Convert FAA License to European Part-FCL License

Updated on 3rd March, 2017

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Convert FAA PPL/CPL/ATPL to EASA PPL

This post applies to anyone who has an ICAO helicopter license with a minimum of 100 hours flight time as a pilot. If you need to convert the ICAO licence to an EASA Part-FCL PPL license, this post will explain what is required. The new European license is commonly called an EASA licence but this is incorrect – its correct name is a ‘Part-FCL’ licence.

FAA pilot licenses are in use all over the world today. Air laws and air space vary from country to country, therefore many countries require conversion of licenses to make sure pilots are familiar and comply with local laws, procedures, airspace, etc. Many countries with high demand for pilots accept FAA licenses without any need for conversion.

If you are planning on flying in European airspace, you will be required to convert your FAA pilot license to an EASA (Part-FCL) pilot license. EASA stands for European Aviation Safety Agency, and is the centrepiece of the European Union’s strategy for aviation safety.

First of all, if you do not have at least 100 hours as a pilot in helicopters, it is going to be very expensive to convert and you will have to do a lot more flying. If you have 100 hours as a pilot then the following conversion process applies. All of this information is available in EASA document ‘Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011‘. Annex I of this document is known as Part-FCL and deals with everything in relation to Flight Crew Licensing.

The requirements for converting an ICAO PPL(H), CPL(H) or ATPL(H) to a Part-FCL PPL(H) are as follows:

  • Have completed at least 100 hours of flight time as a pilot.
  • Apply to the Competent Authority of the State/Country in which you wish to train.
  • Pass an English Language Proficiency (ELP) oral examination (there are no exceptions to this).
  • Hold either a class 1 or a class 2 medical certificate.
  • Complete a type rating on the helicopter you are going to be tested on. Normally, the type rating course will be of 5 hours duration.
  • Pass the Air Law and Human Performance written examinations (multiple choice).
  • Pass the PPL(H) Skill Test.

On completion of the above, you will be issued with a Part-FCL licence.

Convert FAA CPL/ATPL to EASA CPL

The requirements for converting an ICAO CPL(H) or ATPL(H) to a Part-FCL CPL(H) are as follows:

  • Apply to the Competent Authority of the State/Country in which you wish to train.
  • Have completed 155 hours flight time as a pilot in helicopters, including 50 hours as PIC of which 10 hours shall be cross-country (105 hours as pilot in helicopters if holder of a CPL(A), 135 hours as pilot in helicopters if holder of a PPL(A).
  • If not already holding a night qualification or rating, have completed 5 hours night flight time.
  • Pass all of the Theoretical Knowledge exams for either the CPL(H) or ATPL(H). These exams are explained in greater detail at http://helicopterblog.com/?p=733.
  • Flight training as required by the Head of Training of the training organisation. This will require an assessment flight before training commences.
  • Pass an English Language Proficiency (ELP) oral examination (there are no exceptions to this).
  • Hold a class 1 medical certificate.
  • Pass the CPL(H) Skill Test

Remember that all of the training (both flight and theoretical knowledge training) must be completed at an Approved Training Organisation (ATO). The Competent Authority in the country that you intend to train should have a list of all ATOs.


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