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Getting a FAA piggyback license on your JAR/EASA PPL

19 Feb


After having a couple of people asking about the process of getting a FAA license on your foreign Pilots License I thought I would try to explain the process a little more. The guys at Go Fly Oxford can help you with the preperation. Remember this is not for someone wishing to gain there EASA PPL in the states, rental only and it needs to be done about 3 months before you intend to fly over the USA:

So you have a JAR/EASA PPL (a) and want to fly N reg aircraft in the USA (hour building or just for fun), first off you need to decide where in the USA you want to start off at, most people tend to go to either the East or West coast to places like Florida, California or Arizona. Have a look around on the internet at different places you can rent from, below is a couple of links to some more used ones:




With all places you look at going to there is a couple of things to check:

  • Is Sales Tax is included in the price?
  • If one aircraft goes tech, do they have others to offer you?
  • Find out what the weather is doing for the time of season you plan on going.
  • Fuel Surcharges?
  • If you planning on taking the plane for long periods, 3-4 days then check that they allow that.
  • Find out what others thought of the School/rental company.

The first thing you need to do is apply to have your current license verified by the FAA. Go to the FAA website: and click on ‘Licenses & Certificates’. After that, click on ‘Airmen Certification’. Once there, find the link to ‘Verify the Authenticity of a Foreign License, Rating, or Medical Certification’ download the PDF on that page.

While filling out the form it will ask which Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) you wish to make your application too. Each flying school you go to might have a different FSDO depending on where it is located, use this link to locate the one nearest to your place of rental.

You can submit the form once completed via post (not recommended) or by Fax (number is located on the ‘Verify the Authenticity of a Foreign License, Rating, or Medical Certification page’.

The next thing that will happen is you will be sent a ‘Letter of Authenticity’ from the FAA, which you must take to the place you are renting from. A duplicate of this letter will also be sent to the FSDO you have applied to. The FAA says to allow at least 90 days for the letter to come. It usually takes a lot less time but plan ahead.

You also need to contact the CAA to allow them to give your details out the FAA which there is a charge for (obvious one!). Fill out these two forms: SRG1160 & SRG1187 and send to the CAA.

Upon your arrival you can set the appointment and go to the FSDO you applied to, to have the certificate issued. However, be aware, they do not do this on the weekends. If your schedule is tight, you can set the meeting in advance. You do not need the license to do the Flight Review and checkout (which is required at all rental places). You will need it before you can go Solo. The FSDO office has no way of tracking your incoming letter. They only know when it arrives. There is a process on the FAA website to check the status of your letter.

Once you finish your trip and you are back in the UK you will get a nice credit card sized license which is your piggyback FAA license.

Go Fly Oxford Flying School


EASA Medical Details

13 Feb

Well it’s that time of year again and need to renew my Class 1 medical as depending on age is only lasts a maximum of one year. Your initial Class 1 which is required for commercial work must take place at the CAA building at Gatwick. After that you are able to renew at you local Aeromedical Examiner (AME), below is a link which is useful at finding where your nearest one is:

If you are training for a Private Pilots License (PPL) you do not require a Class 1 and a Class 2 is fine. Your initial Class 2 can be conducted at your local AME (she link above) and is valid for more than a year depending on age.

The link below is to the CAA medical section of the website and gives you all the information you need:

Go Fly Oxford Flying School

Becoming a Flight Instructor

10 Feb

Thought it would be a good idea to show (and explain) what the requirements are for someone to become a Flight Instructor under EASA.

  • The course requires the applicant to have either a valid Private Pilots License (PPL) or Commercial Pilots License (CPL).
  • Must have 200 hours total time and at least 150 in command (when not being taught).
  • Passes in the CPL theory examinations (part of the ATPL ground exams).
  • The applicant must have at least 30 hours on the class of aircraft that the course will be taught on in which 5 must have been in the preceding 6 months.

The FI course its self consists of the following:

  • 30 hours of flight instruction with an approved FIC instructor (up to five of these may be flown as mutual time with another Flight Instructor student), and at least 125 hours of groundschool.
  • Upon completion of the course, an assessment of competence must be taken with an approved Flight Instructor Examiner.

Once you have completed the training you will have a Flight Instructor Restricted (FI (R))rating on your license. That means that you must be supervised by an unrestricted instructor when teaching. To remove the restriction you need to have the following:

  • Completed 100 hours of instruction.
  • Authorised 25 student solo flights (can be the same student multiple times).

So these are the requirements for becoming a FI. Most courses in the UK cost around £6500 on a 2 seat aircraft such as a Cessna 152 or PA38. I did mine at Central Flight Training with Craig Padfield who was an excellent instructor and I really enjoyed the course. Unlike the PPL or CPL it doesn’t teach you to fly as you can already do that, it focuses more on content delivery and theory knowledge.

In reality it is not really a well paid job, its more about the passion of flying and passing your skills onto someone else. Most instructors are part-time and teach at the Weekends around a normal day job.

Hope this is of some help, comment on the post is you would like some more information. I will soon write-up a few posts on how to gain a PPL and CPL etc.

Jamie Waring-Smith

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