UK Military Pilots Converting to an EASA CPL
Converting your military pilots licence to a commercial pilots licence will be essential if you wish to leave the military and continue a flying career. The military credits given by the UK Civil Aviation Authority do vary depending on your military experience, role and qualifications. We recommend that each individual refers to ‘CAP 804, Part O’ to see exactly what credits they will receive.
Typically military pilots have to complete either the CPL or ATPL theoretical exams. Military pilots that classify as ‘Qualified Military Pilots’ (QMP), with a minimum of 70 hours logged as pilot in command (PIC) are given full credit as regards to the requirement to undergo a CPL training course prior to the skills test. However applicants have to fulfil the experience requirements and prerequisites for the issue of a type rating on the type of helicopter used for the skills test.
For military pilots looking to convert their licence in a cost effective manner for the ‘in-shore market’ we suggest completing the CPL/ATPL theatrical exams, whist working, with a distance learning provider such as Bristol GS. Once the exams are completed we recommend completing a type rating course on the Robinson R22. The type rating course will typically include 5 hours training. After the type specific training is finished, training as required will be completed to pass the practical CPL skills test. Pilots looking to convert to CPL IR/ ATPL licences for the ‘off-shore’ market, refer to cap 804 for conversion credits and requirements.
Converting an ICAO CPL (H) to EASA CPL (H)
The EASA CPL is the licence which allows pilots to work professionally within Europe. Any applicant looking to covert must meet the minimum requirements which state that before CPL training can begin, individuals must have passed all CPL/ATPL theory examinations and have 155 hours flight time of which 50 are PIC.
Typically CPL practical courses include 35 hours flight training but if the applicant is converting an equivalent ICAO CPL licence the 35 hours flight time may be reduced.
EASA/ CAA definitions of PIC vary from the American FAA definition. Dual training cannot be logged as PIC even if the student is licenced and current on that particular aircraft.
Converting an ICAO PPL (H) to EASA PPL (H)
An EASA PPL licence will enable you to hire aircraft from European operators for your own transport or leisure. To convert a non EASA ICAO PPL to an EASA one the holder must…
- Pass PPL written examinations for Air Law and Human Performance
- Pass a PPL skills test and fulfil the requirements for the relevant type of aircraft in which the test is completed.
- Hold at least a current EASA Class 2 medical certificate.
- Demonstrate that he / she has acquired language proficiency.
- Have completed at least 100 hours of flight time
Converting a PPL (A) to a PPL (H)
Many fixed-wing/ aeroplane pilots convert to Helicopters once they realise the hands on fun that can be had with a helicopter and the practicality of being able to land almost anywhere.
Holders of PPL (A) licences are credited 10% of their total flight time as PIC, up to a maximum of 6 hours. Theoretically this could lower the minimum hours required to 39 hours helicopter instruction. Aeroplane PPL holders are also given credit for 4 out of the 9 PPL theoretical exams. The remaining 5 theoretical papers are deemed to be helicopter specific. Helicopter specific subjects include Principles of Flight, Aircraft General Knowledge, Flight Performance & Planning, Navigation and Operational Procedures.
A very enjoyable flight. A birthday present for myself and friend and trial first flight. Hoping to do the flight down The Thames next year for our 40th and 60th birthdays!
Sean Larsen (Student)
I really enjoyed my training with Phoenix Helicopters (even with the stresses of a tight budget and timescale!), and having now passed my PPL I will definitely be continuing my training and self-fly hire there.
Clive Stewart Morrison
Just a short note to express our thanks to all at Phoenix Blackbush,for a truly enjoyable experience.Our special thanks go to Simon Halfpenny not only for his cheerful sense of humour but also for his skill as a pilot,over the last 25 years I have flown with many pilots most being military or EX.& I can say that Simon ranks amongst the best that I have had the pleasure to fly with. (London Helicopter Tour)
Kevin Piotrowicz (Student)
Phoenix Helicopter Academy at Goodwood is a great place to learn to fly. Relaxed, yet totally professional. The instructors go out of their way to ensure you get the best training. Highly recommended!
Thank you for a fantastic experience. It was very well organised and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Aimee and Matt (Charter)
Thank you all at Phoenix, SO much! I think it's finally sinking in for Matt exactly what went on yesterday. His maiden chopper flight was wonderful and he had a great day. Such a smooth flight. Really can't thank you enough for making the day so special
Easy to find with excellent parking. All staff, including Toby, our pilot, were very approachable and happy to chat. Great atmosphere. A thoroughly enjoyable experience all round.
Stuart Russell (Student)
Phoenix for me is now more than just a school to learn how to fly, it has a very homely feel to it, where students and the staff have become a family.
Vanessa & Ravi (Wedding Charter)
We would like to say a huge thank you for all your help and service on our big day. It was an amazing day and your contribution helped our wedding be the day we wished for and a success. We appreciate all your efforts on the day. Lots of Love Vanessa & Ravi
Kim and David Edwards (Pleasure Flight)
We both had a fantastic flight and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a lovely clear day which helped make the views over West Sussex stunning.
Having a flight in a helicopter is something I have wanted to do for years, it was great to enjoy such an experience.