How to obtain a FAA license ?

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The different steps

FAA flight training in Europe


Since the attacks of September the 11th 2001, needless to say that the U.S. authorities have become very scrupulous to allow someone to train for any pilot license. They have since that day put in place a control that will be required to pass before any flight hour is possible. But as they are very well organized, this control is a mere formality if you do not have backgrounds of recent terrorist activity ! Concretely, it is simply to register on the site of the TSA in order to indicate your antecedents over the last 5 years (addresses, jobs ...), then go give your fingerprints at an approved center as Flight Safety at Le Bourget, Bologna in Italy, Grossostheim in Germany and .... wait for the positive answer that allows you to start your training. It's that simple ! It takes an average of one month for the entire procedure, and it costs $ 130 per online application, plus about the same cost to get your fingerprint taken.
You need to perform this procedure only if you are seeking a first stand alone FAA license (ie Private Pilot License or Commercial Pilot License n some cases), a FAA Instrument Rating (IFR FAA), or a FAA Multi-Engine Rating (MEP FAA).
This procedure is sometimes misunderstood by our students, which leads in delay to start the training, so we can do it for free with you, or if you prefer, you can do it on your own by visiting the website:

Download the help file

The validation of a foreign license

If you want to pass a U.S. Private Pilot License totally independent of your European license (or because you do not have any license yet!), the following does not apply to you!
The purpose of the certification procedure of foreign license offered by the FAA administration is to get you a FAA private pilot license based on your european one. It will remain valid as long as your european license and medical remain valid. To get it, you just need to fax certain documents to the branch of the FAA, which deals with this kind of applications, and the FAA will contact the CAA of your country to determine if your license has been revoked, suspended, or if it is valid and in this case, they will send you within 45 days a letter that you simply submit to the examiner and he will issue you a FAA PPL based on a foreign license (count approximately a 400 € fee for this procedure to be paid directly to the examiner)
As for the TSA, many students get confused regularly during the request of the license validation, so we offer you to do it for free with you, or if you prefer, you can do it on your own by downloading the following document:61.75.pdf.

Download the help file

The training

Generally speaking, the training consists simply of a theoretical part and a practical part, the latter divided into preparation for the oral examination and the flight examination.

The theoretical training

This training aims to pass the theoretical knowledge test, a kind of ticket allowing you to take the practical test. You can study on you own, very good books and material being available to do so, or come to us to follow one of our intensive preparation course over 5 days. You must know that the test consists of a list of questions, and all of those questions are listed in these books accessible to everyone, with answers and explanations coming along with them. Why some prefer to follow an intensive training week then ? Because they do not have time to devote to the study of the 11 chapters of the book of questions, and because between family life and professional life, it is difficult to find 2 hours in the evening to dedicate to it. By following one of our courses (available for all the knowledge tests, including the IFR FAA), you are certain to cover all the question bank, with reminders on the foundations needed to answer properly the questions. Some revisions at home and you're ready to take the exam! (To be taken at Flight Safety at Le Bourget, in Farnborough, or contact us for a list of centers. Count about 150 € for examination fee).

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The practical training

This part of the course include th epreparation for the oral examination, briefings / debriefings on the lessons of the day, and flights to cover the all syllabus and be ready for the test. This training can take place according to your preferences: on your airplane if you have one, on an aircraft that you rent by yourself (at your aeroclub for instance), on an aircraft that we lease and we make available to you, at home in one-to-one (ie in individual lessons), at home in groups of 2 or 3 people you know to do that together, on the platform of Cannes Mandelieu (LFMD) in one-to-one, or in group of 2 or 3 people we'll find for you (cheaper way), the last option being in Cannes Mandelieu with a mix between simulator (cheaper) and aircraft, also available in one-to-one or in groups of 2 or 3 people.
Note that the options of group of 2 or 3 people is effective to get a FAA IFR training, but not really for a FAA PPL, or even a FAA CPL where instruction in one-to-one is more profitable .
You see that the choice is wide, and it is impossible to have all the cases reviewed here, we invite you to look at the pages that match your search, and of course to contact us directly, we will be glad to provide you with information as best we can to direct you on the best compromise based on available time, your budget, your desires and your needs.


The checkride

Once both theoretical and practical training completed, the next step is the checkride (practical test), face to face with an american examiner who speaks only english! Do not worry, he is not here to issue you a diploma in foreign languages, so a correct level of english is sufficient, but it should still be taken in consideration from the beginning of the training. The test consists of an oral examination which lasts about an hour, during which the examiner will ask you questions on what you have learned during the training. Again, no worries, we will provide all the necessary material to prepare this interview, and we will simulate an oral examination in the condition of the exam to ensure you have adequate theoretical level before you attempt it!

If all went well, then you are in flight, again alone with the examiner, and you will simply have to demonstrate during the flight that you are able to perform the different exercises learned during the training with the same tolerances than those used by your instructor, but this time with the stress component that is sometimes more difficult to grasp than with your instructor. The exminateur himself says it, no one made the best flight of his life in his presence. He is not here to wait for the only time you'll be a 100 ft below your assigned altitude to fail you, but rather assesses your performance by asking himself if he would trust you to take his family for a flight with you (ie are you a safe pilot). If the answer is yes, you have your license in your pocket ! Otherwise, he will ask you to do a specific additional training on the things that went wrong, before performing a second flight with him during which you will be asked only on those tasks.

Mr. Tomas Hughston's website

Once you have the license

Once you have passed your test, you have the right to fly by exploiting the privileges of your brand new license on any aircraft registered in the United States (November registered), and that all around the world, regardless if you have obtained a CPL FAA, an IFR FAA or a PPL FAA! Since these courses have become available for many, a lot of operators lease airplanes in November on the entire planet, feel free to contact us for more information on this matter.

We invite you to CONTACT US for any information on FAA training (PPL FAA, IFR FAA, CPL FAA, Multi-Engine Rating, BFR, IPC...) or for any other information.



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