I’ve just been offered a job in Luxembourg and may make the move from the United States. I’m very interested in continuing to fly while I’m in Europe, so I’ve contacted Aviasport and Aero-Sport (they appear to be Luxembourg’s main clubs) for some more information, but I thought that the brain trust here might also have some helpful information.
I have my commercial/instrument/CFI from the FAA, but I assume I would need to convert these to EASA. I can’t find any information on Luxembourg specifically—does anyone have any experience for what the process might be? I suspect that converting my commercial would be very difficult and my CFI impossible, but I’d be perfectly happy with private/instrument privileges.
I’ve also heard that renting N-registered planes (rather than converting my credentials) is very common in Europe, but I’m not sure about Luxembourg specifically. I’m also not sure how long this will last since it seems like EASA always wants to put an end to the practice.
Any other thoughts or useful information that anyone has about flying in and around Luxembourg would be very useful and much appreciated as well. Thank you in advance!
Before answering your question – will you be bringing a plane with you and if so what is it. And how many hours do you have in your log book as Instrument Conditions per FAA definition. If you have more than a certain amount this can make your like MUCH easier.
Unfortunately I don’t have a plane of my own for the time being—that will be an investment for a bit later in life, I think. I’ve got about 560 hours of total time with 78.5 hours of time in instrument conditions (including both actual and simulated). I’d have a couple months before moving, so if I’m within spitting distance, I can try to bump it up before I go.
I used to be a member of Aerosport back in 2010-2012 when I was living in Luxembourg.
Good club, decent fleet, in-house maintenance keeps on top of things. Rates were €170/hr back then, not sure now. Yearly membership fee on top of that.
Lux ATC is very protective of commercial traffic (Luxair and Cargolux) so you may be asked to hold short for quite a while. Not ideal during initial training but hardly a show-stopper. You will have to do a 1-day airport security course to get an access badge. Dedicated GA security gate is very friendly and close to Aerosport.
Good selection of instructors and they allow you to take a plane away overnight – subject to prior booking. Almost everyone speaks English, but it does help if you know a bit of French or German. French is useful anyway as it’s widely used in shops.
Keep in mind that it’s very much a “club” in the European sense. It’s more elitist than an American FBO, and you’re expected to socialise at the bar, not just turn up and fly. There will be a joining interview, nothing too serious but enough to understand what your motivation is.
You will have to convert to EASA before you can go solo as all the planes are LX-reg. Shouldn’t be too hard. You might want to consider a school in Ireland to get the whole conversion done quickly and have an English speaking licence authority.
Lux is a beautiful place to live, I have only good memories. You’ll enjoy it :)
That’s great info, thanks so much. I’m a member of a fantastic club here in the States that has a similar vibe to what you’re describing, so that’s exactly what I’d be looking for. I’m fluent in French as well, so hopefully that helps the social aspect.
Another question—would anyone in Lux have use for an FAA CFI? I understand that many people keep up FAA certificates in addition to EASA, and I’d love to do the occasional BFR, IPC (once I get my CFII), etc. for fun. I would guess that getting my EASA instructor rating would be very challenging, so I assume that doing any significant instruction other than what my FAA cert allows isn’t really possible without undue effort.
Would anyone in Lux have use for an FAA CFI?
Possibly. I wouldn’t say many, but a few yes. Wouldn’t count on it as a source of income though.
I think the right question to ask is: on which plane? If it’s an owner pilot asking you for a BFR, no problem. But Aerosport isn’t going to be happy if you start using their planes to give instruction, without having an EASA FI first. Pretty sure there’s a rule saying renter must occupy left seat. Which means your clientele would be restricted to EASA-current Aerosport members only.
You could do a CRI course, which allows you to do the things you mentioned above but not ab-initio training. It’s cheaper and easier to achieve, but no less valuable. More on that from the CRIs who lurk on this forum.
I’m in Maastricht, 1 hour flight away. Could see myself flying down for a flight review.
That makes perfect sense. I was thinking along the lines of doing exactly what you suggest—flight reviews etc. for pilots who fly their own planes or for other club members. Instructing is just something I really enjoy doing, so I’m not trying to make it a reliable source of income, especially when I’ll be working full time. CRI seems like it might be a good first step toward teaching in EU planes though, I’ll have to take a look in more detail.
Contact AOPA Luxemburg their chairman (Peter) is very helpful.
To convert your FAA PPL IR to an EASA PPL IR there is a shortcut if you have more than 50 hours of logged instrument time (I think that is the number). If not you would have to do the full EASA IR exam which involves 7 very tedious exams and which will take you a year to study for and complete most likely.
In reality you will need to get well acquainted with European practices – the airspace is very chopped up and the layout of airspace is very different, radio terminology is a bit different, weather conditions are a bit different, air rules have some differences etc. Best to simply fly with an instructor for a few days, mostly doing cross countries around Europe to get started.
Buckerfan is right you can do an EASA IR if you have 50 hours of actual instrument time. What is then required is that you do a checkride with an Examiner. I did this in Poland after having an FAA IR and doing the 50 hours. The main difference is that you should plan to do a annual fight review with an examiner as the 6 approaches/ holds etc that keeps you current on your FAA IR is not the same in EASA land.
One thing you may need to investigate further is whether you need an EASA PPL to do this conversion. I had one anyway so it did not come up specifically for me. Any instructor should be able to help you on this.
The alternative is that you just fly N-Reg.