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FAA ATP no longer accessible to private pilots


To get the FAA ATP (ATPL in Euro-speak) you needed 1500hrs TT of which 100 had to be at night, the FAA medical, the single written exam, and the ATP checkride. Interestingly, you could just turn up to do these – no instructor / school / “FTO” endorsements were required. It could even be done single engine.

After 14th July 2014, the following requirements are added:

  • Meet all requirements in prior rules;
  • Have at least 50 hours in a multi-engine airplane; and
  • Successfully complete new ATP Certification Training Program prior to taking the ATP knowledge test (after July 31, 2014).

So no more SE ATP – it’s ME only, by the looks of it.

The training details are hard to find. AC61-138 has some info. This suggests 10hrs in a Level C simulator which is hugely expensive.

So the FAA has made it like Europe, where the ATPL is accessible only to people who got a RHS job.

Does it matter?

The FAA CPL or ATPL (or any CPL/ATPL matching the aircraft reg) is useful in the following non AOC situations:

  • flying the owner around (affected by EASA FCL is the operator is EU based)
  • ferrying (not affected by EASA FCL if the flight goes outside the EU, practically speaking)
  • crop spraying (not applicable much to Europe)
  • some obscure stuff; longer charity flights from vague memory

What the FAA ATP theory exam pass was very useful for was sidestepping the EASA HPA requirement which is needed for planes like the PA46, TBM or PC12.

So those pilots “resident” in the EU looking at any of these better get moving fast – get an FAA PPL, CPL and then sit the ATP theory exam. Or do the HPA course…

Incidentally, can a multi pilot aircraft (a jet, generally) on an EASA reg, private flight, be flown by two CPL/IRs? I know the LHS in a jet used for paying passengers has to be an ATP (FAA and EASA reg).

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Incidentally, can a multi pilot aircraft on an EASA reg, private flight, be flown by two CPL/IRs?
Yes it can. Friends run a AOC business and they have all CPL/ IR.

ATP is necessary at grossweights of 20 tons or more (IIRC)

Last Edited by nobbi at 18 Dec 15:18
EDxx, Germany

So no more SE ATP – it’s ME only, by the looks of it (says Peter)

I do not think so….
Both commercial and air transport pilot FAA certificates have been issued and, I understand, will continue to be issued with either single- or multi-engine privileges, depending on the class of airplane one’s flight check is done in (= to have both ASEL and AMEL ratings one has to, and will have to, pass two separate flight checks: one in a single- and one in a multi-engine airplane). Under new regulations, for the issue of an “unrestricted” ATP certificate one would have to have also “50 hours of aeronautical experience in class of airplane required for an ATP certificate (Sec. 61.159)”.

YSCB, Australia

This article, out today, is quite good.

It’s going to be hard to get new jet pilots…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

After 1 Aug the FAA ATP rules change. If you pass your written before that you have 24 months to take the check ride and get grandfathered in. After 1 Aug you will need at least 30 hours ground school and 10 hours sim. But not just any sim, 6 hours has to be on a full motion C or D simulator, and they’re expensive.

So if you have the hours (1500hrs – or will have within the next 24 months), and might want an ATP in the future, do the written now.

USA ATP before rules change

In the last century held an FAA PPL – suspect my last BFR was in the early 90’s, but presumably not that difficult to resurrect.

I also believe I have the relevant experience to consider taking the ATP written and practical. In August the rules change and I understand you will need Level D multi jet simulator time, while now I believe you can still do the practical in whatever tired MEP the examiner is happy with.

No practical reason why I should choose to get the ATP ticket, but a nice excuse to spend a few days stateside.

I suspect there are a few forumites who are eligible and it may be worth pointing out that after August it gets more complicated. EASA you need 500 hours turbine multi crew so a different animal altogether.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Not only that Robert, you’ll need at least 30hrs ground school at approved FTO. So if you can swing the written by 1 Aug, now is the time. Get the ball starting soon as you’ll need TSA approval if you only have a PPL. It is a standalone license, right? If not, you’ll have to do that beforehand as well. If you pass the written you have 24 months to do the check ride.

Last Edited by AdamFrisch at 12 May 01:16

In the last century held an FAA PPL – suspect my last BFR was in the early 90’s, but presumably not that difficult to resurrect.

If its a standalone FAA pilot certificate you still hold it, and will forever. They don’t evaporate, and you’d only need a valid medical and an instructor BFR notation in your logbook to use it again. One day for both.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 12 May 03:59

I have well over the required 1500hrs but don’t have the 100hrs night.

My Q would be: what does an FAA ATP get you in Europe – unless you want to fly a multi pilot certified jet, as a paid pilot.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter I think it may only get you another scout certificate in Europe, although M registered aircraft may operate with FAA crew?

I am also about ten hours short on the 100 hours night.

Thank you for the link – as always lots of good information on the site

Last Edited by RobertL18C at 12 May 07:03
Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom
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