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Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:18 pm
by soarhead
Five phone calls to the IAA and still waiting for a response!

Does anyone have up to date information on where I stand with my elderly FAA PPL? Do I absolutely have to convert it to an EASA licence and if so what is involved in terms of exams, check flights and costs? Is there anyone with definitive information on this issue?


Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:59 pm
by lookout
Can you provide more details - is your license current


Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:52 am
by soarhead
FAA PPL held for 20 years. 800+ hours. Licence is current with current class 2 FAA medical.


Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:56 pm
by mark
Hi soarhead,

Earlier this year the IAA published a document called "Introduction of European Legislation in the area of Pilot Licensing" ( ... nsing1.pdf" onclick=";return false;)

It is a Personnel Licensing Advisory Memorandum which "is issued for information purposes only, it does not amend or supersede the applicable Regulation", but indicates what you could expect to happen.

Section 10 of that document relates to 3rd country licences

10. Validations and 3rd Country Licences
Part FCL is expected to lead to significant changes regarding the validation of pilots in Ireland. For example the current Personnel Licensing Order provides for the automatic validation of certain ICAO compliant Private Pilot Licences. This provision will no longer be available for operation of EASA aircraft in Ireland and all pilots who do not hold an EASA licence will require validation. It is important to note that pilots resident in Europe operating non EASA registered aircraft in the State are also subject to the requirements of Part FCL and will require an appropriate EASA licence or a validation. Validations will also be subject to strict time limits. A validation will be limited to one year only with the possibility of a onetime extension if evidence is available that the pilot has started to convert his/her licence to an EASA licence. This now means that the holder of an US FAA Airman certificate who is resident in the EU may not use that certificate in Europe on an EASA aircraft even if that aircraft is registered in the US.


Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:07 pm
by lookout
My apologies for the length of this reply but it is important for you to have full information.

Most of the information below is from CAP 804 and from knowledge gleamed from individuals and organisations. This post is my own personal opinion and not that of the IAA, CAA or any other organisation. It should be considered as a layman’s guide and should not be relied upon as fact.

If anyone has any factual additional or conflicting information I’ll be happy to amend this post to reflect this new information.

The Basic EASA Regulation and the EASA “Aircrew Regulation” requires all pilots:
a) flying an EASA aircraft registered in the EU; or
b) flying an EASA aircraft registered in a State outside the EU but whose operator is
resident or established in the EU;
to hold either an EASA licence, or a non-EU licence that is validated by an EU Member
State in accordance with the EASA Aircrew Regulation.
The EASA Aircrew Regulation provides for Member States not to require the
validation of non-EU licences for non-commercial flights in accordance with EU
regulations until 8 April 2014.

Can an FAA PPL whose residence is outside of the EU fly a N Reg “EASA” aircraft operated by an owner whose establishment is located outside EU ?
Of course they can - in accordance with international ICAO rules.

However if the operator of the aircraft is resident or established in the EU then the pilots FAA license must be validated by an EU member or converted to an EASA license. (The issue of the pilots actual residency is vague, but most likely, as in the case of motor vehicles, once you have been resident over a year you will have to convert) {Marks post confirms the IAAs view on this}

At the same time FAA is currently cracking down on all overseas proxies and trusts meaning that it will be very difficult to legally keep a US registered aircraft overseas indefinitely.

So basically by 8 April 2014 you will have to validate or convert your FAA PPL to a PART_FCL PPL in order to fly any “EASA aircraft” whether registered in Europe or not.

The validation process is only valid for a year and involves the same process as conversion so its best to convert.

Strictly speaking according to EASA you should convert in the country you are resident or established in but this opens up a whole can of legal worms in respect of Irish and European Law. Until such time as the Irish Supreme Court or the European Courts declare otherwise, an EU citizen may train for any qualification anywhere in Europe and anywhere on this island.

Your options are therefore to convert using the Irish or UK system.

The following is an Extract from the UK CAP 804

B. CONVERSION OF LICENCES to Part-FCL Private Pilots Licence
(1) A PPL/BPL/SPL, a CPL or ATPL licence issued in compliance with the
requirements of Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention by a third country may
be converted into a Part-FCL PPL/BPL/SPL with a single-pilot class or type
rating by the competent authority of a Member State.
The pilot shall apply to the competent authority of the Member State where he/
she resides or is established.
(2) The holder of the licence shall comply with the following minimum
requirements, for the relevant aircraft category:
(a) pass a written examination in Air Law and Human Performance;
(b) pass the PPL, BPL or SPL skill test, as relevant, in accordance with Part-FCL;
(c) fulfil the requirements for the issue of the relevant class or type rating, in
accordance with Subpart H;
(d) hold at least a Class 2 medical certificate, issued in accordance with Part-
(e) demonstrate that he/she has acquired language proficiency in accordance
with FCL.055;
(f) have completed at least 100 hours of flight time as a pilot.

Translated this means

1) Apply to the IAA or CAA.

IAA: You’ve tried the IAA, but you really need to put your request in writing and send a copy by registered post.
CAA: With the CAA the application can be done through your flight school (ATO).

2) The holder of the licence shall comply with the following minimum
requirements, for the relevant aircraft category:

(a) Written Air law and Human Performance.

IAA : Attend examination centre in Dublin. Exams are held every 2 months. Results take a few weeks. If you fail you need to wait 2 months. Cost €35 per exam

CAA Undertake exam of your choice on day of your choice by an examiner usually based at most flying school. Results notified within 20 minutes of completion. Cost £30 per exam. If you fail you can retest immediately if you like but most examiners would caution you to take a revision class.

(b) pass the PPL skill test, in accordance with Part-FCL;
This is a full blown GST including navigation and flying on instruments.

IAA: Book your Skills test with the IAA and wait for an examiner to arrange a date usually three weeks hence. Cost Eur 420 payable in advance by cheque or VISA. If you fail to attend or don’t have a serviceable aircraft you will loose your money and have to rebook repaying the fee of Eur 420.

CAA: Testing is done by an examiner usually based or available to the school. Booking is a casual affair between you and the examiner attached to the school. Cost £150 usually payable after the test. If you had to cancel they would usually just rebook you without charge. If the aircraft is not serviceable then it’s their fault.

(c) Fulfil the requirements for the issue of the relevant class or type rating, in
accordance with Subpart H; (CAAs CAP 804 document, google it)

The Basic SEP Land requirements are

(a) Applicants for a PPL(A) shall have completed at least 45 hours of flight
instruction in aeroplanes, 5 of which may have been completed in an FSTD,
including at least:
(1) 25 hours of dual flight instruction; and
(2) 10 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 5 hours of solo
cross-country flight time with at least 1 cross-country flight of at least
270 km (150 NM), during which full stop landings at 2 aerodromes different
from the aerodrome of departure shall be made.

You need to be sure your original training matches the EASA requirements for a class or rating issue. The instructor at a the flying school (ATO) will be able to advise.

2(d) hold at least a Class 2 medical certificate,
IAA: This can be done with an Irish AME, Cost € 120 approx

CAA: This can be done with an Irish AME so long as you instruct the AME (after you are examined) and the IAA to transfer your records to the UK. Cost € 120 approx.
AMEs in the UK are quite expensive, around £200.
It is possible the CAA may convert your US ICAO class2 medical. You need to check with CAA aeromedical department.

(e) demonstrate that he/she has acquired language proficiency in accordance
with FCL.055;
Under ICAO rules to use a radio you need to prove you can speak English by taking an English Language Proficiency test.

IAA. The RT is accessed during your GST Skills test and the RT license is included in your PPl license. You will need to do the ELP at an English Language Proficiency test centre. Cost €40.

CAA: Under the UK system you technically don’t need a RT license to fly an aircraft. In order to use the radio with your PPL the UK issue a separate RT license called FRTOL. To get an FRTOL you need to do a radio theory test at the school and a practical exam with and RT examiner usually a ATC guy found at major UK airports. As part of your RT practical exam you are accessed as ELP level 6 or fail. If you fail you need to go to a English Language Proficiency test centre. Both tests inclusive are usually £60 in total.
You need to check with the CAA will they give credit for your US RT. If so then you would only need the ELP. (I strongly advise doing the UK RT anyway as your adherence to UK RT procedures is evaluated during the GST.)

(f) Have completed at least 100 hours of flight time as a pilot

This can be an issue for new FAA PPL graduates as they will need to hour build but cannot (post 8-4-12) on a “EASA aircraft”. Ironically an FAA PPL can technically fly in Ireland on Irish Microlights without any validation or training. This might be a way to cheaply hour build. Before flying on microlights you should first get checked out by a competent instructor.

PART_FCL PPL Licence Issue

CAA: Post off form completed by the examiner and school along cheque/visa along with copy of your logs and FAA licence. Cost £185. Usually takes less than 10 days but be advised to the CAA having to convert all their UK pilots licences to EASA ones so things are a little crazy right now.

IAA: Follow directions given by the IAA, the flying school and examiner in submission of documents to IAA. Photocopy everything. Cost €205. The IAAs website says allow up to 28 days. Expect to get a few queries in particular if you have contacted them 5 times already.

You should also note other posts on the forum in relation different approaches being taken by the CAA and IAA in respect to flying in Annex II aircraft and microlights using your EASA licence.

Hope this helps, if you or anyone needs any specific info on Schools, AMEs etc please PM me.


Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:30 pm
by hum
Good post Lookout..

One other current wrinkle is the problem of 'Annex 2' types - which includes microlights..

CAA: UK's Document 894 published on 13 April 2012:

In pursuance of its powers under article 78(2) of the Air Navigation Order 2009 (“the Order”) the Civil Aviation Authority (“the CAA”) issues this validation for any Part-FCL licence, rendering valid for the purposes of article 50(1) of the Order any such licence and all ratings and certificates included in the licence for any non-EASA aircraft registered in the United Kingdom for which the holder of the licence has an aircraft rating in the licence and to which such ratings or certificates relate

IAA: IAA website 'are you licensed?': For holders of some ratings such as an SEP land rating, a complexity has been added to the system in that some aircraft covered by the rating are now deemed to be Annex II aircraft and outside the scope of the Part FCL licence.

In plain speak:

CAA - we recognise any EU Licence and any rating on it to be valid to fly any UK registered Homebuilt, vintage or microlight aircraft anywhere.

IAA - We're not sure.. We are talking to our lawyers.



Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:27 pm
by soarhead

Many thanks for your responses to my query. I appreciate the advice given and the time taken to respond. Particular thanks to lookout for such a comprehensive (and translated!) response.

Can I take it then that I may continue to exercise my FAA privileges until April 2014 but in the meantime should be arranging a conversion? Given that most of my flying is done in Northern Ireland, if conversion is inevitable, I will deal with the CAA. Can anyone tell me if conversion via the CAA route can be accommodated in Weston?




Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:34 pm
by Fanstop
Maybe the solution is to follow the CAA rules. Fly away and if the IAA want to explain the above 'mess' to the Judge let them they don't even try


Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:55 pm
by stovepipe
Just looking again at the post about the differences between the IAA and CAA; engineer's exams? fail one and it's a 90-day waiting time before a resit, unless you are doing a training course and can resit in 30 days. It takes a minimum of two weeks to receive your results, for what is allegedly a computer-corrected exam. In FAA land, you can sit any Govt exam on any day that the Govt is open for business and you can repeat on the same day. We're paying thru the nose for a substandard service from the IAA.


Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:47 pm
by Kerry Flyer
UK CAA says:
After 7 April 2015 you’ll need an EASA Part-FCL licence (or a one-year EASA validation on a foreign licence) to fly any EASA aircraft for any purpose.

Does anyone know if the IAA have availed of the above derogation or are Irish FAA PPLs still stuck with 8th April 2014?

Kerry Flyer


Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:09 pm
by Rudy
As the IAA has indeed availed of the derogation you may still exercise your FAA privileges until April 2015 (at least)


Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:44 pm
by Kerry Flyer
Thanks Rudy.
At that point then if still without an EASA licence I would have to obtain the 1 year Validation?
Do you know if that is a paper exercise as in, I apply in writing for it and receive confirmation by return in writing? Or is there more to it than that?

Kerry Flyer