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23 July 2021

Comments

Hi David,

Well I am a long way from Perpignan so have no local knowledge, doubtless there are English pilots in your neck of the woods, visiting the local clubs and talking to the owners will soon give you a feel for the local scene....but a few comments.

Firstly you don't say whether you are a permanent tax paying French resident? This will have implications for your licence renewal/revalidation: you should talk to the UK CAA.

I live in France permanently & have a current UK issued EASA SPL (sailplane licence) & UK CAA PPL (A); getting these transferred to "French" is an on-going nightmare; I started December 2020 and have got nowhere. You might have thought the UK CAA was slow, wait till you try the DGAC here in France!

As a very sensible alternative to the whole EASA licence issue & certified aircraft scene is to simply get a French ULM licence BUT this will limit you to two seats and VMC (in theory). The requirement to speak good French is pretty minimal; I got mine with no problems but that was years ago. ULM flying here in France is very lightly regulated and thus a lot cheaper than certified spam cans.. Our local ULM pilots certainly have a very interesting interpretation of VMC and, of course, the weather here is not comparable to the UK or northern Europe.

There are some very capable ULM's out there: short strip capable, 140knot level cruise.....

All the best in your search,

David Walsh

Hi David,

I second the comments from David, I had a EU NPPL and converted to a french licence ie. 20 mins with an instructor to sign off and apply for the licence which is a french ULM. I have been to numerous airfields and clubs where I was very friendly recieved and found to my astonishment that a lot of clubs hve people there who speak excellent english so dont be afraid to go and speak to them. Majority are just as eager to speak to native english speakers to practise their english. Tell them you dont speak a lot of french and they will certainly make way for you, I wouldnt bother getting the licence converted just go and do the french ulm test for a few dollars and be happy flying in a very relaxed atmosphere, instead of like David says battling with the DGAC. /another tip is to look on the FFPLUM website for the nearest flying club and go and speak to them.

Regards

Roger Camp

Thank you both David & Roger (& Les) for the input and sound advice.

I think I’m converted! I came to France for a more relaxed life, so yes, I really can’t be bothered trying to push any more water up hill in life!

The ULM seems really a smart idea so I will investigate. The advice has been really helpful.

Please accept my apologies for not replying direct, I’m new to the site and not too sure if that’s possible.

Anyhow thanks again & I’m sure I’ll be in touch again!
Cheers
David Tibbott

Hi David,

I am not very familiar with flying in your area. I know there are a few English instructors at Limoges airport, and would recommend Pegasus at Gap for an English microlight flying school south of Grenoble. I remember there are some English schools over the border in Spain.

Good luck with your search - sorry I can't help much.

Sean

Sean,
Many thanks for the information… much appreciated.
There are certainly plenty of gliders in this area… seems to be more popular!
Kind regards
David

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