European or American license?

Not open for further replies.


New Member
Hey Doug, this is my first time on the discussion board. YOU HAVE A GREAT WEBSITE!
I have decided to follow my dream of becoming a professional pilot for a German airline, but I am unsure how to tackle the problem. I am graduating next May from The University of Alabama (ROLL TIDE!!) and have two options to start flight training (from zero hrs.):
1.) Lufthansa Flight Training in Germany offers a really good training (with job prospects), but they are more than highly selective, and I don't think I would pass their entry tests.
2.) Western Michigan University offers a JAA ATPL license for self-sponsored students which takes 14 months, but leaves one without a lot of flight hours.
I'd like to know if anyone has heard about the Western Michigan program or even attended the school? Should I take a gamble and apply at Lufthansa, b/c if I fail their tests that would ruin job prospects in my future b/c almost all German airlines require a pass and the test cannot be repeated. Or should I gamble on WMU and try to go the more unsecure path through regionals, maybe even here in the States (I have US citizenship), until I have accumulated some time?
Please help me, I am really interested in your opinion!
Thanks guys.
I know that BA send some guys to WMU (the ones over 21), and although the flight time is low compared to US standards, a friend of mine got hired flying 737's with 250TT (in the UK).
As far as I know Lufthansa's selection process is VERY difficult; which is not to say you can't make it. They are hiring many pilots in the next few years. Also, I think you must speak fluent German (ouch).

Good luck,

Thanks "Ian" and "Nosser"! I guess I'll just try my luck at Lufthansa, and if they don't want me I'll go look for some place else here in the US.
Fly safe guys!
Iain Holmes,

Hi ! I'm from Brazil and I'm planning to fly in Europe in the near future (one of my dreams). Since I have an Italian Citzenship, work permit isn't going do be a problem, am I right ?

Well, I'm writing because I read your last post, about your friend who is flying a 737 in Europe. Well, I'd like to know if I have any chance to fly in Europe ? Is it very difficult to convert my licenses ? Expensive ? And how many hours do they required to fly a 737 for Ryanair, for example ?
And do you have some information about ALITALIA ?

Well, sorry for all those questions ... fell free to answer me just what you want ...well if you have time, you can send me an e-mail, ok ?!


Young Pilot
>>Since I have an Italian Citzenship, work permit isn't going do be a problem, am I right?<<

Yes you should have a European Passport.

>>Well, I'd like to know if I have any chance to fly in Europe?<<

Yeap, the easist thing to do it to get your licenses over there, rather then in Brazil.

>>Is it very difficult to convert my licenses?<<

If you have under 800 hours you will basically start again. You will have to take a certified course which is (or alteast was) called 509, or a modular course (509 broken down into stages, more of the way US way of doing it). This course is design to teach you to fly right seat. It takes 18 months, and includes 200 hours flight time, and all the ground to take the numerous (13) written tests. It cost about $50,000 but after it you are ready to start applying.
If you have over 800 hours, you only have to take the written test and checkrides, and the instruemnt course (not the whole course). There is a self study written test course, however it is very hard, your elternative is a regular ground school. There is nothing like the gliem where you can study your questions, you certainly have to know you stuff. The checkrides will be very similar to the FAA ones, although there are some differences flying in Europe so you will need some time to adjust to the changes.

>>Expensive ?<<

Very, there is no such thing as cheap flying in Europe.

>>And how many hours do they required to fly a 737 for Ryanair, for example?<<

Once you have finished the course you should be able to get on with Ryanair. A friend of mine flies for them and says they are a great company to work for.

>>And do you have some information about ALITALIA?<<
Sorry no info on ALITALIA
I am in the process of applying to Lufthansa's training program. I have been accepted for a test date and will now start the prep process...and finish my PPL. As many have pointed out, it is a VERY selective process. I just got back from Germany (few hours ago..lag, lag) after visiting an organization in Munich that offers preperation seminars for the DLR Test in Hamburg. They made a competent impression and offer 2 seminars (each a week long in duration) for each part of the DLR test. (Berufsgrunduntersuchung and Firmenqualifikation)

Keep in mind that only an extremely small percentage of the applicants that pass the DLR test have done so without having some sort of seminar training beforehand, according some folks I know who have taken the test...some not successful, and some who are now driving A320's around Europe.

Hope this helps. If you want more details on the seminar or application process let me know.

Hals und Beinbruch.
Iain Holmes ,

Thanks for your answers.
In fact, I have an EU Passport and I`m planning to get some experience here in Brazil before going to EU since I haven`t so much money at the moment and I`m still studying for my degree in Aeronautical Science.
About Ryanair I think it would be very good to work for them, if what they wrote in their home-page is true (days-off, salaries, etc ...) Do you know something about it ?
Any information is appreciated.

YP, not YG !!!
you will no longer be able to get a us pilot's lic/rating whatever based on one from overseas. (from the FSDO as of last weekend)

you will need to re-test, I do not know to what extent however..
Not open for further replies.