EASA vs. FAA Pilot Qualification and Currency

 

I have seen several discussions on the issue of a FAA “Grace Month” for PIC re-qualification compared to EASA not having one. Several months ago I emailed EASA with the question and it was bounced around until it fell into a blackhole, not to be answered. This motivated me to dig into this myself and try to get an answer. It turned out to be a convoluted trail. Here is what I found.

The shallow dive on this subject comes up with this:

FCL.625 IR calls for an “IR” Instrument Rating to be valid for one year. The revalidation period begins 3mos prior to expiration and there is no “Grace Month”. an “IR Revalidation” can be done with a revalidation of one’s type rating.

FCL.710 If you have not flown that variant aircraft for more that 2yrs, this requires differences training and a “Theoretical” written exam or a proficiency check. Appendix 9 with give the exact syllabus to follow for this check if you are an ATP pilot. Appendix 7 does the same for a Commercial rating.

FCL.060 direct PIC or Co-Pilot 3 approaches, landings and takeoffs in the preceding 90-days in the same type and class. 1 approach, landing and takeoff at night in the same type and class for night privileges.

ORO.MLR.115 requires and organization to hold:

The recency of experience records for 15mos.

The pilots last 2 training records 

PIC reports, flight plans, mass and loading, weather data, NOTAMS and Journey Log for 3mos.

Ops manual and risk assessments for 5yrs.

Area/Route/Airdrome checks plus DG/HAZMAT data for 3yrs

The deeper dive on this subject comes up with this:

EC Regulation 216/2008, dated 20FEB08 Chapter II, Article 4, paragraph 1 will show that EU regs apply only to EU registered or operated by an EU operator. This means that US registered 91/GA operated by US crews are not bound by EU regs.

Article 9, paragraph 1 and 23, paragraph 2 of the same EC 216/208 state (I paraphrase) that ICAO standards are to be applied to “Third-Country” aircraft, crews and operations operating into, inside, out of EU countries in so far as they do not conflict with registered country regs.

How SAFA interacts with this Subject

All of SAFA is built around Annex 6, Part 1 Commercial Operations. Inspectors are give “Wide Latitude” to use their judgment in these ramp inspections when it comes to 91/GA aircraft. This make a definitive answer hard to nail down. Best practice is to be forward with the information that the inspector draws from to make their standards. I have never seen or heard of a crew being busted for non-currency or being un-qualed during a SAFA. He/She are not legally bound to hold you to EU standards. ICAO “Commercial” standards are the order and are unevenly applied. This should give you an idea of the SAFA inspectors mentality going into your SAFA check. 

Found in Annex 6, Part 1, (Commercial) This is what the SAFA checklist and inspectors are taught to hold US 91/GA pilots to.

9.4.1 Recent experience — pilot-in-command and co-pilot

9.4.1.1 The operator shall not assign a pilot-in-command or a co-pilot to operate at the flight controls of a type or variant of a type of aeroplane during take-off and landing unless that pilot has operated the flight controls during at least three take-offs and landings within the preceding 90 days on the same type of aeroplane or in a flight simulator approved for the purpose.

9.4.1.2 When a pilot-in-command or a co-pilot is flying several variants of the same type of aeroplane or different types of aeroplanes with similar characteristics in terms of operating procedures, systems and handling, the State shall decide under which conditions the requirements of 9.4.1.1 for each variant or each type of aeroplane can be combined.

9.4.4 Pilot proficiency checks

9.4.4.1 The operator shall ensure that piloting technique and the ability to execute emergency procedures is checked in such a way as to demonstrate the pilot’s competence on each type or variant of a type of aeroplane. Where the operation may be conducted under instrument flight rules, the operator shall ensure that the pilot’s competence to comply with such rules is demonstrated to either a check pilot of the operator or to a representative of the State of the Operator. Such checks shall be performed twice within any period of one year. Any two such checks which are similar and which occur within a period of four consecutive months shall not alone satisfy this requirement.

Note 1.— Flight simulation training devices approved by the State of the Operator may be used for those parts of the checks for which they are specifically approved.

Note 2.— See the Manual of Criteria for the Qualification of Flight Simulation Training Devices (Doc 9625).

9.4.4.2 When the operator schedules flight crew on several variants of the same type of aeroplane or different types of aeroplanes with similar characteristics in terms of operating procedures, systems and handling, the State shall decide under which conditions the requirements of 9.4.4.1 for each variant or each type of aeroplane can be combined.

 9.5 FLIGHT CREW EQUIPMENT

A flight crew member assessed as fit to exercise the privileges of a licence, subject to the use of suitable correcting lenses, shall have a spare set of the correcting lenses readily available when exercising those privileges.

Attachment H, Paragraph 1.3 HUD training

Training and recent experience requirements for operations using HUD or equivalent displays should be established by the State of the Operator. Training programmes should be approved by the State of the Operator and the implementation of the training should be subject to oversight by that State. The training should address all flight operations for which the HUD or equivalent display is used.

 

This is what Annex 6, Part 2 has to say on the same subjects, (and you are more precisely held to as a 91/GA pilot)

2.7.2.1 The Pilot-in-Command shall:

a) ensure that each flight crew member holds a valid licence issued by the State of Registry, or if issued by another Contracting State, rendered valid by the State of Registry;

b) ensure that flight crew members are properly rated; and

c) be satisfied that flight crew members have maintained competency.

2.7.2.2 The pilot-in-command of an aeroplane equipped with an airborne collision avoidance system (ACAS II) shall ensure that each flight crew member has been appropriately trained to competency in the use of ACAS II equipment and the avoidance of collision.

3.9.4.1.1 The Operator shall:

a) ensure that each flight crew member assigned to duty holds a valid licence issued by the State of Registry, or if issued by another Contracting State, rendered valid by the State of Registry;

b) ensure that flight crew members are properly rated; and

c) be satisfied that flight crew members are competent to carry out assigned duties.

3.9.4.1.2 The operator of an aeroplane equipped with an airborne collision avoidance system (ACAS II) shall ensure that each flight crew member has been appropriately trained to competency in the use of ACAS II equipment and the avoidance of collisions.

 3.9.4.2 Recent Experience — Pilot-in-Command

The operator shall not assign a pilot to act as pilot-in-command of an aeroplane unless that pilot has made at least three takeoffs and landings within the preceding 90 days on the same type of aeroplane or in a flight simulator approved for the purpose.

3.9.4.3 Recent Experience — Co-Pilot

The operator shall not assign a co-pilot to operate at the flight controls of an aeroplane during take-off and landing unless that pilot has made at least three take-offs and landings within the preceding 90 days on the same type of aeroplane or in a flight simulator approved for the purpose.

3.9.4.4 Pilot proficiency checks

The operator shall ensure that piloting technique and the ability to execute emergency procedures is checked periodically in such a way as to ddemonstrate the pilot’s competence. Where the operation may be conducted under the instrument flight rules, the operator shall ensure that the pilot’s competence to comply with such rules is demonstrated to either a check pilot of the operator or a representative of the State issuing the pilot licence.

Note.— The periodicity of the checks referred to in 3.9.4.4 is dependent upon the complexity of both the aeroplane and the operation.

Interesting to note for the commercial operators out there. This is what ICAO Annex 6, Part 1 has to say about dispatchers and Jumpseat rides;

10.3 A flight operations officer/flight dispatcher 

shall not be assigned to duty unless that person has:

a) satisfactorily completed the operator-specific training course that addresses all the specific components of its approved method of control and supervision of flight operations specified in 4.2.1.3;

Note.— Guidance on the composition of such training syllabi is provided in the  Training Manual (Doc 7192), Part D-3  — Flight Operations Officers/Flight Dispatchers.

b) made, within the preceding 12 months, at least a one-way qualification flight in the flight crew compartment of an aeroplane over any area for which that individual is authorized to exercise flight supervision. The flight should include landings at as many aerodromes as practicable;

BOTTOMLINE:

1) EASA does not have a “Grace Month”. They do allow for up to 90-days prior for a proficiency check to be completed.

2) EASA cannot hold a US pilot to EASA regs as they interfere with US requirements.

3) EASA CAN and DO hold US pilots to ICAO standards. Usually this is done thru a SAFA check or as part of a permitting process.

4) EASA enforces ICAO standards on “Third country” pilots and Operators in this area.

5) ICAO is much more broad brush and requires only “periodic checks” without mention of any grace period or qualification window.

6) SAFA confuses this issue with enforcement of commercial standards found in Annex 6, Part 1 vice Annex 6 Part 2 for 91/GA operators