Helicopter pilot training abroad?
“I am going to the US, because the pilot licence is much cheaper there...”
Many flight enthusiasts opt for training in the US because of enticing financial benefits – but it is not that simple. In order to make the right decision, you should know the pros and cons. While it is true that training costs in the US lie to some extent significantly under those in Germany, the flight hours are cheaper and flight instructor fees are lower than ours, additional costs will apply as a guest student pilot: for example, for flight, rental car, hotel, and for the most part, also for loss of earnings during the training.
Since the regulations have been reinforced in 2003, the conversion of a US into a fully-fledged European private pilot licence (JAR-PPL) is possible only after an additional training with a practical and written test. You must also prove 100 hours of flight time as a helicopter pilot. If you have not already flown these hours in the US, the financial advantage is lost here, at the latest. Since 2003, the conversion of a US commercial pilot licence into a European JAR-FCL licence has no longer been possible! However, you need this licence to work as a pilot in Germany and Europe. As a pilot with a licence from a non-JAA State, you can request training credits. However, it comprises a maximum of 15 hours only – which is only half of the CPL compulsory hours. This means that you have to complete at least 15 more CPL training hours and 5 hours of night flying, as foreign night ratings are not recognised under any circumstances. Additionally, you have to take the entire theory test in all 12 subjects. Credits for exams are principally not granted by the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (German Federal Office)!
We know the extensive legal requirements which cannot be detailed here. If you have questions about this: We will be pleased to advise you and deal with the specifics of your particular situation in detail.
Arguments in favour of training in the US
- You would like to fly mainly in the US or outside of Europe.
- You would like to expand your horizons and practice your English whilst abroad.
Arguments in favour of training in Germany
- You would like to fly mainly in Germany or Europe.
- You can train alongside studies or job without taking extra holiday.
- You would like a customised training with individualised personal care.
- You would like to gain experience in different flight, visibility and weather conditions and to get to know the area in which you will later fly, at an early stage.
- You would like to be familiar with the authorities and air spaces already during training, and thereby increase your safety.
- You benefit – with any possible subsequent conversions – from the internationally higher rating of the JAR licence.