Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit. (updated 19 March)

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Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit. (updated 19 March)

Unread post by -CoBuS- » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:13 pm

Hi everyone.

I have had a lot of interest from friends that wish to convert to the EASA license (especially with Brexit looming), and when I meet new up and coming pilots one of my main points of advice to them is to get another license, and EASA, although hard work, is a great license to have.

Ireland is, as of March 2019, the largest English speaking country in the European Union and a good place to get your EASA ATPL. Another bonus is that you do not need a visa to travel here! (Make SURE you travel through a country where no transit visa is required though!)

The below is my story as an ATPL holder and I am only sharing my story with you and cannot assist/help much more than the post below, I also don't frequent AVCOM that often so please use your ingenuity where required to fish for the rest of the information - it is all out there. There is a wealth of information around and online and if you have difficulty (or do not hold an ATP yet) there are two great ATO's in Ireland, one in Cork and the other in Dublin that can help you with the process. An internet search, email or call to the ATO's or IAA will get anyone with specific needs off to a good start.

The process is much easier than I initially realized and here is the route I followed:

1. Get your license verified by the SACAA - I used my FAA license but understand this can take weeks, even months back home and you cannot start the application without this vital piece of paperwork. This needs to be sent to licensing@iaa.ie. The conditions for the acceptance of licences from third countries are laid down in Article 8 of the ‘Aircrew Regulation’ - Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1178/2011 http://www.easa.europa.eu/regulation-groups/aircrew

2. Make sure you can pass the EU-Part MED before you start all the hard work to transition. NB! you must complete the initial Class 1 medical examination at an EASA approved Aeromedical Centre (AMC) in Ireland (the country that will issue your license, otherwise there is a huge issue to transfer the medical here).
You do NOT need the medical before you write the exams but you do when you test, unlike the FAA. Here is a list of medical testing centers in Ireland: https://www.iaa.ie/personnel-licensing/ ... al-centres

3. You have to write those pesky exams, but they are basically the same that we had in the CAA CPL and ATPL courses in SA.
There are 14 EASA ATPL theory exams. All 14 exams must be passed within 18 months from starting the first exam. All 14 exams must be passed over 6 separate sittings, not attempting any given exam more than 4 times. Failure to pass any exam on the fourth attempt will result in a loss of all previously passed exams. The exam dates are here:
https://www.iaa.ie/personnel-licensing/ ... ions-(mcq)

The fee per exam is €100. Below is the link to the application form - please read it as it states that you need to provide a letter WHY you are exempt from getting the approval from an ATO (i.e. tell them that you have >500 hours multi crew, 1500 TT and already have an ATP and that the SA subjects are basically exactly the same as the EASA ones).
https://www.iaa.ie/personnel-licensing/ ... xamination
A special sitting may be arranged, they ask that you suggest 2-3 dates that would suit you and they will see which dates are available with them. The fee per exam increases to €150 at a special sitting.

A suggestion I am following of the order in which to write the exams are:
1. Metereology, NAV GEN, Instruments, Human performance (3 of the most difficult)
2. Radio Aids, ATG, Flight planning and airlaw (2 of the most difficult)
3. The rest which includes only 1 difficult subject

I am using www.aviationexam.com for the question bank and understand it is the best around for EASA (Apparently the UK have slightly different exam questions and thus question banks)
You can use padpilot for the theory books but they are expensive and I opted to use a single book available on Amazing Kindle with the summaries which can be found here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1 and I have a friend that sent me a load of summaries and tips and tricks for each subject, so the information is out there.

You have to have a CRP computer, plotter, protractor and very specific calculators to write (make sure you have the correct model), here is a list of allowed items in the exam: file:///D:/Windows%20data/Downloads/ACCEPTABLE%20EQUIPMENT%20ALLOWED%20IN%20EASA%20EXAMINATIONS.pdf

4. Make sure you have an ICAO ATPL with >500 hours multi crew and 1500 hours multi time as this will void the compulsory 90 days ground school and ATO approval required under EASA. Have a copy of your logbook's last page that indicates your TT as well as proof that you have >500 hours on a multi crew aircraft and that you hold a current type rating in a multi crew aircraft.

5. Finally, you must pass an acceptable EASA English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment - Ireland is unable to recognise ELP endorsements on your ICAO licence. This exam could be completed during the ATPL(A) skill test subject to the examiner holding a specific EASA ELP assessor qualification acceptable to the IAA. Alternatively, there are ground based options in Ireland and in other EASA Member States.

6. On the flying side, you would have to pass an ATPL skill test on a multi-pilot aeroplane type (e.g. A320, B787) with an authorised EU Part-FCL certified Examiner (TRE or SFE) in an EU-FSTD-qualified Simulator – EASA maintains a database of Simulators at https://lisstdis.easa.europa.eu/index.php?r=std/list - the EASA FSTD tab shows simulators located outside of the EU; the NAA FSTD tab shows simulators located within the EU. You must hold a valid type rating for the type on your ICAO ATPL(A) and the type will only be transferred to your EASA license if you have more than 500 hours on it.

Thus, in summary - your email application to the IAA must contain ALL of the below:
1. Your current SACAA ATPL license showing a current multi crew type rating.
2. The above has to have been verified by the SACAA BEFORE you send in your application. Attach your copy to the email too.
3. Logbook copies showing proof at least 1500 hours TT AND proof of >500 hours on a multi crew aircraft.
4. A copy of your passport
5. The completed application form including your card details
6. A letter from you stating WHY you are exempt from the compulsory ground school (as requested in step 4's application form where the details of this letter can be found).
7. The chosen exam dates in the body of the email and they will allocate when you write which subject.
... this can be sent to: licensing@iaa.ie and they'll get back to you with a date.

As I said this is a general email that I hope contains as much relevant information as possible and took me quite a while to put together, I am not active on Avcom (and am currently studying very hard as you can see ;) so I cannot give any more guidance than the above.

Good luck!

[UPDATED 19 MARCH 2019]
Hi everyone. For ease of reference I decided to update the main points here and will respond on the forum as normal to others.

I wrote and passed Instruments, Nav Gen, Human Performance and Metereology. Nav Gen was the most difficult exam I have ever written in my life but I understand that I got a bad draw, thankfully I barely scraped through. The exams were fair and I studied very hard for them. The SACAA exams are almost the same and they also try to trick you with single words here and there, so it is as much an English comprehension test as it is a knowledge test, sadly.
I now plan to write IFR comms, VFR comms, Law, Operations procedures and Rad Nav end of next month (last only if I have time as I have other exams).
We were 6 South Africans in the exams, and that was almost half the sitting on the second day. I was quite surprised to see how many fellow South Africans I met.

So far the AviationExam tool was great and easy to use (I could even study on my phone i.e. when walking in to town, etc, but some great tricks and sites I got from friends also writing have been:
*Join the Facebook page "ATPL theory students". https://www.facebook.com/groups/1307251992713205/ If it wasn't for this trick I might not have passed as they provide GREAT feedback, and the files section is LOADED with exam questions and feedback. What a great resource.
*I also stumbled upon https://www.aviatenavigate.com/hub and there are some wonderful extra summaries that help a great deal.
*Lastly, here is a great resource that shows almost to the T how I study and approach these exams: http://borntofly.aero/en/how-pass-atpl-exams/

I'll keep on writing updates and share what I can when I have a chance to log in to Avcom.
Last edited by -CoBuS- on Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by V5 - LEO » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:07 pm

....great post and info there Cobus - appreciated by a lot of the readers I reckon.
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by paulw » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:30 pm

-CoBuS- wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:13 pm

You have to have a CRP computer, plotter, protractor and very specific calculators to write (make sure you have the correct model), here is a list of allowed items in the exam: file:///D:/Windows%20data/Downloads/ACCEPTABLE%20EQUIPMENT%20ALLOWED%20IN%20EASA%20EXAMINATIONS.pdf


5. Finally, you must pass an acceptable EASA English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment - Ireland is unable to recognise ELP endorsements on your ICAO licence. This exam could be completed during the ATPL(A) skill test subject to the examiner holding a specific EASA ELP assessor qualification acceptable to the IAA. Alternatively, there are ground based options in Ireland and in other EASA Member States.

Thanks for the info Cobus.
I can def use some of the info next year for PPL conversion

Can you perhaps upload the PDF here or place a link where to get it? The current link is to your own PC.


Pitty about the Language Proficiency. Have you done yours yet? Don't our SA accent perhaps give us a disadvantage?
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by paulw » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:38 pm

-CoBuS- wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:13 pm


1. Get your license verified by the SACAA - I used my FAA license but understand this can take weeks, even months back home and you cannot start the application without this vital piece of paperwork. This needs to be sent to licensing@iaa.ie.
Does it mean I can go to CAA here before I go to Eir and request a license verification and then I email it or do I go and request it and CAA email it?
Or do an ATO in Eir do the request on my behalf?
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by -CoBuS- » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:19 pm

paulw wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:30 pm

Thanks for the info Cobus.
I can def use some of the info next year for PPL conversion

Can you perhaps upload the PDF here or place a link where to get it? The current link is to your own PC.


Pitty about the Language Proficiency. Have you done yours yet? Don't our SA accent perhaps give us a disadvantage?
Hi Paul.

Copy and paste the link into your browser and it will open up a pdf document. It isn't locally stored on my pc but available online.
file:///D:/Windows%20data/Downloads/ACCEPTABLE%20EQUIPMENT%20ALLOWED%20IN%20EASA%20EXAMINATIONS.pdf

An ELP is an ELP, remember that there are so many accents across EASA's territories that they look beyond that.
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by -CoBuS- » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:21 pm

paulw wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:38 pm
Does it mean I can go to CAA here before I go to Eir and request a license verification and then I email it or do I go and request it and CAA email it?
Or do an ATO in Eir do the request on my behalf?
Go to the SACAA and apply for your license verification BEFORE you start the process. Only send in your application email once your verification has been confirmed sent and you have your copy from the SACAA which you attach to your email too.
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by vanjast » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:34 pm

-CoBuS- wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:13 pm
Another bonus is that you do not need a visa to travel here! (Make SURE you travel through a country where no transit visa is required though!)
That's if you have an EU passport. If I'm not mistaken even with a SA passport you have a limit on the time allowed there - 3 months I think it is. Customs might refuse entry (or even let you leave SA - Had a scene with them ;) ) if you have no return ticket = Best check up on the latest regulations before you buy the ticket.
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by -CoBuS- » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:29 am

vanjast wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:34 pm
That's if you have an EU passport. If I'm not mistaken even with a SA passport you have a limit on the time allowed there - 3 months I think it is. Customs might refuse entry (or even let you leave SA - Had a scene with them ;) ) if you have no return ticket = Best check up on the latest regulations before you buy the ticket.
South African passport holders may enter the Republic of Ireland without a visa for a period of up to 90 days. You need to satisfy the immigration officials that you are there for reasons that are above board, and having a return ticket and proof from a government organization that you are writing an exam (*i.e. the IAA) are essential pieces of evidence and they won't deny you entry, but you can come and sit an exam and it specifically mentions exams here: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/no ... hort-visit
The only thing to watch out for is that you fly through a country that does not require a transit visa, i.e. you must not fly BA through the UK as they won't let you on the flight without a transit visa, however you can fly i.e. KLM as the Netherlands does not require this.
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by paulw » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:58 am

-CoBuS- wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:21 pm
paulw wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:38 pm
Does it mean I can go to CAA here before I go to Eir and request a license verification and then I email it or do I go and request it and CAA email it?
Or do an ATO in Eir do the request on my behalf?
Go to the SACAA and apply for your license verification BEFORE you start the process. Only send in your application email once your verification has been confirmed sent and you have your copy from the SACAA which you attach to your email too.
Great thanks, will do.
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by paulw » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:03 am

-CoBuS- wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:19 pm


Copy and paste the link into your browser and it will open up a pdf document. It isn't locally stored on my pc but available online.
file:///D:/Windows%20data/Downloads/ACCEPTABLE%20EQUIPMENT%20ALLOWED%20IN%20EASA%20EXAMINATIONS.pdf

Here it is:
ACCEPTABLE EQUIPMENT ALLOWED IN EASA EXAMINATIONS.pdf
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by b-rad » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:21 pm

Good info Cobus.
I have recently gone through the long process of obtaining an EASA licence through the UK CAA, starting with the 14 ATPL exams in November last year. It can be frustrating at times and is a very expensive process but there are plenty of job opportunities at the moment in Europe. I do not have a full SA ATPL so the flying requirements are different if one has a full SA ATPL. If anyone would like further information please feel free to PM me.
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by Artfly » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:24 pm

Great post Cobus,will give my niece this information as she was looking at FAA or Europe
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by paulw » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:22 am

-CoBuS- wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:13 pm


.....- I used my FAA license .....
Did you get the FAA license in EU and if so is it a difficult process? Can you do it in Ireland?
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by b-rad » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:51 am

Artfly wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:24 pm
Great post Cobus,will give my niece this information as she was looking at FAA or Europe
If she has a EU passport and the idea is to look for work in Europe I would suggest doing the EASA licence.
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Re: Getting an EASA license in Ireland. Life after Brexit.

Unread post by Burner » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:54 am

paulw wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:22 am
-CoBuS- wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:13 pm


.....- I used my FAA license .....
Did you get the FAA license in EU and if so is it a difficult process? Can you do it in Ireland?
No I believe Cobus is saying that he used his FAA ATPL instead of his SA one, to "convert" to an EASA one.

Flying and flight training is a heck of a lot cheaper in the US compared to Europe. I've heard of EU students doing across to the US to do some practical part parts of their course, but never the other way around.

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