There are many pilots who would like to work in different parts of the world. Converting your pilot license in a different country can be a bit of a nightmare. The information available is usually scanty or sometimes unavailable. Many pilots will usually see or get job offers in other countries or regions but will have to convert their license to legally fly in that particular area. So, how do you go about getting information for the particular place that you want to work in? How do you go about a pilot license conversion?
The first place to check or visit about a pilot license conversion should be the relevant aviation authority. Each country has a regulatory aviation authority or board that deals with the creation and implementation of the aviation rules and regulations. For example, the United States has the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the United Kingdom has the Joint Aviation Authority (JAA). The particular licensing department will usually have a regulation officer who will provide you with a list of what you need to do to convert your license.
A second source of aviation license conversion information is the regulation book. The regulation book has the actual rules written and broken down into parts or sections. Using the above examples, the FAA has the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR’s) and the JAA has the Joint Aviation Regulations (JAR’s). You will find a clear outline of what is needed for for a pilot license conversion in the particular region in the regulation book.
Another good source of information is the internet. You can look up the particular region you want to live and work in online through the internet search engines. Some of the regulatory aviation authorities have websites that may have the conversion information or the contacts of the relevant person who is conversant with the needed information. Peruse through the internet or website in detail. Remember to also check the internet aviation forums of the particular region. They are usually informative and you may be lucky enough to find someone who has gone through the same conversion process.
The other thing you should prepare for is studying the particular rules of the region. You may find significant differences in some of the aviation rules for different parts of the world. You will most likely have to take different written exams to qualify for the license conversion. Some of the exams may include an actual conversion paper, radio telephony, gas turbine, Performance-A, language exams, etc.
Once you pass your written exams you will have to take an aviation medical exam to make sure you are medically fit to fly. You may also have to go for a practical exam or check ride with an examiner. This may be in an aircraft or in a flight simulator. The examiners are usually thorough and want to make sure that you are competent. You will typically have an oral question and answer session before the actual flight, which will indicate your level of knowledge on the local rules and regulations. Once you pass your check ride you will then be legally qualified for the local license. Good luck in your pilot license conversion.