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Flying night vfr in the USA with a FAA PPL based on a JAA licence.


You said that you are intending to gain more experience flying at night somewhere over the US. Although you will be entitled to fly at night under VFR using your basic FAA Private Pilot Certificate granted under FAR 61.75 (since your current "home" CPL/IR gives you such privileges), you might seriously consider adding first "instrument" privileges (or, as the FAA calls it the "instrument airplane" privileges" :) to your basic FAA Certificate. That should be a fairly simple addition to acquire for you, involving a very straightforward theory exam (or "the knowledge test" as the FAA prefers to call it :) that might then be followed by a routine instrument check flight that the inspector issuing your rating would have the right to request of you (in this case you will be required to provide a suitably equipped aircraft for him/her to conduct this test in).

Adding instrument privileges to your FAA licence could make some of your night flights over the US not only safer but, perhaps, also more enjoyable :)


Thanks again Mm_flynn and Achimha. My IFR is current, so no problem at all, and the licence is not revoqued. Excuse-me but what does BFR stand for? If I go to the US night flying, I plan to de some hours with an instructor, so there will be no problem in doing the three night take offs and landings.

Hello Antek, Sorry, again I didn't see the message before posting. Yes, my initial plan is to pass the IFP and do the night hours IFR, doing them VFR would be, I thing, loosing money. But there is a chance that I have to go and do the hours as soon as possible, so if that was the case I wouldn't have time to study and pass the IFP. Thanks for your advice!

BRF = Biannual Flight Review

I believe your annual IR-renewal check-flight done at home will be more than sufficient to satisfy the FAA requirement for BFR.


The FAA will want the BFR to be done by an FAA CFI, signed with his name and FAA instructor ID.

achimha said: "The FAA will want the BFR to be done by an FAA CFI, signed with his name and FAA instructor ID".

Not in my experience. I was told by FAA that my regular instrument proficiency checks (done in Australia by Australian ATOs) satisfied their BFR requirement. In the same way, my medical certification (done in Australia by Australian DAMEs) satisfied, for my FAA "piggy-back" licence but not for my FAA stand-alone licence, FAA's medical certification requirements.

Also, I know that several of my Australian friends, who fly only under VFR, have had their Australian BFRs (we also have these biannual flight reviews under Australian VFR currency requirements) recognized by the FAA.


It's an interesting point whether an FAA CFI is required to do the BFR.

61.56 doesn't actually say that, to my reading of it.

This (and many other sources) imply, from the specific signoff required, that the instructor has to be an FAA certified one - because he has to sign with his certificate #.

But, as with most other FAA regs, the wording seems to be in the context of the US aviation scene, without excluding non-US options. One exception (which I can't right now find the FAR reference for) is acceptance by the FAA of non-US flight training, for which there is a specific provision and which countless European pilots have used towards their US licenses and ratings.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

While I would agree that many people argue (and some appear to have been told by the FAA) that various non-FAA administered checks are sufficient to tick the BFR box, my personal view is it must be done by an FAA instructor. That view is based on two different logics.

1 - The first requirement of the BFR A(1) is a review of the flight rules defined in part 91 - it is unlikely than a JAA IPC will cover part 91 regulations.

2 - The review must be done by and recorded in your logbook by an 'Authorized instructor' C(1) and C(2). Then in 61.1 we have ...

(2) Authorized instructor means-- (i) A person who holds a ground instructor certificate issued under part 61 of this chapter and is in compliance with Sec. 61.217, when conducting ground training in accordance with the privileges and limitations of his or her ground instructor certificate; (ii) A person who holds a flight instructor certificate issued under part 61 of this chapter and is in compliance with Sec. 61.197, when conducting ground training or flight training in accordance with the privileges and limitations of his or her flight instructor certificate; or (iii) A person authorized by the Administrator to provide ground training or flight training under SFAR No. 58, or part 61, 121, 135, or 142 of this chapter when conducting ground training or flight training in accordance with that authority.

The combination of these two elements causes me to believe the 'requirement' is for the review to be with an FAA instructor. However, I suspect neither the FAA nor local governments (i.e. EU, Australia, etc.) care enough to prosecute if you are dual licencesed, operating an N-reg in your local geography and you are current on your local licence.

Separately, you don't need an FAA medical for a 61.75 medical (as it is based on your local licence and medical). You can have an FAA medical but a local one is fine. I do however believe that if you fail your local medical (as distinct from don't renew it) then your local licence is not valid and therefore your 61.75 is not valid - even if you do have an FAA medical.

Further, 61.41 then gives authorisation to credit foreign and military training towards pilot certificates and ratings, but my understanding is that traditional does not cover the BFR or the signing off of the final 3 or so hours of training in preparation for the flight test.



I am slightly lost on your requirement. Specifically why would building night VFR hours be a waste of money? If you are going somewhere nice (like Florida) you can do some glorious night VFR flying and with your IR competency you have the safety backstop of being able to keep oriented if the viz drops. Obviously if you need night IFR time then that is what you need and flying VFR is a total waste.

From your description the only question is 'do you have enough time to study for the FAA IFR knowledge test'. You should be able to go through the normal 61.75 process, pick up your licence, fly a bit with an instructor (which will give you your BFR) and then off you go.


This response from the FAA Chief Counsel may be of interest. A colleague in the USA has just sent it to me.

It is an opinion regarding the FAA's thinking on the subject of national restrictions and distinguishing those that are on the ICAO pilot certificate from those that are part of the other country national regulations.

The conclusion is that if they don't appear on the license, they don't count.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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