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Question regarding FAA piggyback licence

I am a frozen ATPL holder currently flying for a European airline. I am thinking of going a few times to the US to build a few PIC hours since it would take too long at my current employer to log the required PICUS hours due to internal rules. I have never been in the US and only very recently have I started looking into FARs.

It is my understanding that the process for obtaining an FAA “piggyback” PPL is merely a paperwork exercise that involves my EASA licence being verified by the FAA.

What is not clear to me are the eventual limitations or restrictions on it. At the end of the process, will I receive a permanent FAA licence? Will I be allowed to add on it an IR and/or ME rating based on my EASA license together with the initial application if I wish to do so??

And it seems I do not need an FAA medical.

Germany

The certificate is a permanent certificate for as long as you have the underlying EASA one. It will have the same limitations as your EASA one. ME is fine but to add IR you need to take the instrument foreign pilot written exam. I would suggest you take that then apply to get your 61.75 if you need the IR on there. For the avoidance of doubt, no type ratings will transfer.

EGTK Oxford

And no FAA medical required as long as your FAA license is just a 61.75 one. (For some time in the past, the LBA would not confirm the authenticity of your German medical to the FAA, for data protection reasons, thus forcing you to get an FAA medical anyway. But I understand this has been solved in the meantime.

Also, before you may legally fly on that license, you will need an FAA flight review. But all schools renting an aircraft to you will insist on at least a one hour checkout anyway, so this is accomplished almost automatically.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Thanks for the replies. I will first find a place to reinstate my SEP on my EASA licence (Belgian issued), and then consider renewing my MEP and Single Pilot IR as well. Currently, I have an IR valid only for the 737.

Not interested in having my 737 type rating transferred to the FAA licence (useless for a PPL) unless I’ll get an FAA ATP one day. But this is a topic for another year…

Last Edited by ClearProp at 25 May 13:40
Germany
What is not clear to me are the eventual limitations or restrictions on it.

That is not obvious, but if you look carefully (and there are circulars from the FAA on this) you will NOT have end up with a license that is the least restrictive of both. When I did mine (a long time ago) they gave, me CPL/IR ME but strictly no commercial privileges, which I think they offered as a welcoming gesture to the USA, because its otherwise exactly the same as a PPL. That actually meant that I could fly types previously that I needed an endorsement. For example they may give you an ME instrument rating which will cover everything fixed wing with an engine, but you will be subject to the currency requirements of the FAA. Remember these will always be part 61 private operations.

You can also get a proper FAA license which I also did, in those days I just did the ATP ME and Single, much easier then doing all the intermediate tests.

Last Edited by Ted at 25 May 15:32

ClearProp wrote:

It is my understanding that the process for obtaining an FAA “piggyback” PPL is merely a paperwork exercise that involves my EASA licence being verified by the FAA. What is not clear to me are the eventual limitations or restrictions on it. At the end of the process, will I receive a permanent FAA licence?

My understanding is that your FAA certificate will be subject to the limitations listed on the foreign license… which means exactly that, only those actually listed on the license itself. After initial issuance based on data supplied by your CAA, maintaining the FAA certificate and the ratings will require only that you maintain validity of the EASA pilot license number that will be referenced by your FAA record.

You will not need to maintain EASA single engine, instrument rating etc currencies and expirations that are non-expiring within the FAA regulatory system, and will be non-expiring on your FAA certificate. For it to be otherwise would create a nightmare enforcement scenario for FAA, in which their personnel would have to understand the nuances of every complex foreign licensing structure.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 25 May 15:19

Is it possible to take the IR written for a foreign pilot if I have an IR only valid for the 737?
I am trying to understand if I could get away with just renewing SEP and MEP without the need to do another IR renenwal.

Germany

ClearProp wrote:

Is it possible to take the IR written for a foreign pilot if I have an IR only valid for the 737?
I am trying to understand if I could get away with just renewing SEP and MEP without the need to do another IR renenwal.

I say it is very likely that you will give al PPL/IR ME, with the all those privileges. If you have something on your license that says your instrument rating is not valid for “circling approaches” that restriction will definitely carry through. Also if your colour blind and it explicitly says you can’t fly at night that will also carry through. But I would do careful research.

This is an example of the opinion from chief council, that helps a bit.

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/practice_areas/regulations/interpretations/data/interps/2012/krausz-beaumont&son%20-%20(2012)%20legal%20interpretation.pdf

Remember IT IS a FAA certificate, issued on the basis of your existing qualification not the other way around. i.e. you can’t exercise some privileges that a normal FAA license would not give you. e.g. you must meet the FAA currency requirements. 6 approaches in the last six months etc.

Last Edited by Ted at 25 May 15:38

Thanks for your reply.

I’ll try to find out then if renewing just SEP and MEP will be enough for my plans.

Germany

Thanks for your reply.

I’ll try to find out then if renewing just SEP and MEP will be enough for my plans.

If your valid to fly an 737 on instruments that may be all you need, SEP and MEP have no meaning in the FAA licensing world. At least if your flying in the USA. There may be some other funny business if your flying an aircraft outside of the USA on your FAA certificate, say in Belgium but that it is an entirely different issue.

Last Edited by Ted at 25 May 15:30
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