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CBIR / European IR to FAA IR

Hi all,

I'm looking for any recommendations or where to convert to an FAA CPL/IR? I'm fairly current (as much as you can with this weather).

I've read good things about Chandler Air Service and Crystal River Aero. Any others that I should be looking at?

Has anyone been through this process recently. How long did it take? any gotchas or things to look out for?


I guess what you mean by "conversion" is just doing the whole thing from start to finish, but taking advantage of the possibility of having your previous training in another ICAO country credited, because you cannot convert through a mere paperwork exercise.

Assuming that make really that before you aplly for the practical test you have all the t's crissed and the i's dotted as far as qualifying requirements go. Chandler air Service would be a good place for that. They arr generally good for training purposes, but less so for renting.

Now if intended a mere 61.75 "validation", first of all you can only have private pilot privileges with a 61.75 license. Also, that is a mere paperwork exercise, so you don't really need a flight school for that.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

It would be to do the whole thing but taking advantage of previous training.

The CPL looks quite do-able but not so sure about the IR. Looking to find a place that has converted/trained quite a few european pilots so will know what to focus on for the training. I'm guessing GPS skills are probably tested more than NDB.

Chandler seems to be the best choice at the moment although flyeasa have very good prices.


I did my FAA IR at Chandler in 2006. A very well organised setup. No GPS back then - it was all VOR/LOC/GS and very intense.

All ICAO training, done outside the USA, it acceptable towards any FAA license or a rating.

I believe there is a "61.75 CPL" (certainly there used to be) but it has/had a "no passenger" limitation which made it good only for ferrying, or perhaps crop spraying.

Regards tips, my suggestion is to try to leverage (a horrible word, along with "at this time", "going forward", etc ) your currency on type. So if e.g. you own, or plan to own, or plan to fly back home, a PA28-181, then try to train on a PA28-181, not a C172. That is also why I chose a US school which did not operate G1000 planes; I don't have a G1000. Not everyone will agree of course (a lot of people like to train in planes with lots of eye candy) but if you are there for say 2 weeks then you don't want to waste 2 days learning unnecessary stuff. It won't be a holiday anyway.

Now, EASA is screwing US licensed pilots, but I am N-reg anyway so I need the US papers, and anyway I've had 2006-2014 i.e. 8 years of fantastic flying around Europe which I would not have had had I been sitting on the fence (like so many people, waiting for "the better IR is just around the corner").

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

if you want your IR .. then you will need to pass the written exam. It is not difficult .. however you need to get accustomed with certain US rules. Best thing is to buy the ASA testbook (the rest is not interesting .. and train the written exam). Focus on the weather items (it is very much focussed on where the obtain this and how to interpret it) and on the airlaw part.

Ditto for the Commercial written.

For the checkrides you need some training by a FAA fii but almost all training will be credited.

I would suggest .. They seem to run a tight ship.

Just getting started with the CBIR theory here in Switzerland and I was wondering: has anyone tried to convert their CBIR to an FAA IR? As far as I understand, if you have a regular EASA IR, than you only have to take a theory test, that’s it. Does the FAA make a distinction between CBIR and IR?

The CB IR gives you a full ICAO compliant IR, so you should be fine.

The only time, according to allegations, a question might be asked would be if converting the UK IMC Rating to an FAA IR. When I did my FAA IR the IMCR was fully accepted, as it was with hundreds of other pilots, but I did enough hours in the USA to meet the ab initio IR requirements anyway so the previous qualification was irrelevant.

Some European countries have “taken care” to mark the resulting IR in your license as “CB IR”, in an apparent attempt to indicate that you did not sit the full seven “JAA IR” exams and thus should not be entitled to the relevant credit if you later went on to do the HPA course. Past threads here and here and others…

The CB IR is also a dead-end if you later want to do the EASA ATPL, because if you have a PPL and the CB IR, and then do the (13-exam) CPL, you do end up with a CPL/IR but that can never be upgraded to an ATPL no matter how many hours you sit in the RHS of a multi pilot cockpit. To unlock that route, you have to throw away all the CB IR exams, all the (13) CPL exams, and do the 14 ATPL exams all over again (well, IIRC there is a credit for a couple of them).

However the above paragraph applies equally to the old 7-exam “JAA IR” or “EASA IR” which some FTOs are still offering as an option, and which nobody with a brain should be doing! (well, unless they want to get a PPL+IR+HPA e.g. for a TBM, PC12, PA46T, etc).

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Does the FAA make a distinction between CBIR and IR?

No. It’s not even noted in your EASA license how you got the IR, so they (rhe FAA) never know.

One or two European CAAs got this wrong and do in fact write “CBIR” in the license. Would be interesting to see if someone had trouble due to this when applying for some validation/conversion.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 20 Oct 11:42
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

I have validated my EASA CBIR onto my 61.75 FAA PPL last year without a problem. Just took the IFP theory test in Oakland and went to the FSDO two hours later with the print-out of the test result.

My IR is marked as “IRSE” in my French PPL in section XII with the following remark: “IR/SE issued in conformity with Appendix 6§ A BIS to PART FCL to commission regulation (EU) n°1178/2011 ; limited to SP-NON HPA aeroplanes”. I didn’t even get questions about this from the FAA officer, who otherwise was very diligent with the process and paperwork as they always are.

Last Edited by Rwy20 at 20 Oct 11:56

This remark in the licence is amusing, because the IR alone is limited to single pilot-non HPA aircraft regardless of the route taken.

The privilege to fly as co-pilot in a MP aircraft requires a CPL.
The privilege to fly a high performance aircraft requires a HPA theory course or ATPL theory.

The only difference is that the HPA theory needs to cover a bit more if you only did the reduced theory required for the CB IR route.

Biggin Hill
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