you can get a dispensation to fly and complete the ATPL exams within a certain time frame but I can't quite remember the details.

Things are a little bit up in the air at the moment due Brexit and the fact that a few airlines are not in the best shape financially, Thomas Cook or Norweigen for example, or Ryanair battling unions and cancelling new joiner courses etc. Once Brexit gets sorted and the 737 Max gets flying again (will either ever happen????).... But as a Captain on the 737 I'm sure recruitment will ramp up again as usual in the winter. Guessing by your Spanish passport that Spain would be a preferred base, Jet2 or Easyjet are probably your best bet as a DEC to fly for a decent airline with a route to living at a Spanish base. Easyjet has more options but you would have to do the A320 TR. If fluent in Spanish then look at the Spanish airlines but I can't imagine the pay is competitive
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 10:02
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Hello,

I did this about seven years ago, moving from the States to Europe and going through the whole conversion thing. Good thing you are getting the EU passport as basically everything is a no-go without it. Virtually every European airline requires an "unlimited right to live and work throughout the EU/EEA." The only way to get that is with an EU passport. Everything else comes with restrictions, such as being tied to one country, or only the country your spouse resides in, or is time limited, etc.

The conversion process is actually not that hard, but finding a country that understands it may be difficult. The UK had everything well laid out, but as stated, Brexit has made that a mess and it looks like EASA will no longer recognize the UK licenses. Ireland has a good reputation for handling the conversions.

I cannot remember the exact requirements, but I believe if you have an ICAO ATPL, in excess of 3,000 hours, and a valid type rating and 500 or more hours on that aircraft, you can self certify for the 14 theory exams. Also be aware that mot countries require a separate radio exam on top of the 14 theory exams and sometimes it is hard to get that information. I do not believe Ireland requires the separate radio license, and Denmark will issue it based on passing an ICAO English exam. After you do all that, you can get arrange a skills test on the aircraft type in which you are type rated. Your license will be issued by the country which holds your medical records, but you can do the theory exams and skills test in any EASA country and then have the results transferred. For example I live in DK, so I did the medical exam in DK, but did the theory exams in the UK and the skills test in Germany. My license was issued by Denmark.

As for where to do the conversion, as mentioned, the UK used to be a great place to get it done, but Brexit has messed that up. Ireland has a good reputation and I have found/heard the Scandinavian countries to be easy to work with as well (Denmark has been easy and I hear Sweden and Norway are good to work with as well). As a general rule, avoid Germany for a few reasons. First of all their medical record laws make it virtually impossible to transfer records, which will make transferring a license difficult should the need arise in the future. The second issue with Germany is they seem to be stuck in the dark ages when it comes to paperwork processing. I recently flew with a German FO who had his flight bag stolen, along with his license and medical. He was grounded for over a month while he faxed (yes faxed, email was not acceptable) copies of identity documents and logbooks, and waited for a new license to be mailed back to him. The southern European countries have a reputation for taking a very long time to process paperwork too, but I have no experience with them. Apparently the Icelandic CAA is also very easy to work with, and very efficient.

Good luck!

Last edited by NEDude; 20th Aug 2019 at 11:34.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 12:13
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I am currently a 737 captain for a US carrier. I'm 32 years old, and my personal life is taking me to Europe. I'm applying for a Spanish passport through my parents so the legal right to work in EU is being taken care of...
Just one piece of advice (out of hands-on experience): DO NOT TOUCH AND I SAY IT AGAIN DO NOT TOUCH A SPANISH LICENCE EVEN WITH A BARGE POLE!!!

Awful and INSANE 18th-century-like bureaucracy, national aviation authority arrogance off the scale and poor command of English. Stay away from those clowns, get an Irish licence .

Good luck

DK
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 23:33
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EVERYONE I know (the few ones) who did what you are suggesting regretted their decision to go fly in europe.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 00:45
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Interesting answers. I was looking into it with and was told even with over 10k jet time, plenty of command that it would be all 14 exams. If there is somewhere that applies exam credits for experience (3 ATPLs held, just not an EASA) I would love to know.

Yes - my info came directly from the authority concerned.

Hmmm anyone?
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 00:53
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Originally Posted by bringbackthe80s View Post
EVERYONE I know (the few ones) who did what you are suggesting regretted their decision to go fly in europe.
Any more info? You can work where you want to live, go home every night, for a decent salary. What was so bad?
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 02:44
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Originally Posted by Global Aviator View Post
Interesting answers. I was looking into it with and was told even with over 10k jet time, plenty of command that it would be all 14 exams. If there is somewhere that applies exam credits for experience (3 ATPLs held, just not an EASA) I would love to know.

Yes - my info came directly from the authority concerned.

Hmmm anyone?
Way back in the day, when there was a Dutch AA (RLD), I knew a few that got an ATPL based on experience abroad, (and flew, via Park Aviation for Transavia,) but it said "based on foreign equivalent" on it. Apparently that severely limited their capability to go elsewhere in the EU. Don't know anything about the current rules TBH, but I think pay and conditions a far better in the US right now. (left the EU for the US in 2005)
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 04:27
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Originally Posted by giggitygiggity View Post
Any more info? You can work where you want to live, go home every night, for a decent salary. What was so bad?
What can I tell you, if I had the prospect to eventually be making close to 300k usd per year flying 60-70 hrs per month in any of the us majors, I would choose that over endless four legs days (mostly delayed) under EASA FTLs for half the money and being treated as a bus driver at best. All of this after having sat a nice set of 14 exams which cost money and take almost a year to prepare.
But hey, to each their own.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 11:33
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Originally Posted by Banana Joe View Post
Given your level of experience you should be able to do your ATPL exams without the need of an ATO.
I'm not going to talk about which country is best for the exams because it's been more than two years since I've done mine, but you might want to avoid the UK due to Brexit and whatever might happen after October.

Regarding your type ratings, you need to do a LST in a simulator and there are job opportunities for captains.
So recently learned that Austria, for example, allows me to register to take the exams directly through their authority filling out paperwork without the need of a ground school. You just contact them, fill out paperwork, and register to take the exams. Definitely going to stay away from the UK for now, thanks for the advice!
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 11:41
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Originally Posted by Whitemonk Returns View Post
I recently ran an OCC for a Canadian guy in your position and it was relatively painless conversion for him, I think you can get a dispensation to fly and complete the ATPL exams within a certain time frame but I can't quite remember the details.

Things are a little bit up in the air at the moment due Brexit and the fact that a few airlines are not in the best shape financially, Thomas Cook or Norweigen for example, or Ryanair battling unions and cancelling new joiner courses etc. Once Brexit gets sorted and the 737 Max gets flying again (will either ever happen????).... But as a Captain on the 737 I'm sure recruitment will ramp up again as usual in the winter. Guessing by your Spanish passport that Spain would be a preferred base, Jet2 or Easyjet are probably your best bet as a DEC to fly for a decent airline with a route to living at a Spanish base. Easyjet has more options but you would have to do the A320 TR. If fluent in Spanish then look at the Spanish airlines but I can't imagine the pay is competitive
I've also recently heard this, that airlines in EU have hired and have allowed pilots to fly with FAA licenses for a period of a year or two while they get their EASA. Haven't found the actual regulation on it though...

Definitely sounds encouraging that there are jobs for captains. Spain is not necessarily my first choice (actually, Berlin), but until I see what the hiring pool really is like and the difficulty of getting a job obviously having one at any base is better than not having a job at all.

I'm still confused about this... Airlines in EU make you pay for your type rating? All the time? Like you mentioned, at EasyJet if I were to apply... I wouldn't have a chance unless I pay for my own 320 type?
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 11:44
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NEDude;

Great advice. Also, I have heard about the German regulations which make it hard to transfer from one authority to another. So you went from US to EU? Care if I send you a PM? Thanks!

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Until you have a posting history you don't have access to private messaging and adding urls.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 11:45
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Originally Posted by drag king View Post
Just one piece of advice (out of hands-on experience): DO NOT TOUCH AND I SAY IT AGAIN DO NOT TOUCH A SPANISH LICENCE EVEN WITH A BARGE POLE!!!

Awful and INSANE 18th-century-like bureaucracy, national aviation authority arrogance off the scale and poor command of English. Stay away from those clowns, get an Irish licence .

Good luck

DK
Thanks for the advice!!! No spanish license then!
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 11:47
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Originally Posted by bringbackthe80s View Post
EVERYONE I know (the few ones) who did what you are suggesting regretted their decision to go fly in europe.
Trust me... I've been stressing about this because I'm seeing the salaries, the roster patterns... :-/
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 15:14
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Originally Posted by ilrata View Post
I've also recently heard this, that airlines in EU have hired and have allowed pilots to fly with FAA licenses for a period of a year or two while they get their EASA. Haven't found the actual
this is called license validation and not specific to FAA license holders - just any ICAO license (we leave the question of right to live and work apart here). It is normally limited to one year but can be extended sometimes. There are general provisions for that in EASA but in fact it is left to individual countries CAAs to decide. Some of the countries simply do not validate licenses doesnt matter what, some do if traceability is reasonable (=issued by first world countries only), some are quite flexible. But it is a temporary solution anyway... and validation is notmally limted not just to a country but to a specific airline who should sponsor your application. I never heard of validations made without airline sponsorship
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 17:00
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Originally Posted by CargoOne View Post


this is called license validation and not specific to FAA license holders - just any ICAO license (we leave the question of right to live and work apart here). It is normally limited to one year but can be extended sometimes. There are general provisions for that in EASA but in fact it is left to individual countries CAAs to decide. Some of the countries simply do not validate licenses doesnt matter what, some do if traceability is reasonable (=issued by first world countries only), some are quite flexible. But it is a temporary solution anyway... and validation is notmally limted not just to a country but to a specific airline who should sponsor your application. I never heard of validations made without airline sponsorship
You are on the right track but to clarify, it's not an airline sponsorship per se. I have been in contact with the UK CAA in this matter and they have indicated that they are quite happy to issue a validation whilst I study for the full license. They, however, do not issue validations for the sake of job hunting, so they require an employer to sign off on your application.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 18:10
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Originally Posted by Kennytheking View Post
You are on the right track but to clarify, it's not an airline sponsorship per se. I have been in contact with the UK CAA in this matter and they have indicated that they are quite happy to issue a validation whilst I study for the full license. They, however, do not issue validations for the sake of job hunting, so they require an employer to sign off on your application.
yep, usually it works like you get a first year validation (sponsored) and then you can get it extended to a second year if you can provide an evidence you are going or about to start going through 14 modules. This works in some countries but not all of them. I must admit I never seen validation granted on a basis you are into 14 modules without sponsorship but well we are 28 countries here...
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 17:26
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Avion Express , Small Planet and the like were handing out validations a few years back for ICAO guys with time on type, may have changed now though.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 11:11
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I am currently a 737 captain for a US carrier. I'm 32 years old, and my personal life is taking me to Europe.[/QUOTE]

..I went through this validation / conversion process some time ago; for me it was one of the hardest things Ive done in my 30+ yrs of flying..Those 14 exams are very, very tough, compared to the FAA tests..You will have to seriously study, before you will be ready to take them..

..You are still young, and getting PIC-time in a 737..Cannot tell anybody what to do, but If I was in your shoes, I would stay in the US, or get a commuting job and live in Europe..Good luck..!!

Fly safe,
B-757
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