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EASA-FAA bilateral pilot licensing treaty (BASA)

FAA does not regulate A&P IAs or pilots based on geography, and the IA who signed off the last Annual inspection on a plane operating under Part 91, plus the pilot who flew it that day, would be responsible for an aircraft being operated illegally and/or in non-airworthy condition. FAA can remove inspection authorization and pilot certificates, where the plane is operating or who owns it is irrelevant. US civil courts might otherwise award damages between other individuals. None of the above has anything to do with geography, so making new law in relation to IAs based on where the relevant work was performed in a given accident strikes me as a non-starter.

FAA repair stations are a different matter in that they are regulated with a defined facility location. This is a bigger deal because US airlines use overseas repair stations to save money. However routine maintenance and periodic inspections on aircraft operating under Part 91 are not typically carried out by repair stations, they are carried out by authorized individuals with no FAA limit on where they can operate. This is intentional and will not change.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 26 Nov 19:18

Silvaire wrote:

FAA can remove inspection authorization and pilot certificates, where the plane is operating or who owns it is irrelevant.

This is right in theory and in practice

Silvaire wrote:

None of the above has anything to do with geography,

This is right only in theory!

Because to take action, FAA obviously needs to become aware of the fact that some irregularity happened. And this is currently much more likely in the US than it is in other parts of the world.

Best example: It is practically almost impossible that the FAA gets notice that a holder of an FAA license got an administrative action for DUI abroad. And hence, I don’t know a single pilot with an FAA license who duly reported to the FAA that they have received administrative DUI outside of the US. This on one side is kind of logical as the steps required by the FAA to get airworthy again after such an action are very difficult to comply with when abroad on the other side obviously wrong.
Same with a negligent A&P: While in theory the rules and consequences are the same it is much more unlikely that the FAA will actually notice such behavior abroad as long as no accident has happened.
Martha Lunken lost many of her licenses due to taxiing incidents – do you really believe the FAA would have even noticed if these had happened on some European airstrips?

It’s an open secret that part of the beauty of operating an n-reg in Europe is the fact, that the FAA is further away from you than your national CAA.

Germany

I am curious:

Can I base an EASA registered aircraft permanently in the USA?

Can I fly an EASA aircraft permanently in the USA with an EASA license?

Freelance IRI / CB-IR Instructor
LOWG | Worldwide

Same with a negligent A&P: While in theory the rules and consequences are the same it is much more unlikely that the FAA will actually notice such behavior abroad as long as no accident has happened.

That’s completely untrue, and I know close up and personal of cases to the contrary. Termination of A&P, termination of IA (happens a lot faster than A&P termination, btw), termination of DAR (example posted here not long ago, where a DAR was terminated while halfway through a job), suspension of a DPE, etc…

It’s an open secret that part of the beauty of operating an n-reg in Europe is the fact, that the FAA is further away from you than your national CAA.

It isn’t the case at all. The CAA busts you just the same regardless of what foreign papers you have. In extreme cases every national CAA has the power to block any passport holder from using a foreign license in their airspace. This was posted by a senior NATS official, for example.

I am sure an email from a vindictive individual in the CAA here would terminate my FAA papers, and it would cost a huge amount in legal fees to get it sorted, and could take many months. I know a case where this happened.

For more examples, speak to somebody with an FAA Special Issuance medical, in Europe.

The FAA does its job well but they tend to kneejerk react when abroad. In the US you have US AOPA protection and they are more careful. But if you are say a UK based member of US AOPA they aren’t interested in supporting you (their legal adviser made that clear to me, not long ago, when I asked some questions).

So actually operating in Europe under the FAA regime makes you quite vulnerable – quite the opposite of so many stories one hears. An A&P can be busted and banned simply by having signed something which somebody later complains about, and even more so for an IA. These people have to be very careful what they sign.

Whereas in the EASA Part M sphere the buck doesn’t stop with an individual; it stops with the “organisation”. Mostly you never find out who did the bad work, and the company will close ranks and make sure nobody finds out. That’s a big weakness of the EASA system.

EASA-land ramp checks in Europe for light GA are practically nonexistent. I have not actually ever heard from anybody who got ramp checked in Europe, by anybody with more than half a brain i.e. a specialist who is looking for airworthiness issues in detail. The FAA does it in the US all the time, and they will do it here if you do something high-profile.

Can I base an EASA registered aircraft permanently in the USA?

I used to know one Brit who did that for many years. I think there are some TSA requirements now. But only a fool would operate anything but N-reg in the US

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

EASA-land ramp checks in Europe for light GA are practically nonexistent. I have not actually ever heard from anybody who got ramp checked in Europe, by anybody with more than half a brain i.e. a specialist who is looking for airworthiness issues in detail. The FAA does it in the US all the time, and they will do it here if you do something high-profile.

Practically nonexistent? My impression is they happen frequently (Germany, Austria…). This summer every other week at my homefield. The lack of airline traffic sure had some capacity move over to GA to fulfill inspection quota.

The inspection protocol is thorough and there are always findings (some I recall from friends this year: weight and balance, loose items in cabin, baggage not secured, screws missing, antenna bonding/delamination, tire condition, clerical mistakes on documents/certificates.

Are you familiar with ACAM inspections? Not nice.

FAA Ramp Check impressions here https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/faa-ramp-check-anybody-ever-had-one.102338/

Seems amicable in comparison.

So actually operating in Europe under the FAA regime makes you quite vulnerable

Not liking to hear thid as I would be interested in going N-reg and I think in austria you are completely left alone. Is it different in the UK?

Last Edited by Snoopy at 27 Nov 00:48
Freelance IRI / CB-IR Instructor
LOWG | Worldwide

Snoopy wrote:

Can I base an EASA registered aircraft permanently in the USA? Can I fly an EASA aircraft permanently in the USA with an EASA license?

You can, but with zero maintenance shops or mechanics available. I knew of a guy with a certified Danish registered airplane that had no FAA type certificate. Eventually he switched to FAA Experimental Exhibition.

There is some talk of flight plans or something being required, equally for e.g. Canadian or Mexican registered planes, but it’s not enforced.

The only FAA interaction with any A&P mechanic I’ve seen personally was after an accident, with no consequence. I’m sure it happens but they are not terribly concerned with puddle jumper singles flown by owner pilots.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 27 Nov 00:41

Peter wrote:

The FAA does it in the US all the time, and they will do it here if you do something high-profile.

I can’t comment about overseas, but I’ve never seen FAA FSDO personnel at any time at any US airport where I’ve flown. During my ownership, my aircraft and/or logs have never been inspected by anybody but me or an A&P working on the plane. Nor IIRC has any plane owned by anybody I know. There are nowhere near enough FSDO personnel to be out patrolling airports looking at hundreds or thousands of little planes, no more than you’d expect it in a parking lot full of cars. Nowadays FSDO people are mostly not GA oriented people anyway, and they apparently spend almost all their time hiding in their cubicle – in my area nobody knows who they are anymore. They used 9/11 as an excuse to lock up the FSDO and you’d be lucky to get them out on the ramp if you asked them for some reason, and made an appointment. Their absence doesn’t have any effect, the responsibility for maintaining planes is with owners and their mechanics who are better left alone, but that’s how it is.

That said, there is a incident in the records of my plane that is kind of amusing, circa 1977. The plane had earlier under prior ownership been put in Restricted category with a smoke system, to allow aerobatic displays in a plane with only Utility certification in the US. This had then been conveniently forgotten when the plane was sold, and I understand the Airworthiness Certificate in the plane was a color Xerox of the original unrestricted item. Then at Oshkosh ‘77 an FAA guy apparently familiar with the plane grounded it because it was being operated as a standard category aircraft, instantly making the plane into a lawn ornament far from home. Frantic correspondence to the FSDO from the new owner followed, saying “the aircraft is not and has never been in Restricted category” (not true but he didn’t know). Another subsequent letter in the file is from a helpful FAA guy to another asking for a favor in the owners interest, which was given: a new replacement standard category airworthiness certificate was sent to the owner, replacing the Xerox copy, and the situation disappeared. The wording in the FAA letter is circumspect in describing the situation, obviously just trying to get it done without reference to too many facts.

It seems to me that since Experimental aircraft became so predominant, nobody at FAA really worries too much about the fine points of single engine, owner flown certified aircraft configuration like maybe they once did. It’s been shown to add no practical value. IAs do their thing annually, that’s enough, particularly at the smaller and/or older end of the aircraft scale.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 27 Nov 04:12

Peter wrote:

The CAA busts you just the same regardless of what foreign papers you have. In extreme cases every national CAA has the power to block any passport holder from using a foreign license in their airspace.

In that case the UK CAA employees are obviously much better educated on FAA rules than e.g. the German ones. In Germany they basically don’t know about the FAA rules.
I haven’t heard of a single case of a holder of an FAA license who got a ticket for driving his car under influence and therefore got his FAA ticket busted by the German CAA. I think they don’t even know that according to the rules they should.
I haven’t heard of a single ramp check (I had two of them in the last couple of years) where the checker actually knew which inspections are necessary and which not on an FAA plane. The typical course of action of such checks with German CAA employees is, that they ask for something that is really not required on FAA planes then follows a lengthy discussion with the owner followed by the checkers walking away. To my knowledge, German ramp checkers don’t even theoretically have the means to validate if the guy who signed the last annual on an n-reg had a valid license to do so at the time he signed the sticker. (Ok, well, yes, theoretically the German DOT could write a request for support to the US DOT which might forward it to the FAA, etc.).

To claim that N-regs in Europe are as tightly monitored by the FAA as n-regs in the US is at least in Germany as far from reality as it could be.

Germany

Malibuflyer wrote:

The worst case – at least from an n-reg operator POV – is that it is finally confirmed that the accident actually was caused by a technical defect and some dependants sue the FAA for damages over not controlling the maintenance of N-regs outside the US as closely as with in the US (e.g. because they do less ramp checks, less audits of A&Ps in Europe, etc.). In worst case they would win this case against the FAA.
From there it would only be a small change in regulation that any n-reg plane needs to be physically in the US at least once a year…

Don’t think that will happen. Here is an article on a similar topic:

It is possible to sue the US government under the Federal Tort Claims Act enacted in 1946, but only within a narrow frame because government decisions, even bad decisions, are protected, lawyers explain. That protection was unanimously upheld by the US Supreme Court three decades ago following the crash of a Brazilian airliner in 1973.

At the end of a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, a Varig Boeing 707 made an emergency landing in a field as it approached Orly airport. A cigarette had burned through the lavatory trash can and black smoke was billowing through the passenger cabin, asphyxiating many passengers before the airplane was even on the ground. 123 people died. Varig sued the FAA because, by law, the trash bin should have contained the fire. The FAA certified the jetliner even though the airplane failed to meet that requirement.

When the Supreme Court heard the case, all nine justices agreed that the burden falls on the regulated, in this case Boeing, to follow the law. When the FAA decides what it will and will not inspect, it is “exercising discretionary regulatory authority of the most basic kind,” the high court ruled.

The case is applicable to the decisions made during the certification of the 737 MAX, said Mark Dombroff, an aviation lawyer with the Washington firm LeClair Ryan who defended the FAA at the time as a lawyer with the Department of Justice.

The FAA’s decisions, whether good or bad, are within the scope of its responsibility, Dombroff said: “Regulators and the government have to be free to exercise their discretion free from the threat of liability.” The alternative, he suggested, would result in judges second-guessing the policy judgments of government professionals, and “would wreak chaos in the system.”
KUZA, United States

I’ve been through the link shared by Ibra. As often with a text wrote by bureaucrates, it let more question than answer
The procedures to go from an EASA licence to an FAA one or from an FAA to an EASA have been standardized and are now very similar.
From my reading, it seems that the detail of the requirments and procedure to claim for a licence will be in a TIP (TIP-L).

Below some extracts of the BASA draft that I consider noticeable. They are from paragraph 3 of the annex (claiming a FAA PPL being an EASA PPL holder),
as mentionned above, the requirment for opposite (from FAA to EASA, paragraph 2 of the annex) are very close.

3.1.2. The applicant shall meet the FAA medical certificate requirements to exercise the
privileges of an FAA pilot certificate, as prescribed in 14 CFR Part 61 First thing here, IMO “meet” doesn’t mean you have to pass a FAA medical. One could imagine here that the FAA could consider an EASA class 2 medical as meeting the criteria of a FAA medical

3.1.3. The applicant shall have passed the required knowledge test, as detailed in the TIP-L,
within the 24-calendar-months period preceding the month of application Here it is clearly mentionned a TK test has to be done

3.1.4. The applicant shall complete a flight review with an FAA certified flight instructor who
holds appropriate FAA examining authority, as detailed in the TIP-L The interesting words here are “flight review” with a (FAA certified) “flight instructor”.
So seems very possible it can be done in Europe

From there those are pragraphs about getting an FAA IR on the basis of an EASA IR

3.2.3. As detailed in the TIP-L, an applicant applying for an instrument rating shall have
completed acclimatisation flying in the United States, including its territories, with an FAA
certified flight instructor, before the instrument proficiency check with an examiner is
administered. The applicant is exempt from this requirement if he/she has prior experience
of at least 50 hours of flight time under IFR as pilot in command on airplanes or prior
experience of at least 10 hours of flight time under IFR as pilot in command on airplanes in
the United States, including its territorie Note this is the same for FAA to EASA with the difference of talking about European airspace

3.2.4. The applicant shall complete an instrument proficiency check with an examiner, as detailed
in the TIP-L Noticeable difference here with 3.1.4 above, as we are talking about a “proficiency check” with an “examiner”

3.2.5. The applicant shall have passed the required knowledge test, as detailed in the TIP-L,
within the 24-calendar-month period preceding the month of application Once again, a theory test seems to be part of the process

To finish, while quite obvious, from the text quoted below, one can hold a FAA and EASA licence in the same time (as currently with a piggy back).
The FAA, upon issuing an FAA pilot certificate based on an EU Part-FCL license in
accordance with this Annex, shall not require the surrender of that EU Part-FCL license.
An Aviation Authority, upon issuing an EU Part-FCL license based on an FAA pilot
certificate in accordance with this Annex, shall not require the surrender of that FAA pilot
certificat

Looking forward to read your thoughts and comments

Last Edited by rschris at 28 Nov 17:58
Switzerland
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