Priorities Update: FAA CPL

It looks like I have to change my priorities compared to my December plan.

Currently I have to stay in Moscow due to my job, so I am not flying now. Meanwhile, it is becoming some more difficult to obtain the US visas, and risks of not getting F1 at all are becoming pretty high. So it is safer to obtain my FAA CPL now, using my M1 visa, and postpone (or even abandon at all) CFI/CFII/MEI programs. Anyway FAA CFI(I) license is useless anywhere out of the US.

I need about 100 more flight hours total time for meeting CPL minimums, including about 15 complex hours (retractable gear, constant-speed prop, flaps) and 2 night hours. It is not so much, and with a proper dedication it’s doable in two months. I am pretty well prepared for a written test, so I can fully utilize my free time for flying.

I contacted some Polish flight school for the ATPL theory classes, and they have a program starting this October. That perfectly aligns with my current schedule!

So, my new plan is the following:

  • FAA CPL under M1-visa before the end of this summer;
  • EASA ATPL theory before spring 2019;
  • EASA IR after passing ATPL theory exams;
  • EASA CPL after obtaining the EASA IR.

Of course, I will try to find a job just after getting my FAA CPL, but it seems highly unlikely for a brand new pilot with a FAA license who is not a US resident. I knew that even before start. But currently it’s better to concentrate on getting my license than on thinking about far future: I will think about it later. Our life is challenging, and flying is fun just the way it is 🙂

USA flight training

The blog is still alive, and I am still keeping going. I haven’t been posting here for a while since noting interesting was happening. I was studying (not the EASA subjects though, I switched to FAA IR preparation) and was waiting for a visa approval.

For those who is interested in flight training in the US, there are some more considerations that for Europe. I had to obtain a student visa, pay SEVIS fees, obtain a TSA permission and get a verification letter for my license. Finally all that was done, and after about 20 hours of getting here from Russia I am writing this post from the school campus.

I like this site compared to my accommodation in Czech Republic: there is a washing machine, pretty well equipped kitchen and a large store nearby. But the problem is that I wasn’t able to drive here from Russia, and I didn’t want to rent a car, so I walk everywhere, and the school campus is the only option for me.

Firstly some paperwork must be done. Mainly it’s the license validation and getting the US medical certificate – I’ve already done the longest part (TSA approval) from Russia. I’d like to finish my Instrument rating within a month. I am pretty well prepared for a written exam, but I haven’t been flying for some months, and I’ve never flown by instruments at all.

There is an uncontrolled airport here with a long concrete runway, and the weather is perfect for training. I missed flying so much!

So, here I am, and I changed my plans a little bit. Instead of full EASA conventional step-by-step route, I’m going to obrain a FAA IR, and then apply for a F1 visa. If that visa never happens, I will get the EASA IR, it will be easier to do with a valid FAA IR. Then the usual EASA route: ATPL theory and CPL. And then… I don’t know, time will show.

Flight training in the US

As I probably mentioned, I want to continue my flight training in the US for various reasons: native English ATC, easy CPL written test compared to the EASA one, and, of course, cheap flight hours compared to Europe… The main reason is that I don’t want to stay on the ground while I’m studying my EASA subjects, so I can obtain a FAA IR, and those hours will count towards my total flight time. Moreover, due to less expensive prices I can make it entirely in the airplane, which looks beneficial compared to a simulator.

Today I got a verification letter from the FAA. It is valid for 6 months, so I am applying for the US visa. After than I will be able to do nothing but wait.

At a first glance it looks better to study the EASA theory in Moscow now if I want to obtain the EASA license. But the simplest way is not always the best one: I believe that with a Russian passport I need both EASA and FAA licenses since I don’t want to miss any opportunity. If some door opens for me, I want to be prepared before it will close.

Anyway, it looks like a great adventure, probably the greatest one in my life so far. We should do whatever we want to do. I love flying, so I should go flying again 🙂