Converting a JAA PPL to an FAA PPL

You’ve got a European JAA Licence, and you want to head over stateside to fly their planes covered in the FAA gunge instead.

Unfortunately, until the New World Order comes into force, all the countries in the world have their own rules and procedures in place for aviationally related activities in their country. You can imagine what that means to convert something between the bureaucratic powerhouses of Europe and the US.

Thankfully, help is at hand from the friendly folks at God, we’re awesome.

Steps to Convert JAA to FAA

  1. Find the closest Flight Standards District Office (by looking here) for where you are going, and using that information, submit this form to the FAA; fax to (001) 405 954 9922. This will be the office you pick up your licence.
  2. Submit this form to the CAA and fill in this form (£42 as of April 2010, but check here to be sure); fax to 44(0)1293 573996 *Complete this step only if your licence was issued by the UK CAA*
  3. Assuming you have a valid medical attached to your JAA licence, you don’t need to get an FAA one.
  4. A Biennial Flight Exam will need to be passed before you go for jollies into the sky over the old colonies. This is pretty much just like your JAA PPL Skills Test (click the link to see profpilot’s guidance on that), and is just to ensure you do posses basic aviationally related skills.
  5. It might also be quite a good idea to become acquainted with local procedures so you don’t close any international airports in the area to arrivals. A local flight instructor can probably help with that. For some $$$.
  6. You then can go to the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) with your passport and cash in hand, and pick up a temporary airman’s certificate. Your actual credit card type license is in the post to your home address. Why can’t the JAA PPL be on a snazzy credit card too? Why do we get a turd brown book? Questions I cannot answer.
  7. You can now pilot N registered aircraft! Go you.

Aaah can fly ziiis aircraft now. Ziiis makes me 'appy.

Aaah can fly ziiis aircraft now. Ziiis makes me 'appy. Jus like vin rouge et fromage. Et frogs legs avec onions.

As you can see it’s not too expensive, which is nice.

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8 Responses to “Converting a JAA PPL to an FAA PPL”

  1. profpilot says:

    Thanks for keeping us up to date Lafite! Your wise words have changed the post accordingly.

    Damn the CAA for changing links. How annoying.

  2. dypen says:

    Thanks for a great guide on the JAA PPL to FAA PPL. I see the links to the major form in the process have new addresses. Is it possible to have added new links when I have trouble finding the right

  3. profpilot says:

    Bloody CAA changing their links keeping their site up to date! I’ll have a hunt round for the right forms and change the links – thanks for letting me know.

  4. dypen says:

    Hello again, you have corrected one link I see. Thanks! I searched for the right link in your description that should be on “this form” I found the form SRG1187. Is this the right link?

    Shows where I refer to, “this form”:
    2. …………….and fill in “this form” (£38); fax to 44(0)1293 573996 *Complete this step only if your licence was issued by the UK CAA*

  5. profpilot says:

    Apologies for my incompetence! Saw the first link as you mentioned, fixed it, thought that was it, and carried on bumbling through life. Sadly my bumbling has just been abruptly halted.

    I’ve fixed the other link, and updated the payment stuff too, as it is no longer £38, but the slightly more extortionate £42.

    On an unrelated note, the CAA are about to open next week their renovated 24 carat gold office, complete with diamond windows and herds of performing elephants encrusted in jewels, dancing on pearls and billowing cash from their trunks. Looks quite nice.

  6. Stephen says:

    You can do an FAA medical in the UK with many of the CAA medical examiners (not all of them).

    I was also under the impression that you didnt need the medical unless you were attaching an FAA-IR to your FAA-PPL?

  7. profpilot says:

    Being a British subject, it goes against the very fiber of my being to think that there is an opportunity for an aviation authority to be making money that they are not exploiting to its full advantage. The FAA are pretty awesome.

    Anyway – having checked on the FAA site, you’re quite right. Changed, done, dusted. You have my thanks, mysteriously cloaked and hooded Stephen, saviour in the night.

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