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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
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), 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

The privilege to fly as co-pilot in a MP aircraft requires a CPL.

Not according to Part FCL

FCL.205.A PPL(A) — Privileges
(a) The privileges of the holder of a PPL(A) are to act without remuneration as PIC or co-pilot on aeroplanes or TMGs engaged in non-commercial operations.

Thanks everyone for the great replies.

Switzerland is apparently one of those countries that put the “CB IR” into the license…


You are, of course, correct. So I should change my statement to

The privilege to fly as co-pilot in a MP aircraft requires a type rating

The point remains – the restriction is a bit silly.

Biggin Hill

I did the CBIR because I have no intention to fly commercially / multi pilot, and didn’t want to commit extra time doing exams. Just took 2 days off to do all the 7 exams.
My licence says CBIR.
Got my FAA 61.75 verified and the examiner accepted them (haven’t received the temporary certificate though).

If one day I need the ATPL theory then I’ll take the time, probably 2-3 month off (extrapolating to 4-5x the workload of CBIR which I studied on evenings only), but probability of that happening X time I would have needed to take off now was just not worth it.

This is increasingly off topic but if you did

  • the 14 ATPL exams
  • the CB IR training route to the IR
  • the CPL

you would have a full standard ATPL. Well, it would be a “frozen ATPL” like any other “frozen ATPL” which you have when you leave an FTO, and start thumbing through the airline job ads

The reason the ATPL FTOs don’t implement it that way is because they want to do the full 55hr IR (more €€€). They don’t want some candidates saving money because they have some prior flying experience and don’t need the full 55hrs before they are ready for the IRT.

But if you were doing an ATPL as a private individual, on minimal cost…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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