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…

  1. Pass PPL written examinations for Air Law and Human Performance
  2. Pass a PPL skills test and fulfil the requirements for the relevant type of aircraft in which the test is completed.
  3. Hold at least a current EASA Class 2 medical certificate.
  4. Demonstrate that he / she has acquired language proficiency.
  5. Have completed at least 100 hours of flight time

Click here to see the full list of ICAO States

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.

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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

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