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Returning to the skies.

Thinking about returning to GA after a long-ish layoff. Apologies for this somewhat long winded question, but looking for some advice.
As a bit of background, I have a an old brown CAA licence from the 80,s but never upgraded it to a newer CAA or EASA licence due to acquiring a stand alone FAA airman certificate many years ago. I owned a Bonanza on the N reg here in the UK between 2000 and 2007 which I operated on the basis of the FAA licence.
I have about 1000 hrs P1 and a complex rating in the log book, again based on the FAA licence. I have not flown since 2008.
My question is relating to the legality of operating an N reg aircraft here in the UK, and more importantly flying in the UK and Europe on a FAA certificate?
I have a feeling I may need an EASA licence but dont really want to spend a huge amount on whatever training they see as necessary to grant one.

What options do I have?



United Kingdom

Welcome back!

The answer to your question is more complex than you might think, unfortunately.

For some years now, there has been an EASA regulation in place that you need an EASA license if you want to legally fly an Europe-operated n-reg plane in EASA-land. Despite the fact that it is a little bit unclear, what exactly an „Europe operated“ n-reg plane is (but it‘s quite clear, that n-reg plane that is located in Europe, practically owned by a European owner and hasn‘t been in the US for years qualifys as that), many (but not all) EASA member states have derogated from this rule up until today so that it is not yet in effect in most EASA member states. EASA prolongs the time period available for derogation every year, because there are still some open questions for special cases*.
To make a complex situation even worse, nobody knows what happens during Brexit…

Therefore as of today you can legally fly with only a FAA license with an n-reg in most EASA-member states – but you have to carefully check which states are excluded and things get messy when you toiuch their border or have to deviate into one…
EASA, however, has clearly stated that in medium to long term they do not want to have FAA license tourism and are going to prevent that. To be on the safe side you therefore need an EASA license.

´* Such cases include e.g. certain types for which there is simply no TRI/TRE in Europe and for which it is therefore extremely difficult to get a valid EASA license even if you want…

Last Edited by Malibuflyer at 10 Feb 12:47

Welcome back GC33

The EASA FCL attack on N-regs is here. A long thread and you will see at the end of it that the UK has been running an ambiguous bodge with the SRG2140/2142 forms.

So, best be prepared to get EASA license/rating and a medical.

There are some unknowns e.g. brexit renders the EASA wording void, but OTOH EASA regs are to be incorporated into UK law on brexit date (31 Dec 2020, currently).

My view is that we will get another SRG2140/2142 thing around 1st April and then the CAA gets another £45 from every N-reg pilot in the UK That very likely means FAA-only pilots can carry on for another year.

The aircraft itself is no problem. Only Norway and Denmark, IIRC, have long term parking limits on certified N-regs.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

My view is that we will get another SRG2140/2142 thing around 1st April and then the CAA gets another £45 from every N-reg pilot in the UK That very likely means FAA-only pilots can carry on for another year

Peter, you have said in the past that you have an EASA and FAA licences both standalone both with I/R and fly a N reg aircraft based in the UK.

So you are not FAA only, who do need to verify their FAA licences with the SRG forms.

Both my licences are the same as yours and I also fly an N reg aicraft based in the UK.

I have read all this SRG2140/2142 stuff, have sent it off, but cant say that I fully understand it or even see the point of it, other that to create pointless paperwork.

It appears that not everyone in the UK flying a N reg aircraft has bothered.

Could I ask you please, maybe you have a better understanding of it …. what stops one flying one’s UK based N reg aircraft in the UK or Europe using your current valid EASA Licence without a SRG2140/2142 ?

If you have both FAA and EASA papers then you comply with EASA FCL and the SRG214x stuff is irrelevant.

If you have just FAA papers and are UK based then – in immediately past years, at least – you have to do the SRG stuff.

There is no point in it; it is purely an N-reg pilot harassment exercise. But it is easier/cheaper to do this (an hour of your time, plus a visit to a school to certify copies of these and your licenses, medical and passport) than to spend say £500-£1000/year revalidating the EASA PPL, EASA IR with an examiner and doing the EASA medical. Especially if you fly a lot and are thus perfectly current enough.

Yes indeed a lot of N-reg pilots in Europe are flying just on FAA papers and have totally ignored this whole thing, ever since it started in April 2012. I did the compliance stuff in 2011/2012, with a massive hassle and at huge expense of maybe £20k, and then when the UK derogated it a lot of people took the p1ss out of me

There are no known ramp inspections in this area. The FAA license alone is accepted everywhere I have showed it. IMHO the inspector has little option since nobody can understand the derogations, and EASA have refused to clarify the ambiguities.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Getting you UK PPL up and running is dead easy. Pilot medical declaration, training as required and then test and certainly till april of this year that will allow you to fly a Cessna/piper. If you then want an EASA PPL then you will need a Class two medical and the rest is a paperwork excecise.

I certainly do the former and what to see what happens before doinng the latter.

I’ll let others comment on the FAA aspects

Last Edited by Bathman at 10 Feb 18:35

To apply for the UK national PPL you need a Class 2. Only the NPPL allows the medical self declaration from the start.

You can fly an N-reg on the NPPL.

Previous threads e.g. here and here.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

OTOH EASA regs are to be incorporated into UK law on brexit date (31 Dec 2020, currently).

No, Brexit date is 31 January 2020. EASA regs are now incorporated into UK law. What happens after the end of the transition period (31 Dec 2020, currently) is “unknown”. If the UK continues to be in the EASA system, it will continue to incorporate (new) EASA regs into national law. Else, it can deviate from them.


He doesn’t need to apply for a licence as he already has a valid for life UK brown icao compliant PPL. To renew the SEP rating on it all that needs to be done is training as required and then a test. And as things stand at present all he would need to fly a Easa aircraft is a PMD*

*Some restrictions do apply

Last Edited by Bathman at 10 Feb 20:13
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