I have a PPL license in the US and I want to do a European ATPL license.

How does it work? Do I have to attend a school or can I do all online? Do I have to physically take the tests somewhere in Europe or can this be done somewhere online as well? How did the COVID-19 change these things?

  • $\begingroup$ @StephenS What do you mean get there in the first place? I understand that the schools changed their policy and canceled all frontal instruction to presentations / zoom sessions / PPT. But regarding the theory tests- you say it still has to be on-premise of the school. Another question- what are the requirements regarding flight lessons and experience needed in order to get the ATPL? Please don't give me the "A lot!!!' Answer. If you have specific numbers- answer. if not- don't bother. You can also consider me having hundreds of hours logged already, aside from my ppl license. $\endgroup$
    – Stan
    Oct 28 '20 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, it is very different. For example, 14 theory tests in EASA, while it's 1/ 2 exams if the USA. next- in order to actually get the license (meaning unfrozen ATPL)- you do need to take flight exams. Do you know the exact numbers for that? Because I knew that it was a lot by myself also. $\endgroup$
    – Stan
    Oct 28 '20 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenS but what about air force veterans for example? Havr you thought about that possibility? I know these forums are a good ground for ego, but what i actually was here for- ie proper and accurate information. Yes, i have a PPL. And no, you did not give me one exact answer, just tried to satisfy your own craving for picking a weird argument online instead of being helpful. Which is a real pitty for you. I am sorry $\endgroup$
    – Stan
    Oct 28 '20 at 16:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This question might be relevant; EASA delegates licensing to member states and they can have different requirements. I'm not sure what your focus is here: how/if you can get an EASA ATPL in the US; how/if you can get an EASA ATPL online; how/if you can use an FAA private certificate as 'credit' towards an EASA ATPL; or something else? I think you're mostly asking about online but if my edit was wrong then of course please roll back or edit again. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Oct 28 '20 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Stan are your comments referring Stephens answer? If so, you should place them under the answer. Your dismay at his anwer is somewhat unjustified, as your original question was not asking for very specific info. You may edit the question to make it more specific. Bottom line is, as Stephen wrote: it will not be easy, nor possible online, not by a long shot. To add insult to injury, there is no shortage of professional pilots now or in the near future. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Oct 28 '20 at 21:17

No, you can’t get an ATPL online.

Your first step would be converting your FAA PPL to an EASA PPL. You will then need to add Instrument, Commercial Single-Engine, Commercial Multi-Engine, Multi-Crew Commercial and frozen ATP ratings. All of that will require ground instruction, flight instruction, written tests and checkrides. Then you will need to build time until 1500 hours to get your ATPL unfrozen. There are some differences in process and terminology between FAA and EASA, of course, but the end result will require roughly the same skills and experience because both systems have to meet the same ICAO standards.

COVID-19 has not changed the requirements to get a license, just the feasibility of actually meeting them. Many flight schools are closed, those that are open may not be accepting foreign students, and you may not be able to get there at all due to border restrictions.

  • $\begingroup$ S, I would argue that not everything you listed is a prerequisite for an ATP. Unless you are sure that EASA is different than FAA... $\endgroup$ Oct 29 '20 at 2:05
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall What do you think is unnecessary? $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Oct 29 '20 at 2:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, I got an FAA ATP without ever having PPL, Commercial Single, or FAA Instrument Rating. Yes, I was military, and the OP hints that he might be as well. But, like you I am a bit put off by the way he asked the question, and his defensive response. $\endgroup$ Oct 29 '20 at 2:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall He says “I have a PPL” in the question. Military pilots that start with a Multi CPL+IR can obviously skip the earlier steps. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Oct 29 '20 at 2:13
  • $\begingroup$ Everything you mention is the “normal” progression of course, I am just pointing out that it doesn’t necessarily mean they are hard requirements. If you amass 1500 hours as a Private pilot and can pass the ATP, why couldn’t you get it? $\endgroup$ Oct 29 '20 at 2:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.