Heli experience


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Converting FAA to JAA Licence

Helicopter flight over the big island of HawaiiWhen you come back to europe after your time in the US you will need to study the full JAA CPL or JAA ATPL course. This can be done in your home country or another european country. You can even get the JAA ATPL ground school in the US, but this is quite expensive.

I attended a distance learning course in the UK. I spent most of the time at home studying and a couple of weeks at classes in the UK. Then I took the written tests in the UK and did the skill test in Sweden. Before you can take the skill test you need to fly at least a couple of hours at a JAA flight school. You'll go through all maneuvers and this will at least take a couple of hours. If you only get your FAA CPL and return to you home country it might be smart to save 10 flight hours for your conversion, so that you get a bit used to flying in your home country before taking the skill test.

Most JAA ground schools use fixed wing study material. At Caledonian Advanced Pilot Training where I studied for my JAA license, the study material is made for helicopter pilots. The books are very well written and I found Phil, the owner very helpful and knowable. I highly recommend his school www.captonline.com

If you do the JAA ground school in another country and want to do the flights at home, you need to apply for this. Since it's an application it can be granted or denied. If you have good reasons for doing it this way, then you shouldn't have any trouble getting it granted.

FAA ATP helicopter licenseExpect things to take a bit of time when dealing with various authorities. If you are in a hurry, I recommend you call and check that your paperwork has arrived. If not it might end up on someones desk who is just leaving for vacation, and you will have to wait quite a bit longer... Also send all paperwork you expect them to be interested in and maybe even a bit more. Otherwise you might have to send these in later to complete your paperwork and this will delay the handling.

At the bottom you can find my costs for converting. If you do a classroom course it will cost quite a bit more. You might also need accommodation, food, airline tickets, and couple of extra flight hours for your conversion. Also you will probably fly another helicopter and costs might have changed. If you just plan to get CPL, you can subtract roughly £1000 from these costs (5 tests less and cheaper course).

I did save a lot of money doing my flight training in the US according to the FARs instead of taking a JAR course in Europe or the US. The only additional costs I had for converting FAA to JAA compared to taking a JAA course in the US was the 3,6 hours of flight time to get me signed off for the check ride. Even the FAA PPL ground school was needed to qualify for the JAA ATPL course I took and I highly doubt that there is any way of getting around having to pay all those fees to the european authorities. I payed for 3,6 hours more, but my savings from choosing FAA training in the US were massive!

My conversion costs:

My conversion costs FAA to JAA helicopter license