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Iron Maiden
12-21-2016, 12:33 PM
I just gained residency in Europe (by birth and a parent is from there, I did have dual citizenship) and am interested in converting my ATP to EASA. I have 3000 TT, 737 and RJ experience, no 121 PIC. Looking for a recommendations for companies to do the conversion with. Thanks in advance for the replies.


NEDude
12-21-2016, 03:41 PM
I just gained residency in Europe (by birth and a parent is from there, I did have dual citizenship) and am interested in converting my ATP to EASA. I have 3000 TT, 737 and RJ experience, no 121 PIC. Looking for a recommendations for companies to do the conversion with. Thanks in advance for the replies.

Welcome to the other side of the pond! I just finished my EASA conversion this past summer. Bristol Ground School and their digital learning program is a good option. I used that combined with a question bank to prepare for the ATPL theory exams. It worked very well.

If you have at least 500 hours in one of those airplanes (737, RJ), then you can be exempt from a formal training course and self certify for the ATPL theory exams. But I would still recommend at least buying a home study course as the questions and theory can be quite difficult. Just memorising the questions and answers is not going to cut it, and you would have to memorise around 15,000 questions.

A few other things to be aware of-

The UK has defined the conversion process very well and I would recommend doing at least the ATPL theory exams through the UK. The UK has an exam center in Orlando, not far from Universal Studios/International Drive, so you do not have to fly to Europe to do the exams.

Your initial EASA medical exam will have to be done in Europe, and your license will be issued through the country which holds your medical records. This country does not have to be the same country where you do the theory exams. For example you could do the 14 theory exams in the UK (all 14 have do be done in one country, no doing 7 in one country and 7 in a second), then get your medical done in Ireland. Your skills test can be done with any EASA examiner and in EASA country, but the actual license application will be sent to the country which holds your records.

Some countries are very easy to deal with, and others are much harder. Ireland has a very good reputation as being easy to work with and being quick to issue licenses. Spain, Portugal and Italy all have a reputation for being very slow and difficult. On occasion some of the southern European countries will not accept skills tests from outside their country. Generally speaking the UK, Ireland and Iceland have good reputations. Sweden and Denmark do as well, but their fees can be expensive.

If you choose to have your license issued in Germany, German privacy laws prevent releasing your medical records to other countries. Officially any EASA license can operate any EASA registered aircraft, so a pilot with an Irish ATPL can operate a French registered aircraft, so most of the time state of license issue is not a problem. But a few airlines have some restrictions on state of license issue. For example easyJet requires you to have a UK EASA ATPL, and SAS requires your license to be Danish, Swedish or Norwegian. If you have a German EASA ATPL, it be difficult to change the state of license issue due to their medical privacy laws.

Many nations require a radiotelephony license as well, and getting information about it can be difficult. That license is often left out when researching the conversion process. I did the theory exams, medical and skills test, only to find out after all of it that my CAA required the radiotelephony license on top of it all. I do know Ireland does not require the separate radio license, and because of that they may be they way to go.

Lastly, if you are going to live and work in Europe, be careful about having your license issued in the country in which you reside. It is not uncommon for tax authorities to get access to the national CAA pilot database an single out pilots for extra tax scrutiny. For an extra layer of safety, if possible, have your license issued in a different country.

Hope that helps. Feel free to send me a PM if you desire more information.

adebord
12-21-2016, 09:31 PM
Wow,


I had considered doing this but that sounds like a nightmare.


NEDude
12-21-2016, 10:51 PM
Wow,


I had considered doing this but that sounds like a nightmare.

I would not call it a nightmare, just a lot of information to be aware of before starting. Although at times EASA and some of the national CAAs of Europe will make you appreciate the efficiency of the FAA (how many times do you hear that about a U.S. government agency).

IMHO the simplest route to go is to do the ATPL theory exams in the UK and do the medical and skills test/license issue through Ireland.

It can seem daunting at first, but once it is over you'll have a great sense of accomplishment. Plus if you have the unlimited right to live and work in Europe, a lot more doors will be open to you. European jobs do not pay as much as the States, but I much prefer the quality of life in Europe to that of the States. But to each his/her own.

captjns
12-22-2016, 01:24 AM
I would not call it a nightmare, just a lot of information to be aware of before starting. Although at times EASA and some of the national CAAs of Europe will make you appreciate the efficiency of the FAA (how many times do you hear that about a U.S. government agency).

IMHO the simplest route to go is to do the ATPL theory exams in the UK and do the medical and skills test/license issue through Ireland.

It can seem daunting at first, but once it is over you'll have a great sense of accomplishment. Plus if you have the unlimited right to live and work in Europe, a lot more doors will be open to you. European jobs do not pay as much as the States, but I much prefer the quality of life in Europe to that of the States. But to each his/her own.

Bingo! I flew for Ryanair. Had to get an IAA Certificate. Worked on a validation until I obtained the JAR Certificate. The Irish were probably the most pragmatic about the whole procedure. I did the self study Bristol and the exams in Ireland.

Even the medical at the Mater Clinic was very pleasent. The cost of the exam included a breakfast coupon. The exam was, I think 750 Euro in 2005... but the breakfast made it worth the cost.

FLowpayFO
12-23-2016, 07:43 PM
Where are you residing now? West Coast options have opened up via the Swedish and British CAA.

"Aviation Exam" has a brilliant in depth database which doesn't require to be online, and explains the theory very well. Using their app on iPad/iPhone is very easy. Bristol as recommended is also very good to take practice exams as it has a timer and gives you your score during the duration of the test. Good indicator of your progress. Also the Oxford ATPL CBT's are a life safer.

I think it's smart to equip both passports for opportunities as we've seen this business fluctuate over the years!

Contact App
12-24-2016, 03:06 AM
Ireland requires an ELP test, Can do it in Cork and get Level 6 .
The Irish Aviation Authority values your FAA Type rating if you are current and will issue your license based on that with a restriction to N reg that can be lifted with OCC during indoc.

captjns
12-24-2016, 10:00 AM
Ireland requires an ELP test, Can do it in Cork and get Level 6 .
The Irish Aviation Authority values your FAA Type rating if you are current and will issue your license based on that with a restriction to N reg that can be lifted with OCC during indoc.

Back in 2005 I had to sit for two exams... Air Law, and Air Ops, in order to have my validation issued. Fairly easy and straight forward. You can call the IAA directly. They were very helpful back then.

FLowpayFO
12-24-2016, 12:47 PM
Ireland requires an ELP test, Can do it in Cork and get Level 6 .
The Irish Aviation Authority values your FAA Type rating if you are current and will issue your license based on that with a restriction to N reg that can be lifted with OCC during indoc.

Can you explain OCC during Indoc? I have an FAA A320 type but the operator of interest flies Boeings. Is this a way to get around taking the skills test somehow and getting an ATPL? Finishing up my exams in the next few months.

Thanks in advance.

Contact App
12-24-2016, 02:14 PM
Operational Conversion Course or something like it if your flying corporate,
The company's authorised checker can knock out the restrictions on your license and sign the paperwork for your ATPL. Should you be on a validation you've got a year to get it.

Clue32
12-24-2016, 02:38 PM
Welcome to the other side of the pond! I just finished my EASA conversion this past summer. Bristol Ground School and their digital learning program is a good option. I used that combined with a question bank to prepare for the ATPL theory exams. It worked very well.

If you have at least 500 hours in one of those airplanes (737, RJ), then you can be exempt from a formal training course and self certify for the ATPL theory exams. But I would still recommend at least buying a home study course as the questions and theory can be quite difficult. Just memorising the questions and answers is not going to cut it, and you would have to memorise around 15,000 questions.

A few other things to be aware of-

The UK has defined the conversion process very well and I would recommend doing at least the ATPL theory exams through the UK. The UK has an exam center in Orlando, not far from Universal Studios/International Drive, so you do not have to fly to Europe to do the exams.

Your initial EASA medical exam will have to be done in Europe, and your license will be issued through the country which holds your medical records. This country does not have to be the same country where you do the theory exams. For example you could do the 14 theory exams in the UK (all 14 have do be done in one country, no doing 7 in one country and 7 in a second), then get your medical done in Ireland. Your skills test can be done with any EASA examiner and in EASA country, but the actual license application will be sent to the country which holds your records.

Some countries are very easy to deal with, and others are much harder. Ireland has a very good reputation as being easy to work with and being quick to issue licenses. Spain, Portugal and Italy all have a reputation for being very slow and difficult. On occasion some of the southern European countries will not accept skills tests from outside their country. Generally speaking the UK, Ireland and Iceland have good reputations. Sweden and Denmark do as well, but their fees can be expensive.

If you choose to have your license issued in Germany, German privacy laws prevent releasing your medical records to other countries. Officially any EASA license can operate any EASA registered aircraft, so a pilot with an Irish ATPL can operate a French registered aircraft, so most of the time state of license issue is not a problem. But a few airlines have some restrictions on state of license issue. For example easyJet requires you to have a UK EASA ATPL, and SAS requires your license to be Danish, Swedish or Norwegian. If you have a German EASA ATPL, it be difficult to change the state of license issue due to their medical privacy laws.

Many nations require a radiotelephony license as well, and getting information about it can be difficult. That license is often left out when researching the conversion process. I did the theory exams, medical and skills test, only to find out after all of it that my CAA required the radiotelephony license on top of it all. I do know Ireland does not require the separate radio license, and because of that they may be they way to go.

Lastly, if you are going to live and work in Europe, be careful about having your license issued in the country in which you reside. It is not uncommon for tax authorities to get access to the national CAA pilot database an single out pilots for extra tax scrutiny. For an extra layer of safety, if possible, have your license issued in a different country.

Hope that helps. Feel free to send me a PM if you desire more information.

Right on the money NEDude. I concur with everything you wrote. I wish I had seen a summary of the EASA conversion nightmare as thorough and precise as this when I began my journey almost 4 years ago.

I used Naples Air Center, which is a British flight school (actually now a subsidiary of Andrews Field) to start the process and broke up the exams in Orlando to three sittings vice two as was recommended because, on my first trip, I was smoked by my 7th exam in three days. A fellow American I met during the exams recommend the Bristol test prep and I used a one year subscription to supplement the NAC program.

I had an FAA ATP with B300 type, but not having a big jet type, the U.K. CAA required me to go through a training provider to execute some abbreviated flight courses. I had over 3000 hours when I began and am over 5000 now, basically all military and civil service after college with no 121 or 135 time.

I used Naples Air Center to work on my Commercial conversion and logged about 15 hours (minimum 7 training + about a 2 hours skills test) doing a VFR Single Engine Piston Commercial course; I had to do this over three trips and 6 months so there were refresher flights. I then logged 7 hours (6 minimum training + check ride) doing a VFR Multi Engine Piston Exam. The most difficult part was fitting the training into my career and family life, along with the school finding an acceptable and fair examiner.

I am now working on my Multi Engine Instrument Rating, which consisted of a DA42 VFR checkout, an IFR evaluation, and one training flight in the approved training organization. The U.K. CAA is working well with the German School and I am just waiting on my skills test to be approved. Should be done in under 8 hours and I am skipping the Single Engine Instrument Rating as I have no professional need for it; but wow, is flying in Europe expensive.

The CAA did not give me credit for a night rating, so I am also having to fly 5 hours single engine piston at night to get that squared away.

The U.K. requires a radio telephony course, which is one day of training and then a second morning for a skills test, the VFR and IFR comms written gives you credit for the RT VHF and HF written exam. I did this twice, once in Orlando with an examiner that turned out to have an expired examiners certificate, invalidating the training, and once in Cardiff Wales with a terrific trainer and examiner.

Feel free to ask me if I am looking forward to maintaining and continuing to pay for my ratings every year once I have them all.

Good Luck, and happy flying.

NEDude
12-26-2016, 07:38 AM
Where are you residing now? West Coast options have opened up via the Swedish and British CAA.

"Aviation Exam" has a brilliant in depth database which doesn't require to be online, and explains the theory very well. Using their app on iPad/iPhone is very easy. Bristol as recommended is also very good to take practice exams as it has a timer and gives you your score during the duration of the test. Good indicator of your progress. Also the Oxford ATPL CBT's are a life safer.

I think it's smart to equip both passports for opportunities as we've seen this business fluctuate over the years!

"Aviation Exam" was the database I used and I highly recommend them. Oxford also has a very good reputation.

NEDude
12-26-2016, 07:39 AM
It used to be possible to get a UK ATPL, which restricted you to G-registered aircraft, by passing only two exams (Air Law was one but I cannot remember the other one). But that option has disappeared with EASA. A validation of an FAA ATP is for one year, with an additional one year re-validation. But after two years you will need to have passed all 14 ATPL exams to be able to still fly in Europe. Also be aware that EASA has proposed a rule where a validation of a non-EASA license will be restricted to aircraft registered in the nation that gave you the validation. The rule is not in effect now, but when/if it does, it will severely limit options. Also part of the rule is that you can only have one validation at a time, so you will not be able to get your FAA license validated in the UK and Germany at the same time.

Iron Maiden
12-28-2016, 08:13 PM
Thanks all for the responses, much appreciated. Hopefully I can get it done without too much of a headache. IF I may ask, what was the approximate total of the whole process?

NEDude
12-28-2016, 11:15 PM
Thanks all for the responses, much appreciated. Hopefully I can get it done without too much of a headache. IF I may ask, what was the approximate total of the whole process?

Study course, medical, theory exams, English exam and skills test + required travel, ran around $10,000 for me.

Iron Maiden
12-29-2016, 09:34 AM
Thanks dude

Captain Beaker
01-05-2017, 03:10 AM
Many nations require a radiotelephony license as well, and getting information about it can be difficult. That license is often left out when researching the conversion process. I did the theory exams, medical and skills test, only to find out after all of it that my CAA required the radiotelephony license on top of it all. I do know Ireland does not require the separate radio license, and because of that they may be they way to go.


Good post!

Did you ask the UK CAA if they would accept a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit? I got one a few years ago, but I don't have it in my hot little hands, not sure if it's issued by the FAA or FCC or what it says exactly but it was easy to get.

Only thing I could add for Iron Maiden is you will need 500hrs on the multi crew type that you take the skills test on, if you want to go the direct ATPL conversion route. Otherwise you will need some training and more skills tests like Clue32...

Google CAP 804, about 3/4 way through you will get the UK interpretation of what is required. There may be some validation alternatives (check Ireland), but they probably wont put you on a equal footing with other applicants.

Ireland also has a pragmatic interpretation regarding renewals which is relevant if you convert your license but don't get that new job for 12mths.

NEDude
01-05-2017, 09:21 AM
Good post!

Did you ask the UK CAA if they would accept a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit? I got one a few years ago, but I don't have it in my hot little hands, not sure if it's issued by the FAA or FCC or what it says exactly but it was easy to get.

Only thing I could add for Iron Maiden is you will need 500hrs on the multi crew type that you take the skills test on, if you want to go the direct ATPL conversion route. Otherwise you will need some training and more skills tests like Clue32...

Google CAP 804, about 3/4 way through you will get the UK interpretation of what is required. There may be some validation alternatives (check Ireland), but they probably wont put you on a equal footing with other applicants.

Ireland also has a pragmatic interpretation regarding renewals which is relevant if you convert your license but don't get that new job for 12mths.

I did check, but they would not accept it. Basically they wanted me to do another two day study course which would be a repeat of the stuff from the EASA IFR and VFR Communications theory exams, and then do an ICAO English evaluation. The country I did get the ATPL issued in just required me to do the ICAO English exam and then they issued the radiotelephony licence. I think Ireland will just require an English evaluation to be done by your skills test examiner and then they note the English level on your licence.

Clue32
01-05-2017, 10:11 AM
Thanks all for the responses, much appreciated. Hopefully I can get it done without too much of a headache. IF I may ask, what was the approximate total of the whole process?

I am looking at around $30K when you factor in ground school course costs, books, written exam costs, airplane tickets, hotels, rental cars, aircraft rental and instructor fees, license application fees, etc.

Captain Beaker
01-05-2017, 12:00 PM
Feel free to ask me if I am looking forward to maintaining and continuing to pay for my ratings every year once I have them all.


When your finished move your license to Ireland. I understand if you do a valid FAA type revalidation, Ireland will put it on your EASA ticket, with an N reg restriction or some such. The key being it keeps your ATPL open (not necessarily valid) and stops you losing credits. The B300 may be OK for this. The UK treatment of this does not seem so favourable.

Caveat I have not completed my conversion, but got this info from an European expat.

zondaracer
01-05-2017, 03:33 PM
I did my conversion back in 2010/2011. I totally recommend Bristol Ground School.

I personally found Naples Air Center to be disappointing as a flight school, but maybe they have changed since then.

If you are already typed on a 737, I would just avoid doing anything GA and get your EASA license with the 737 sim and training organization. It will probably save you time and money that way. NEDude had a very thorough write up.