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How does one get a commericial license?


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Hi,

I have a friend who is in the military in Greece (a native of Greece) and has his pilot's license( for helicopters) there. He is being stationed in the US (Alabam )for pilot plane training for 3 months starting in September. While he is here He would like to get his commercial Helicopter license. How would he go about doing that? Is there a school he could go to in Alabama or a close by state? How much approx. would the schooling costs and for how long?

 

Any help i could get on this i would be so grateful, as i have no idea about any of this.

 

Thank you!

Frenchell

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You need to have a private pilot certificate first before becoming a commercial pilot in the US.

Generally (depending on a number of things) the FAA will issue a private pilot certificate with certain restrictions on it, without a flight or knowledge test, if you have a foreign private or commercial pilots license. The license will have the same restrictions as the foreign license and will only be valid if he carries the foreign license with him.

That means for example, if his greek license doesn't allow night flights, his FAA private pilot cert. will also not allow night flights.

 

Reference data FAA Order 8700-1-01-2 Vol. 2 chapter 29.

 

Since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the FAA is more closely scrutinizing persons who are applying for a U.S. pilot certificate/rating and those who hold a U.S. pilot certificate/rating. However, the FAA has always had a regulatory basis for denying certification to foreign applicants, as per § 61.13(a)(2), which states, in part, a person "…who is neither a citizen of the United States nor a resident alien of the United States-- (ii) May be refused issuance of any U.S. airman certificate, rating, or authorization…" So what this means is since you are a U.S, citizen you would not be turned down.

 

Title 14 CFR part 61 § 61.75 allows a person to be issued a U.S. pilot certificate with private pilot privileges on the basis of a foreign-pilot license that is at least equivalent to or higher than the U.S. private pilot certification level. The foreign-pilot license must have been issued by a foreign Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that is a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the foreign pilot license must be valid. The holder of a valid foreign-pilot license issued by an ICAO member state may use that foreign-pilot license as the basis for issuance of a U.S. pilot certificate even if the issuing country is now defunct (e.g., The Russian Federation). A list of ICAO member states is found in Figure 29-1. Because of the changing world political situation and previously established country boundaries, a country may be an ICAO member but not included on the list provided in Figure 29-1. The most current listing of ICAO member states may be found at: http://www.icao.int/icao/en/members.htm. If there is a question about a country's membership in ICAO, you may contact the Certification Branch, AFS-840, in the General Aviation and Commercial Division at (202) 267-8196 for clarification.

 

This chapter applies to the issuance of U.S. pilot certificates and ratings to persons who apply on the basis of their foreign-pilot licenses under the following rules within part 61:

 

(1) Under § 61.39©(1), for persons who hold a foreign-pilot license (issued by an ICAO member state which authorizes at least the pilot privileges of the U.S. pilot certificate sought) and apply for an equivalent U.S. pilot certificate.

(2) Under § 61.75, for persons who apply for a § 61.75 private pilot certificate on the basis of holding a foreign-pilot license (at least equivalent to or higher than the U.S. private pilot certification level) issued by an ICAO member state.

(3) Under § 61.75©, for persons who apply for the addition of an aircraft rating to a § 61.75 pilot certificate with the notation "U.S. TEST PASSED."

(4) Under § 61.75(d), for persons who apply for an instrument rating to a § 61.75 pilot certificate by accomplishing the Instrument-Foreign Pilot knowledge test.

(5) Under § 61.65, for persons who apply for an instrument rating on a § 61.75 pilot certificate with the notation "U.S. TEST PASSED."

(6) Under § 61.123(h), for persons who apply for an unrestricted U.S. commercial pilot certificate on the basis of holding a § 61.75 pilot certificate.

(7) Under § 61.153(d)(3), for persons who hold either a foreign airline transport pilot license with the appropriate aircraft rating or a foreign commercial pilot license and instrument rating with the appropriate aircraft rating, without limitations, who apply for a U.S. airline transport pilot certificate.

(8) Under § 61.29, for persons who request replacement of a certificate issued on the basis of a foreign-pilot license under § 61.75.

 

NOTE

A person who applies for a U.S. pilot certificate by accomplishing the appropriate pilot certification requirements of part 61 and also holds a pilot certificate issued under § 61.75 need not surrender that U.S. pilot certificate. There have been isolated incidences where examiners have erroneously required a person to surrender the § 61.75 pilot certificate when applying for the standard U.S. pilot certificate. In this instance, it is permissible for a person to hold both a pilot certificate issued under § 61.75 and a standard U.S. pilot certificate.

 

Pilot Certificates that May be Issued to a Person who Holds a Foreign-Pilot License.

 

(1) The kinds of U.S. pilot certificates that may be issued to a person who holds a foreign-pilot license in accordance with § 61.75 are:

(a) A private pilot certificate based on a valid foreign-pilot license that is at least equivalent to or higher than the U.S. private pilot certification level.

(B) A commercial pilot certificate that was issued before August 4, 1997, and was based on a foreign-pilot license at least equivalent to or higher than the U.S. commercial pilot certification level. After August 4, 1997, a person who applies for a pilot certificate on the basis of holding a foreign-pilot license may only be issued a private pilot certificate. After August 4, 1997, all aircraft ratings issued on a U.S. pilot certificate shall only be issued at the private pilot certification level. The aircraft ratings on the foreign-pilot license must be at least equivalent to or higher than the U.S. private pilot certification level in order to be placed on the U.S. pilot certificate.

© A standard U.S. pilot certificate issued after the person has accomplished the required training, instructor endorsements and aeronautical experience, and passed the appropriate knowledge and practical test as required by the pilot certification requirements contained in part 61.

(d) A standard U.S. pilot certificate in accordance with § 61.39©(1).

(e) A standard U.S. commercial pilot certificate in accordance with § 61.73(B)(3)(ii).

 

(2) The holder of a foreign-pilot license (at least equivalent to or higher than the U.S. private pilot certification level) may hold both a § 61.75 pilot certificate and a standard U.S. pilot certificate at the same time, provided the § 61.75 pilot certificate was obtained before the pilot satisfied the part 61 pilot certification requirements.

 

A private pilot certificate issued on the basis of a foreign-pilot license (at least equivalent to or higher than the U.S. private pilot certification level) must bear the § 61.5 equivalent of the ratings on the foreign-pilot license.

 

If he wants a commercial pilots certificate, he can then, after obtaining the private certificate, take the commercial pilots knowledge and practical test, provided he meets all the requirements for aeronautical experience listed in the FAR/AIM.

A link to the regulations here: http://www.risingup.com/fars/info/61-index.shtml

Scroll down to "Subpart F - commercial pilots". Tell him to look at his logbook and check if he meets the requirements in 61.129. He has to do at least 3 hours of flight training before taking the checkride though, no matter how many hours he already has.

 

Getting the private pilot certificate requires some paperwork - the FAA wants to look at the records for the foreign license. He needs to call a "flight standards district office", they will be able to tell him what he needs to do:

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/

Edited by lelebebbel
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