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22 May 2008


1/ You do not need to convert to a JAR PPL however I would advise it. Some clubs do not seem to know the rules and refuse to accept National licences. Les King recently changed his licence and he knows all the details so I will ask him to address this question.

2/ I can certainly help you with the Nav Aids and help you to feel comfortable flying in France.

3/ The medical question is a tricky one unfortunately the French class 2 medical is only a national medical not a JAR recognised medical.
The CAA recognise medicals from all the JAR member states except France!

4/ With regard to the CPL or ATPL if you really want to succeed in this field I am sure that you will have success.Will power and determination make up for a lack of knowledge.I was hopeless at Maths and Physics but managed to pass my CPL through persistence rather than any previous knowledge or education in those subjects.

These days there are many more learning aids available for the pilots studying the commercial subjects.

The first step would be to make sure that you can obtain a Class One medical before embarking on expensive commercial training.

I have further information with reference to the question above on the legal requirement to be able to fly in France with a National PPL or a JAR PPL.
see below, an extract of an email from a French Pilot:
"Here attached you'll find the full text of the European Directive n°91/670/CEE

The most important thing is the third article on page 2 and specially the 2nd alinea":

" Any person who is a holder of a licence of private pilot delivered by a Member State is authorized to fly an aircraft registered in another Member State. This recognition is limited to the exercise of the privileges granted to the holder of a private pilot licence and his related qualifications for flights in VFR during the daytime in a single pilot certified aircraft "

However in my own experience the JAR licence is recognised by all the clubs etc in France and the national licence can cause many beuraucratic problems.


I did indeed convert my old UK PPL to a JAR Licence last year.

As we have established, it is entirely legal to fly French-registered aircraft, in France, on the basis of holding an ICAO licence such as the old UK PPL.

This privilege is limited to Daytime, VFR flights only.

Beyond that, the whole area of what you can fly where, depending on the variables of aircraft registration and licence issue, is extremely woolly so conversion to JAR is probably the safest bet.

Once I had established the requirements, the process of conversion was surprisingly easy and the only practical test involved a flight with Sue to demonstrate the use of radionavigation aids.

The only slight difficulty was in the requirement to "demonstrate knowledge of the relevant JAA requirements" as there were many internet references, on the CAA and JAA web sites, to the relevant legal paragraphs but no actual list of requirements.

In the end, I shelled-out £14 for LASORS which I read from cover to cover (once I put it down, I couldn't pick it up again).

As one is allowed to self-certify the relevant knowledge, this is really a load of nonsense.

The actual cost of the licence conversion was £164 which is bit steep at the licence needs to be renewed every 5 years.

It is necessary to have a current medical certifcate to support the licence application though I discovered that this needs to have found it's way onto the CAA computer system for an over-the-counter licence issue—as I had taken the medical the day before visiting the CAA at Gatwick, the licence couldn't be issued on the basis of the paper certificate alone so I had to wait a few days until the information had flowed-though from the Doctor.

The detailed list of requirements for licence conversion is mentioned in an earler article on this blog http://www.francoflyers.org/2007/12/french-crew-lic.html

Re JAR UK License in France.
I recently moved to France last year holding a JAR PPL. When it came to renewing the medical, it became clear that as Sue has said, the CAA will not accept a French Class 2 medical. In the event I got a Spanish Class 2, which the UK is happy with, but then had the problem of convincing the local Club that a UK JAR with a Spanish medical was OK. Initially the official response was Non, pas valide, but eventually after an Email to "bureau médical de la DCS PN" in Paris, I received confirmation from the top chap that all was OK and the Club in Agen, were happy with this.
I am quite tempted to convert my JAR to a French license given the French medical is only around 20€. Last UK one I had was about £140 and the Spanish one 90€. Rip off UK again!

Hi Bob

Thank you for the above comments.
I think that the French Medical or is it madical? will change in the near future.

I know that the DGAC are intending to bring in ECG tests etc sometime soon, more information on this can be found on the FFA website (see side bar).

Hopefully in our lifetimes we may be able to fly in any country in Europe with out all of these annoying anomalies.Perhaps English MAY become the universal language of aviation we can only wait.

The latest news on the French medicals is that the DGAC are introducing changes which hopefully will enable their medicals to be recognised by all the JAR countries.The new rules are now in place and the main changes will be that the doctor can ask for an ECG for a pilot if he thinks that it is neccessary.

An ECG will become compulsory when reaching the age of 40 years, after the age of 50 years it will be mandatory for every renewal for medical revalidation.

An audiogram will be required for pilots holding Instrument qualifications.

I am hoping that this will bring us closer to being able to obtain the JAR class 2 medical inFrance as opposed to the present situation which provides only a National Class 2 medical,which is not recognised by the CAA.

Late last year JAA recommended 'mutual recognition' of FCL 1,2,3 of France amongst other states. At almost the same time JAA announced its closure programme withe eventual transfer to EASA. The final report of the FUJA 2 working group suggests a return to national standards:
Para 31. of the report

'As required by their JAA obligations and the provisions of Article 5 of Regulation 3922/91, EU members and non-EU/EASA States must continue to make use of the JAA system for the adaptation of their national rules during the pre-IR phase, inasmuch as the JAA continues to exist. Where EU-OPS is concerned, the adoption of amendments thereof is subject to the EU comitology process. As agreed at JAAC 07/2 on 14 November 2007, non-EASA JAA Member States may choose to implement EU-OPS in their national law through the cover-letter procedure. The non-EU/EASA States shall incorporate EU-OPS through the Joint Committee or similar processes of the applicable association agreement.'

On May 29 I was advised by my club of the new class 2 regs (medical every two years age over 40), for France for French licence holders, who will be able to fly legally in UK airspace.

I will still need to return to England annually for a medical and will need to check that CAA will still accept the alternative of a medical issued by another JAR state.

Can I change my licence for a French one?

Hi Julian

Yes, you can substitute your licence for a French issued one.

You ahould be able to get all the information from your local DGAC office,which is usually to be found at the larger airports.

It may also be worth speaking to the CAA to see if they are intending to change their policy regarding French National licences.

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