Welcome to the latest monthly blog update documenting the journey of one of our Resilient Pilot mentors looking to regain an EASA FCL post Brexit, to hold both a UK and EASA licence simultaneously.
Please understand this is a personal case study of updates and by no means a method to be quoted for obtaining an EASA licence. It is written simply to raise awareness of potential steps to take, which needs to be supplemented with your own research.
A month later…
It’s been a month since our last update, and we’re happy to report some positive progress in our mentor’s journey to regain an EASA FCL.
Firstly, since the last post our mentor has undertaken their initial EASA class one medical examination and now waiting for this to be accepted by Austrocontrol. With only two UK locations offering the service, this was an important step to complete. The initial medical now contains a psychiatric test as standard. It’s also important to remember your medical should be done with an AME approved to carry out initial medicals by your state of licence issue, not another EASA state - this will make for an easier paperwork process later.
Secondly our mentor has also completed their ELP test (English Language Proficiency) needed to issue an EASA licence. This was completed virtually. Our mentor also received confirmation that their existing RT (Radio Telephony) test can be accepted from the UK licence; Austria just requires an extra form to be completed but other states may not eg Malta.
For more information about the ELP, one of our Resilient Pilot collaborators can help! LingAero are offering a special discounted ELP price for Resilient Pilot Plus members of €165 – visit our website here
So, what next?
It’s easy to get bogged down by all the paperwork involved in this process; from verification letters to initial medicals, it’s important not to lose sight of the end goal: getting airborne.
Now that much of the somewhat tedious paperwork and box ticking has been completed, our mentor is finally looking forward to getting into the sim to complete the required LPC to revalidate their UK licence and perform the EASA LST in the coming weeks. Organising this simulator session and travel has required a lot of planning, so let’s try to break it down…
Firstly, the simulator session
As you will recall from our previous update, there are multiple hoops to jump through when organising an EASA LST. Our mentor has received final permission for the skills test to be undertaken on a specific sim with a specific EASA examiner in Austria in the coming weeks; satisfying requirements for their UK LPC and EASA LST.
The ‘check’ and ‘test’ have equal requirements, yet for the LST there is also the requirement to complete a Raw Data ILS (A 3D approach flown “manually, without flight director”). The whole session needs to be carried out by a TRE holding an EASA TRE certificate.
As mentioned previously, the administrative requirements for examiners completing an LST are usually more stringent. Make sure to check with your TRE and individual authority the exact process, and read our last blog entry for examples of what the Austrian and Maltese authorities are looking for. For instance, the process of designating an examiner for the Maltese authority does involve an extra €75 cost.
Secondly, travel to the simulator
With examiner confirmed and approvals granted, the next major endeavour - apart from revising for the sim check - is getting to the sim in Austria!
Whilst the opportunity for travel is improving, restrictions remain in place. Make sure to research your individual country’s requirements and requirements for re-entry into the UK. Also ensure you have prepared the necessary paperwork in advance. The simulator provider our mentor is using, Aspire Flight Training, can provide a letter stating a reason for travel which can be presented to border control for extra peace of mind. On that topic ensure you’re travelling as a passenger and following the necessary guidance.
Now all that’s left for our mentor to do in the meantime is prepare for their upcoming sim assessment. After a lack of flying for an extended period, this can be quite a daunting experience. If you’re in the same position don’t hesitate to use the many resources on offer here at Resilient Pilot. Whether you would like to chat to a fellow pilot mentor to calm your nerves, run through a Competency Development Scenario, or delve into our Resource Hub to refresh your competencies, we’re here for your success.
Alternatively, if you would like more in depth preparation, you can book onto one of our upcoming Skills Refresher Days. These are essentially ‘bootcamps’ to refresh your flying and CRM skills ready for an upcoming LPC. Visit our dedicated SRD website page to learn more. At Resilient Pilot we are also a registered DWP LVP provider hence can help to secure funding to cover these and other costs – you could even get our full Resilient Pilot Performance Programme funded wrapping all these elements, and more, together. Email email@example.com for more information
But what happened to the thought of a reciprocal agreement?
Whilst our mentor is taking all the steps involved for a conversion, this task has been far from what a simple ‘transfer’ could have been if a reciprocal agreement was agreed. On that note our mentor still encourages you to sign the UK petition closing on the 26 September, and contact your MP or MEP to make them aware of the difficulties pilots are facing. You can sign the petition here.
Currently there is also lots of news from a major low-cost airline involving a conversion process, like we are detailing in this blog. This suggests some airlines are trying to work with pilots to ensure a simpler process is reached, however make sure to supplement airline announcements like this with your own research and costings.
Further ongoing challenges.
Since starting this blog and petition, we have received many stories of the ongoing licencing and right to live and work difficulties faced by pilots: From UK pilots with an EASA licence being unable to obtain the right to work in Europe; to pilots flying for a UK mail provider recently acquisitioned by a European company and losing their job. The minefield continues.
Our advice to you is, as always, ‘stay resilient’. Our aim with this blog is to publish the most accurate information possible to provide a safe space for you to make informed decisions, but please make sure that, if you’re considering the option to convert your licence, you obtain information from verified sources and do proper research.
Also, don’t expect the process to be quick – many pilots are now undertaking a conversion which means the Authorities have a large backlog of applications to wade through. Be patient, manage your expectations and know that the wait will be worth it when you’re back in the flight deck complaining about the morning commute!