Converting My Pilot licence to One for the UK.

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Jul 21, 2014 18:21
Converting My Pilot licence to One for the UK.

Finally, I converted my pilot licence from US to UK. Although it was a kind of conversion, it takes more than two years. I got my first private pilot licence in the US about 10 years ago. I converted it to Japanese one just after getting US licence. It was easy: what I had to do was passing some written exams and some paper works. However, it was not easy to convert it to the UK. I had to pass not only written tests but also a flight test. Written tests were fine, but it was hard to pass the flight test. Flight rules in the UK were different from the US and Japanese ones: I have to get used to the flying style in the UK. However, I had much serious problems: changes of regulations about aviation in European counters and unstable weather in the UK. Recently, aviation rules in European countries are changing to make consistent with other countries. It prevented me for taking the flight test for a while. The weather is the most serious problem. I had to make a cross country flight for about two hours as a flight test. It required fine weather. Also I have some other problems. These problems prevented me for taking the flight test 14 times!

Finally, I took off with a flight examiner at my 15th flight test. As a cross country flight test, I have to penetrate controlled airspaces in which all aeroplanes have to keep in touch with air traffic controllers. It meant that I had to contact air traffic controller on radio to get a permission to cross control zone. I could not enter the zone before getting it. I made an initial radio call to Cambridge radar. Usually, they asked me my intention or request just after the call, they did not do at the day because they were too busy. Aeroplane cannot stop in the air. The boarder of the control zone was getting closer while I was waiting for their responses. I had to make circles in the air outside the zone to keep position. After a 720 degrees turn, they asked me my intention. I requested to cross Cambridge's controlled zone and they gave me a permission. I flew over Cambridge through south to north. Just after passing the zone, I have to cross military aerodrome traffic zone as a flight test. It required a permission for the crossing. I made another radio call to military controller to get a permission. At the day, they did not respond soon, again. I had to make another circle to hold position. Finally, I crossed the zone with a permission.
After cross county flight test, the examiner asked me to show some basic flight technique including emergency procedures and headed back to home aerodrome.

It was not a simple conversion, it was as if standard flight test to get the first pilot licence. It was hard. Anyway, I get my UK licence: in other word, European licence. I can enjoy European sky!
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