EASA or FAA ?

EASA is a European license in which will increase your odds flying commercially in Europe and other countries that accept EASA, never the less FAA is an American license that doesn’t need that much of theory to go through, but if your not an American, your odds are quite small flying commercially down there, and for sure you will need to convert your license to whatever country you are willing to apply for, although FAA is cheaper and quicker, but in my opinion as a foreigner, its more of a time building to me as I’m sure most airlines won’t accept me unless I’m an American citizen.

On the other hand, having an EASA license can expand your experience since you can simply change countries whenever you want within the EU, and you can get exposed to different mentalities that will benefit you as a pilot, remember being a pilot is much more than just flying a plane, your prestige is one of the keys you’ll need to build, and as to a personal experience, nothing beats EASA with that. The only drawback behind it is that you will need to work really hard for it, but hey ! Trust me, this work will be of your benefit.

which flight school should I go to ?

Well its not that hard, firstly you need to search for the right flying school, either locally or abroad, depends where you would like to issue your license from, contact them and compare prices, they can really differ from one to another. Make sure your happy and satisfied before you start, remember its your dream! you need to make sure you enjoy every single bit out of it.

what are the requirements for a private pilot license ?

According to EASA PART FCL (1), you will need to complete 45 hours of flight instruction on aeroplanes, 5 hours of which may have been completed in an approved flight simulator (an FSTD – flight simulation training device), including at least:

  • 25 hours of dual flight instruction,
  • 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) that includes full stop landings at 2 aerodromes different from the departure aerodrome.

what are the requirements for a commercial pilot license ?

According to EASA PART FCL (1), you will need to have the ATPL’s theory certificate before commencing the course, a minimum age of 18 years old, PPL holder with night rating if your in a modular course, Completed at least 200 hours of flight time of which not less than 100 hours shall be PIC, of which at least 20 hours must be cross-country or overseas flying, including a route of at least 300nm including full stop landings at 2 intermediate aerodromes different from the departure aerodrome.

EASA ATPL’s

According to EASA PART FCL (1), ATPL’s is an abbreviation that means ( Airline Transport pilot license) which consist of 14 subjects:

  • Principles of Flight
  • Airframes/Engines/Electrics
  • Performance
  • General Navigation
  • Radio Navigation
  • Instruments/Electronics
  • VFR Communications
  • IFR Communications
  • Air Law & ATC
  • Operational Procedures
  • Flight Planning & Monitoring
  • Mass & Balance
  • Human Performance & Limitations
  • Meteorology

Now once you have completed the exams, your license will be a frozen ATPL that is valid for 7 years, frozen means your still didn’t complete the ATPL requirements, you must complete a minimum of 1500 hours of flight time in aeroplanes for you to unfreeze your license, this includes at least:
500 hours in multi-pilot operations on aeroplanes
One of the following:

  • 500 hours as PIC under supervision, or
  • 250 hours as PIC, or
  • 250 hours as PIC under supervision, including at least 70 hours as PIC
  • 200 hours of cross-country flight time, of which at least 100 hours should be as PIC or as PIC under supervision
  • 75 hours of instrument time, of which not more than 30 hours can be instrument ground time
  • 100 hours of night flight as PIC or co-pilot.
  • Of the 1500 hours of total flight time required, up to 100 hours can be completed in a suitable simulator (FFS or FNPT – but only a maximum of 25 hours may be completed in an FNPT).

If you are applying for an ATPL (A) you will need to already:

  • hold an MPL.
  • OR hold a CPL (A) and a multi-engine IR for aeroplanes, and have completed instruction in multi-crew co-operation (MCC).

This means all these requirements needs to be done within 7 years from the day your ATPL theory has been issued.

Integrated or Modular ?

Integrated course simply means a full time student, its more of a university style. A Modular course is more of a flexible course since its a part time kinda thing, but you’ll be restricted with few things such as issuing your PPL first where this isn’t a requirement when it comes to an integrated course, it mainly depends on you and how flexible you are, if you have a job i would recommend a modular since your course can be tailored according to you. But if your free, I would personally recommend an integrated course since you won’t be on your own, this course will be more of a university style as mentioned before, obviously things will be easier for you to absorb.

Night Rating

The night rating is a 5 hour course minimum. In that time you are required to complete a minimum of 3 hours dual instruction, 5 solo take off and 5 solo landings, and at least 1 hour of dual navigation.

Your rating will be valid so long as your licence and experience are current. To be able to carry passengers at night you will be required to have completed 3 take-offs and 3 landings as pilot in command, in the last 90 days, 1 take off and 1 landing must have been completed at night.

Multi Engine Rating

If you have not held a multi-engine piston (single pilot) rating before, you will need to complete at least 70 hours as pilot-in-command (PIC) on aeroplanes in addition to the below requirements.

You will need to complete the following at an approved training organisation (ATO):

  • at least 2.5 hours of dual flight instruction in multi-engine aeroplane operations under normal conditions
  • at least 3.5 hours of dual flight instruction in engine failure procedures and asymmetric flight techniques

You will need to take 7 hours of theoretical knowledge instruction in multi-engine aeroplane operations at an ATO.

Instrument Rating

You need to have met certain pre-requisite requirements. These are explained below.
You will need to hold a current and valid Class 1 Part medical or Class 2 medical with a valid audiogram to apply.

As part of the application for an instrument rating, exams will need to be taken and passed in the following subject areas:

  • Air law
  • Aircraft general knowledge – instrumentation
  • Flight performance and monitoring
  • Human performance
  • Meteorology
  • Radio navigation
  • IFR communications
  • This should be completed as part of a course at an appropriately authorised ATO.
  • In some instances you can elect to take ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations instead of instrument rating exams.

You must hold one of the following licences:

  • at least a PPL(A) and FRTOL
  • a CPL(A)
  • OR an ATPL in another category of aircraft

If you want to use the privileges of the IR(A) at night and you only hold a PPL(A) you will also need to hold a Night rating.

You must also have completed at least 50 hours of cross country flight time as Pilot in Command (PIC) in aeroplanes, TMGs, helicopters or airships of which at least 10 hours shall be in aeroplanes.