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Renting a Helicopter Internationally


S9coldfire
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I am getting close to finishing my private and I hope to have my instrument done by the end of the year. Spring of next year I'm going down to South America for 3 weeks and was curious about the rules for flying internationally and the possibility of renting a helicopter for my own sightseeing pleasure. I'm not counting on being able to, but am interested in what others have experienced.

 

Do other countries honor each other's lisences as is or do most require you to get certified by their rules?

 

Would a helicopter company let you rent one of their aircraft and would their insurance let them if they wanted to?

 

Aside from whether they have a type I'm familiar with and studying the local wx & procedures, what other questions should I be asking?

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You might want to ask if you need to get your FCC radio operators permit

 

Where not to fly so you don't get shot

 

Where and how to get fuel

 

Sounds like a great trip, even if you don't get a chance to rent a helicopter. You might be able to go to a flight school and get a sightseeing flight with an instructor. That way you can still fly, bit you have a local expert onboard. Call me a giant sissy, but even if I was able to rent a helicopter and go out by myself, I would still rather go with a local pilot.

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You might want to ask if you need to get your FCC radio operators permit

 

Where not to fly so you don't get shot

 

Where and how to get fuel

 

Sounds like a great trip, even if you don't get a chance to rent a helicopter. You might be able to go to a flight school and get a sightseeing flight with an instructor. That way you can still fly, bit you have a local expert onboard. Call me a giant sissy, but even if I was able to rent a helicopter and go out by myself, I would still rather go with a local pilot.

A wise man could never call you a giant sissy for that. It would be like certificate russian roulette.

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You used to need on to be allowed to use the radios. You still do in many countries. Where are you going in S. America? What are you going there for? Backpacking, work, eh? I spent 3 months backpacking around down there. I didn't see any flight schools or smaller helicopters down there but I didn't look for them either. There were some R44's doing tours in Ushuia, Argentina for lot's of $$$. I think they even offered some kind of pilot experience flight where you go up with them. It was like 3 x's as much as it would be in the states though.

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Generally if a place will rent, you'll have to go through a checkout first. Could be one flight, could be five, so bring extra dough!

 

What's the deal with an FCC radio operators permit? Never heard of that before!

Have you ever heard of ARROW ?

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I can almost guarantee that the hoops you would have to jump through would not be worth it. Some countries down there are worse than others. They would also try and take all your cash. In Brazil, they will make up taxes and fees on the spot just squeeze every drop out of you, and the authorities are extremely corrupt. I have been in quite a few of those countries on business and pleasure and would not recommend flashing cash around. It's a good way to get yourself killed or worse (some fates are worse than death). Keep your head down when you're down that way. Don't dress like you have money. Keep your money someplace other than your wallet (but still on you, like around your neck). Enjoy the change of scenery! I particularly like Costa Rica! Beautiful country.

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Yes, but its AROW! I guess I can assume the omitted "R" stood for radio operators certificate? I wonder when/why they changed it?

Radio Telephone Operator's Permit. You assume correctly. And it's still ARROW, the second R is silent in this country, but pronounced in the rest of JAA.

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Lets not confuse flying a N-registered helicopter internationally, and renting a helicopter in a different country. Your FAA license is only valid for N-registered aircraft, and any FAA rules as such only apply while you are flying under your FAA license.

 

To answer the original question, if the nation is an ICAO member, it will most likely offer some sort of process to allow international pilots to fly locally with restrictions. Most countries will issue a "restricted" license for that purpose, based on your american license, which will have both the restrictions of your US license as well as any restrictions that a local license would have (for example, Day VFR only) and is usually valid for a limited time.

 

Now, how many hoops you will have to jump through to get such a license would depend on the country.

 

The practical difficulties that one might encounter when attempting to fly in an unfamiliar airspace environment are a separate issue.

Edited by lelebebbel
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I'm going to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I was guessing that there would probably be too many hoops or that it would cost too much to really be worth it, but it never hurts to check. It sounds like the best possibility would be to see if I could go up with a local flight instructor since I'm not planning on staying for an extended period.

 

It looks like there is a helicopter school in Rio. When I get the chance to email them and see if they'd be willing to take an american up, I'll let you all know what I find out.

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If you fly outside the US, even in a N-Reg you will need the Radio Operators Permit. You can also run in trouble for not having an LPE level on your license (which is required in the rest of the World) Furthermore when you don't speak the language ie. Spanish or Portugees in South America forget it, the same goes for a lot of Countries in Europe

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know its central america not SA, but i have flown in Costa Rica(i actually got a rating conversion) and Panama, and had a lot of fun doing mountain stuff and very confined area landings. The prices were actually cheeper in panama then(09) than any of the US east coast flight schools i was renting from.And in Both places the instructors were very high time european pilots, which was a stark contrast to some the the scary US instructors i started with. You will probably have to go with an instructor at least for a checkout, and you will likely need to know the language.

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If you fly outside the US, even in a N-Reg you will need the Radio Operators Permit. You can also run in trouble for not having an LPE level on your license (which is required in the rest of the World) Furthermore when you don't speak the language ie. Spanish or Portugees in South America forget it, the same goes for a lot of Countries in Europe

 

How do you get a Radio Operators Permit?

 

What is an LPE?

 

I thought that English was the international language of aviation?

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I'm heading back to Ireland next may for a friends wedding and I couldn't rent a 44 with my FAA. So I have to get my JAA CPL current, renew medical and get checked out in it. Not worth the hassle.

 

I have a friend who know s a guy that said I could take his 44 for the cost of fuel. Thats what I will probably do!!

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How do you get a Radio Operators Permit?

 

What is an LPE?

 

I thought that English was the international language of aviation?

 

Not sure about the radio operators licence, I think you can ask the FAA to issue you one though.

 

I assume that LPE means English Language Proficiency certification. ICAO has defined 6 levels of ELP, with 6 being "expert" and required for commercial pilots. Most other countries require you to show that you are level 6 proficient when applying for a CPL, and print this on your license.

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