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A novel way to get a standalone FAA PPL/IR based on an EASA PPL/IR

A colleague found a new route which is a consequence of the EASA-FAA BASA treaty.

I haven’t spent time trying to understand it so I am posting it here for others to work out. Notably it seems to offer good ways to interpret IFR time.

The applicant need only ask the FAA to verify the foreign licence and ratings, take the written knowledge tests (40 Questions), obtain at least a third class FAA medical, then do a flight review and/or IPC, as required. For the instrument rating, unless the candidate will apply with 50 hours of instrument flight time as PIC (or as the sole manipulator of the controls), 10 hours of instrument flight time as PIC must be done in the US. These needn’t be done in actual instrument conditions, but may instead be done in simulated instrument conditions, in which case they can be done without the instrument rating. Further, they can be done with a safety pilot, so they don’t count as flight training hours. That means there’s no need for TSA assessment or student visa. Once the verification has been done, an application can be made for the US certificate/rating.

The EU IR → US IR conversion is quite simple:

  • FAA medical
  • PEP & IEP knowledge tests
  • Acclimatisation OR either 50 PIC IFT or 10 PIC IFT in the US
  • FAA flight review & IPC
  • EU licence/rating verification
  • Application for unrestricted US private/instrument

Neither TIP-L nor AC 61-143, the FAA Advisory Circular that regurgitates the TIP-L, explain whether this PIC time can be counted the US way. That is, can it include time while the pilot was the sole manipulator of the controls, though not “acting” as PIC? Unfortunately, the TIP-L requires the “experience in lieu of acclimatisation” to be done after the EU IR was issued. The only bonus from this conversion agreement in the EU→US direction is that practical tests with US examiners have been replaced with a flight review (for the private pilot cert) and an IPC (for the instrument rating).

What would be very useful is to hear from someone who has done this kind of conversion.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

PEP & IEP knowledge tests

@Peter, I presume these are to be done physically in the US?


I presume so, since this

I think a big gain here is avoidance of a need for a DPE, which is a nasty issue in Europe, and that was before this which has prevented Europe based DPEs issuing 61.75s and may even have stopped checkrides (although nobody has posted anything on that topic). But this is lesser if you have to visit the US anyway. Not much lesser though, since you would need a lot more time in the US to get up to standard for a DPE checkride.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

arj1 wrote:

I presume these are to be done physically in the US?

The only item on the list that appears to require a visit to the US is the knowledge test. The rest can be organized in Europe, except for the 10 PIC IFT in the US if needed.

LSZK, Switzerland

Peter wrote:

I think a big gain here is avoidance of a need for a DPE

So the “alternative” here is that you don’t need a DPE? I converted in the other direction, which on paper looks like the same process as you’ve outlined here, other than taking a lot of time due to scheduling and issues with proving IFR flight time. The DPE bit in my case was not a big issue, and the actual skill test here was MUCH easier than an FAA IFR checkride. If you can avoid that experience it’s a huge plus.

EHRD, Netherlands

I´ve taken this way towards my stand-alone FAA IR. I already had an FAA PPL, therefore the 61.75 option was not for me. From the start of my IR training in Europe I had logged actual / simulated time in my FAA logbook, so the 50hrs after the rating were not a problem to proof for me. If you don´t have these IIRC you´ll have to do some flying with a CFII in the US for acclimatization, but you might need a visa and TSA check for this.
I did the IEP in a San Diego flight school (a joke, really) and took a 5hr IPC with a cool CFII that also served as a familiarization with local procedures and came with a high-performance and complex endorsement.
I then got my new certificate after the paperwork check from a well-known DPE operating near you @Peter. I hear that you might still be able to get your paperwork processed via Zoom instead, but perhaps that´s just a rumour.


I hear that you might still be able to get your paperwork processed via Zoom instead

Indeed. I have a contact that can do this.

always learning
LO__, Austria

Be very careful who you give this contact to. One post on some forum – e.g. here – and that person will be terminated, within 24hrs. Every US DPE has been blocked immediately, following a post on a forum. I have contacts but give them only to people I know personally.

The next person who PMs you for the details will be acting on behalf of one of the well known DPEs. It’s a dirty business in Europe; has been for many years.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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