All of my flying licenses are FAA-based, ranging from PPL to IFR, CPL, and even a frozen ATPL. I acquired these licenses in Nepal, where I accumulated my 1500 flight hours as a first officer. In Nepal, the requirement is 250 hours and a frozen ATPL to serve as a first officer, allowing me to bypass becoming a CFI and gain experience in jet aircraft.

I am soon planning to come to the USA to obtain my unrestricted ATP license. However, I no longer wish to work in Nepal and would prefer to pursue opportunities in the USA. My logbooks are meticulously maintained, and I possess a valid work permit that allows me to work legally in the US.

Nevertheless, I have heard that American airlines may still require pilots to accumulate flight hours within their airspace, and they might not readily consider the hours earned in a different country under a different license.

I find myself in a state of confusion as I'm unsure whether this information is true or merely a rumor.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you hold an FAA issued ATP and are asking about "American Airlines" or any "Airline" in America you would probably have to send a letter or complete the company's application process to get a firm (realistic) answer. It may also help to look at the various company's websites (that have pilot hiring info) and see what their requirements are. $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Jul 19 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ More the other way 'round, you would think lol. A pilot with 1500 hours flying between Oakland, LAX and Chicago and pushing "autoland"... would that really count as experience in a highly mountainous country full of interesting airports? $\endgroup$ Jul 21 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Harper-ReinstateMonica The issue is fraud. It's not unheard of to create a position and flight hours with a bribe in some countries. Further, after some high-profile fatal crashes with pilots hiding information, carriers are required to enter and review pilot documents in the FAA Pilot Records Database. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Jul 22 at 4:09

1 Answer 1


The FAA regulations on Aeronautical Experience requirements do not specify that the requirements have to be met while flying in the US, or even with an FAA pilot certificate. As long as your logbooks pass muster and you meet the requirements, you qualify.


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