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bkmoore
07-28-2016, 01:29 PM
Hello,

I am a U.S. citizen who is a permanent resident of Germany. I would like to convert to an EASA ATPL. The school that I have contacted in Germany does a correspondence course, but requires 3 X 5 days of classroom instruction which wouldn't be finished before July 2017. Is there a faster way? I understand that the theory is 14 subjects and deeply involved. It just seems like an excessive amount of time when I could be flying... yes, I have lived in Germany about 1/4 of my life, so I know how bureaucratic they can be here. I had been hoping to knock out the theory this year.

Thanks,

Brian


Denti
07-29-2016, 04:30 AM
You're probably better off asking on pilotenboard.de (if you can write german) or pprune if you do not need to stick to a german training. Apart from that i can't really help i'm afraid, i did an abinitio course with LFT and have no real knowledge which schools offer faster training.

Only that the 14 subjects usually do need around 8 to 12 months of training.

thomaskies
07-29-2016, 04:32 AM
Hi Brian,

Have you looked into distance learning courses? This would enable you to fly at the same time. Bunch of UK schools offer these courses (such as Bristol) - no need to do it in Germany. I did mine back in the day at CATS UK - full-time took 6 months.


zondaracer
07-29-2016, 09:39 PM
I did my 14 ATPL exams in the UK. It was about 6-7 months of full time studying at home (I did distance learning). I used Bristol Groundschool, and they were great. They had us come to class for 2 weeks and then sit the exams for a week. We did that twice.

Now, if you already have an ATP or ATPL from another country (such as the FAA ATP), there is no requirement to sit in the classroom prior to sitting the exams. You may self certify (at least in the UK, I don't know about Germany).

The UK CAA sets up a testing facility in Florida regularly.

If you want the EASA ATPL, it WILL consume a lot of time.

NEDude
07-29-2016, 10:05 PM
Just completed my EASA conversion. For the theory exams I used the Bristol Ground School distance learning program and supplemented it with a question bank. Overall it took me about a ten months from getting serious about it to actually having the license in hand.

If you are serious about working in Europe, I would strongly consider doing what it takes to change the permanent residence into German (and thus EU) citizenship. It will be very difficult to find a job as a pilot in Europe without the unlimited and unrestricted right to live and work throughout the EU/EEA/CH. Permanent residence in an EU country only gives you the unlimited right to live and work in that one country. Although I do believe Germany generally does not allow naturalized citizens to maintain dual citizenship with another country, which would mean relinquishing your U.S. citizenship.

NEDude
07-29-2016, 11:21 PM
It should also be noted that the country in which your EASA medical records reside is the country which will issue your license. You can do the theory exams in one country (but they all must be completed in only one country), the skills test in a second country, and medical and license issue in a third.

The UK currently has a very simple and straight forward system for the theory exams. Personally I found it easiest to do the theory exams through the UK CAA. I reside in Denmark so I did my medical examinations there, and ultimately had my ATPL issued by Denmark. For the skills test (on the A320) I used a German examiner in Berlin. Denmark, and I think most countries, require five days notice of an exam if using an examiner not certified by that country. But this is SOP so it is not a big deal. It just requires the examiner to submit a copy of his or her credentials and reviewing the home nation's examination forms.

Be advised too that while officially all EASA licenses are valid in all EASA countries (e.g. my Danish EASA license can be used in Ireland with zero restrictions), some airlines do have an internal requirement to transfer licenses. easyJet requires all of their pilots to convert to a UK EASA license. SAS requires pilots to convert to a Scandinavian (Denmark, Norway or Sweden) EASA license. Current German medical privacy laws prevent the transfer of medical records to another country, so German EASA licenses cannot be directly transferred to other countries. So if you get a German issued EASA license, you will find it a little difficult to easily transfer your license to another country if your airline requires it.

Lastly be aware that many countries also require a GEN radio certificate and there is not a lot of information out there about it. Most schools that deal with ATPL theory and help with converting from ICAO ATPLs never mention the radio license as part of the process. It caught me off guard when submitting my paperwork for the license application. I do know Ireland does not require it, but every other country I looked into does, including the UK.

Denti
07-30-2016, 12:58 AM
It will be very difficult to find a job as a pilot in Europe without the unlimited and unrestricted right to live and work throughout the EU/EEA/CH. Permanent residence in an EU country only gives you the unlimited right to live and work in that one country.

That depends. If one wants to find employment in another EU county that could prove difficult. However, with the right to work and reside in germany you can certainly be employed by all german airlines without a problem. You might face certain restrictions on duties, but that is all manageable. In my (german) airline we do employ several foreign citizens including US and Canadian citizens. In fact, the board member for international relations in the german pilot union (Vereinigung Cockpit) is a US citizen.

The issue about the transference of the german medical into another country is very much true, especially the UK does not allow it without the medical records which can not be transfered according to german privacy laws. However, another initial medical in another country can solve that problem, but of course has the stronger limits associated that the initial medical has.

And yes, in germany you need a radio certificate as well as language proficiency (german and english). In germany it is called AZF. It can be limited to english only, but in that case you are not allowed to fly VFR in germany as the german language is the primary one for VFR operations.

bkmoore
07-30-2016, 02:43 PM
For the theory exams I used the Bristol Ground School distance learning program and supplemented it with a question bank. Overall it took me about a ten months from getting serious about it to actually having the license in hand...If you are serious about working in Europe, I would strongly consider doing what it takes to change the permanent residence into German (and thus EU) citizenship.....

Hi, thanks for all of the good info. I do have a german AZF (radio license), PPL and medical. I was a U.S. military pilot, so I have a CPL (Single-, Multi-Engine, Instrument) that I got when I completed military training. I did the FAA ATP Theory this Summer and I plan on doing the practical flight exam this year.

It sounds like once I had the U.S. ATP, I could do the ATPL-Theory in the UK without the classroom instruction. That would be my preferred option because I could do it at my own pace, which is hopefully faster than a year.

I have no plans on obtaining German citizenship. My career goal is to either work for a U.S. airline domiciled in Germany, or for a German one. I am a bit older than most German pilots starting out, because I have a military career behind me. Hopefully a German company would look at a 43-year-old military veteran, otherwise I'll just try the traditional U.S. military -> RJ -> Major route and hope to wind back up here as soon as possible.

zondaracer
07-30-2016, 02:59 PM
It sounds like you want to go to FedEx.

I met a German Air Force Colonel who was retiring from the German Air Force, and he had to network his butt off to get a job in a Lear doing air ambulance work. DHL might be another option in Germany, as well as possibly some of the LCCs.

Starlifter
07-30-2016, 09:33 PM
It should also be noted that the country in which your EASA medical records reside is the country which will issue your license.

Not entirely true. My medical is issued in Austria, my EASA license is issued in Slovakia. Also US military retired...
Send me a PM

Lifter

NEDude
07-30-2016, 10:20 PM
Not entirely true. My medical is issued in Austria, my EASA license is issued in Slovakia. Also US military retired...
Send me a PM

Lifter

Interesting. When I was going through this process every authority and every school that I was in contact with insisted that license application must be through the authority of the state which held you medical records. In fact several of the license application forms for various countries state that the application cannot be processed unless your medical records have been officially transferred to that state. Perhaps it is not an EASA wide regulation, but a national regulation that most, but clearly not all nations, have adopted.

That is one of the interesting and maddening things about EASA. While it is the regulatory authority in Europe, there are still national differences which can be hard to figure out. The radio license is a perfect example. Most states require it, but then I find out Ireland does not.

Anyway, good luck in the process. There are several of of here who have been through it so feel free to ask if you have more questions.

Starlifter
07-30-2016, 10:49 PM
No medical records have ever been transferred. Been flying on this JAA/EASA license for 12 years...

NEDude
07-31-2016, 05:01 AM
No medical records have ever been transferred. Been flying on this JAA/EASA license for 12 years...

Oh I don't doubt you. It just highlights one of the frustrating things about EASA, once you think you got it figured out you find out something new. I was told that EASA will make you love the FAA.

Starlifter
07-31-2016, 09:22 AM
Oh I don't doubt you. It just highlights one of the frustrating things about EASA, once you think you got it figured out you find out something new. I was told that EASA will make you love the FAA.

That my friend is one of the wisest statements I have read on these boards in some time.

I was "all in" to JAA/EASA for some time...ready to throw the FAA to the wind. I learned, which this is part of the reason why I reconnected with the FAA/US before I really screwed myself. By no means a utopia but as you said, EASA inconsistencies as well my experience with age discrimination here in Europe, I am thankful to be reconnected with the FAA, the US and US carriers...

If BK wants to PM, I might be able to guide, as I said, I'm also retired US military. Which creates some other issues unique to those who journey off like this...

Lifter

NEDude
07-31-2016, 12:08 PM
That my friend is one of the wisest statements I have read on these boards in some time.

I was "all in" to JAA/EASA for some time...ready to throw the FAA to the wind. I learned, which this is part of the reason why I reconnected with the FAA/US before I really screwed myself. By no means a utopia but as you said, EASA inconsistencies as well my experience with age discrimination here in Europe, I am thankful to be reconnected with the FAA, the US and US carriers...

If BK wants to PM, I might be able to guide, as I said, I'm also retired US military. Which creates some other issues unique to those who journey off like this...

Lifter

The age discrimination is a real concern. However if my experience of the last three weeks since receiving the EASA ATPL is representative of the current situation, 45 is not at all too old in Europe. Five applications filed, five interviews in three weeks (plus a firm offer on a sixth job).

I do have an EU passport (on top of my US), so that may have helped a bit.

Starlifter
07-31-2016, 12:45 PM
The age discrimination is a real concern. However if my experience of the last three weeks since receiving the EASA ATPL is representative of the current situation, 45 is not at all too old in Europe. Five applications filed, five interviews in three weeks (plus a firm offer on a sixth job).

I do have an EU passport (on top of my US), so that may have helped a bit.

You are fortunate. I hope you find your home "carrier" and can stick with it until retirement. I on the other hand found there is too much to loose financially to stick this out that long, with no back-up. I now have that back-up going on three years...so no harm no foul. I have the dual citizenship as well but not willing to go to the extremes...

CFI Guy
07-31-2016, 06:35 PM
Hello,

I am a U.S. citizen who is a permanent resident of Germany. I would like to convert to an EASA ATPL. The school that I have contacted in Germany does a correspondence course, but requires 3 X 5 days of classroom instruction which wouldn't be finished before July 2017. Is there a faster way? I understand that the theory is 14 subjects and deeply involved. It just seems like an excessive amount of time when I could be flying... yes, I have lived in Germany about 1/4 of my life, so I know how bureaucratic they can be here. I had been hoping to knock out the theory this year.

Thanks,

Brian

I may have some information which may help but before you get too deep you should find out about job requirements and your citizenship.

I am dual citizen (born in the U.S. but obtained citizenship from a country within the EU through my parents). I have two passports. My European passport permits travel and work rights anywhere in the EU. I'm not sure if just being a "permanent resident" gives you the same rights. Most jobs I've looked at state in the requirements that you must have unrestricted work rights anywhere in the EU.

The only way around not taking the writtens is if you have been say a major airline captain here in the U.S with a few thousand hours of heavy int'l time. I don't know anyone who has gone this route but sounds like EASA can validate your license based on this experience but who knows what other hoops you have to jump through.

The other route which I looked at (if you hold a FAA ATP) is taking a checkride in the EU on a aircraft you currently fly. You need 500hrs in a multicrew turbojet and have to take a type ride (which is to ATP standards of course) in the UK with one of their examiners. I understand it's also possible to fly out an examiner here to the states and do the checkride but you foot the bill (biz class tickets, hotels, etc).

If you do the type ride option you still need to take the 14 writtens but you can self-certify (no official correspondence program). I'm sure you are aware the tests are much harder than the FAA version. Studying the question bank (15000+ questions) and taking the test is not feasible but maybe you're rain man. Also, you can only sit for a couple exams at a time and they're only offered a couple times a month.

If you do not have a FAA ATP nor meet the experience above, then you must complete an approved correspondence school (Bristol and Oxford are well known). There is also a school in Florida where you can take the writtens versus traveling to the UK. Your initial medical however does need to be completed overseas but there are a couple EASA docs in the U.S. which are authorized to do renewals.

Converting your ratings are another hurdle. Contact Naples Air Center in FL as they are EASA approved. You used to have to complete a number of hours in EU airspace and retake both your instrument and multi engine checkride. Maybe they can do that here now but I'm not sure.

bkmoore
08-02-2016, 06:14 AM
Thanks for all the good advice. I signed up for the ATPL course at Cranfeld Aviation in Dortmund today. Plan is to pursue the EASA ATPL and a job here first. If it doesn't work out, can always go back to the U.S. and do the RJ- to major route. I have a family with children, so no matter which route I take, we go together. :)