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This is from a UK CAA point of view, since they're the only JAR authority that is a little bit international spread out as far as i know. By the way JAA gets replaced by EASA April 2012 and nobody really seems to know what's then. It should stay more or less the same from what i know.

 

You have to do all the theory exams and a JAA CPL-H check ride. I did the ATP, which was 13 exams and I think CPL was around 8-9 exams. There are only a few exam venues outside the UK and the only ones in North America are in Florida and California. The only school for flying outside the UK is Bristow Academy in Florida as far as i know. I went there and they were really good and fair, was a few years back before Bristow took over.

http://www.caainternational.com/site/cms/contentCategoryView.asp?category=305

 

The theory is pretty intense, not sure about the CPL, but for the ATPL they usually tell you 6 month full-time or 12-18 month distance learning. I did a conversion and I was working on the distance learning course 4 month full-time (not working during that period) and I busted my ***.

 

Overall it's pretty expensive. Try to get a quote from Bristow or one of the schools in the UK. Phil Croucher would be a good guy to talk to too since he has both, the Canadian and JAA and runs a Groundschool in Europe. I wasn't there, but met him briefly in the UK and pretty sure he could give you a few hints and help you out

http://www.captonline.com/

 

I'm not aware of any medical examiner outside Europe. The first medical is a little intense in itself and takes a whole day and here goes 1000$. I think there is only one place in the UK where your an do it. Follow up exams can be done at different centres, but be aware if you don't do them annually you have to do the initial one again.

 

Approximate Costs

Initial Medical 1000

Exams 100$ per subject

Distance Learning probably around 2000$

Flight Training as necessary (10-15h Piston)

Checkride around 1000$

plus travel and accommodation for school, exams, etc.

 

Anyway you might wanna do a little bit of research here at the CAA website http://www.caa.co.uk/

Then go "Safety Regulations" - "Personal Licensing"

 

Good luck on your endeavours.

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A lot depends on whether you are going for the CPL(H) (9 exams) or the ATPL(H) (14 exams). Doing the ATP straight off involves only about 10% extra work, but you have to get the IR within 3 years otherwise the exams revert to a CPL(H), then you have to do the IR subjects to get them back (the only difference between the two licences is the IR).

 

The IR must be done in a twin, which adds to the cost, and there are really only 3 schools in the game, who are so far ahead of the rest of the pack the others aren't worth bothering with, although a new one has just started called Starspeed, near Kemble (this doesn't necessarily mean that the other schools are bad, just that they don't have the market share!) However, we recommend Helicopter Services near London (www.helicoperservices.co.uk) who are cleared to do just about everything, including instructor ratings - they are a one-stop shop, in other words. The other two are Bristows and Bond helicopters in the Gloucester area. Bond tend to keep a low profile, but they do a good job if you can get their interest.

 

For the exams, you need to be aware that many schools offering "helicopter" training are actually working under the interim system, which means the temporary arrangement instituted when JAA first started whereby helicopter pilots took aeroplane exams and had them credited over, meanwhile trying to read Wagtendonk in a corner. We are still the only school with helicopter-specific training (full details at www.captonline.com).

 

All distance learning must be supplemented with 10% of classroom time (i.e. about 2 weeks), and we have an arrangement with Bristows in Florida to do it there, but we also have video conferencing, so you don't need to travel anywhere, except to get the medical. There are plans to do the classroom stuff with Canadian in Quebec/Penticton but that is some way off yet, as we are heavily involved in doing their (Canadian) ATP program.

 

As mentioned, the initial medical must be done in UK, but if you have a JAA medical from another JAA country it can be transferred by filling in a form.

 

Please feel free to come back with any questions

 

Phil

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