152.3h – Conversion FAA-EASA Complete

I have passed the practical test – the final piece to complete my conversion! =) =) =) My grin will not disappear for the next days. I am so happy now… All the hassle is over. I finally hold two stand-alone pilot certificates.

Winter went on into the first week of April. We had low visibility and ceilings for a long time. I feared to get out of shape and the deadline to complete this skills test came closer. Finally temperatures of 24ยฐC with unlimited visibility arrived. After a bit of hesitation I called a flight examiner. I chose the last of three beautiful days to get the test done. I figured I could need a bit of a brush up. The two days before the test I flew to Berne and further on to Lausanne where I spent a night in a hostel. I booked a room in French and – imagine! – they understood what I was talking about. ๐Ÿ™‚ The flight to Berne was a difficult one. I chose the navigation-wise most difficult inbound route just to challenge myself. In the air I wished I chose the easy one that followed a highway. After a bit of circling I found my way. VFR isn’t an easy task if all the hills and villages look the same.

But this challenge paid off. I flew the same route on the skills test and was perfectly oriented during the whole approach. I felt well prepared and didn’t worry too much. I liked that the examiner asked for a flapless landing in the end. I never did this before in this aircraft but it all went smooth. There are a few more things I learnt during the test. For example I didn’t know exactly how to use a carburetor temperature gauge. I believed to pull the carb heat full out would never hurt. And then he gave me the advice to remember power settings for certain speeds. Flying would be a lot easier for me if I would just know 18″ of manifold pressure is 100mph in level flight. I will go up once and write down all the settings between 120 and 70mph.

I’m happy. The test was a full success and I learnt quite a bit during this long afternoon. The examiner advised on our good-bye: Focus on something on every flight and never stop to practice. Well, then…. rooooger wilco! ๐Ÿ™‚

Even if it is over now; I would still call the conversion from FAA to EASA a never ending story. A progress that would take a few days in America took 10 months in Switzerland. After three months of hassle I received a certificate of validation. It would be valid for one year and only once in a livetime. For unknown reasons mine was valid only for nine months. Due to all this government-things I sometimes lost interest in flying for months. Without all this hassle, dear BAZL and EASA, I would have flown a lot more often and thus would be a safer and more current pilot today. Just sayin’…

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jayan Kumar says:

    i would like to do EASA conversion in Swiss, May i know if it EASA or JAR questions are followed. how to get some digital / soft copy study material. Can i write exams without going through a flying school ground course.


    1. Hi Jayan, thanks for your comment! Whole Europe, Switzerland included, follows EU regulations by EASA. JAR is not in force anywhere anymore. In Switzerland the most common theory books are called “BAK” and you’ll need Human Performance and Air Law for the conversion. You’ll also need a flight school that recommends you for the exam (it can be any school that offers PPL training) and you will be in a school anyways for a few flights to get ready for the EASA skill test.
      Let me know if I can answer more questions… welcome to Switzerland and have a good time flying! ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Hey Florian,

    Can you give me more information about the following requirements for the FAA -> EASA conversion?

    1. medical certificate. I have a FAA 3rd class medical, do I need to go see a doctor to get a EASA class 2?
    2. where do you go to be tested on Air Law and Human Performance?
    3. Proof of language proficiency: do I need to be tested on that if my FAA license indicates “English” on it?
    4. “Radiophony qualification entered in the foreign licence”: is that the same thing as #3?

    Thanks so much.


    1. Florian R. says:


      1. Yes you will need an EASA medical class 2 (the 3 doesn’t exist in Europe).
      2. This varies by country. Contact a flight school or the competent authority of the place where you’ll do the EASA conversion (the “FAA” of the country you’ll be in) for specifics.
      3. EASA member states now accept the FAA’s “English proficient” for an initial level 4 entry. Unfortunately, this level is tested every four years. So, four years after this acceptance you’ll need to do an English test. It isn’t that bad though, you can complete the test online and if you pass level 6 it will be valid forever without retests (it’s really easy if your English is fine).
      4. No, it’s a written proof that you’re allowed to operate a radio. For pilots in the USA that’s the “FCC Radio Operator Permit”. You simply need to file a form and pay a fee. In some European countries it is more complicated to receive this permit, it sometimes involves a test with role play (you’re an airplane and interacting with an examiner in a class room environment, “flying” from A to B), but all of this will be waived if you present the FCC radio operator permit.

      You’re welcome, have fun flying. ๐Ÿ™‚


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