What is recognition (validation) and what can I do with it?

Once you have attained it, you can fly all N-registered aircrafts of a respective type within the US airspace including Hawaii. In theory, you are entitled to all privileges you would have with a validated license abroad (except IFR or instrument flight rules). For details, please enquire beforehand. In order to fly, you require a standard Medical PPL from the country of origin along with the validation. The validation is bound to the validity of your foreign license. Should your foreign license expire, the validation becomes void automatically.

How do I get my FOREIGN license recognized (validated)?

First of all, you need to file and enquiry with the FAA. The link provides all relevant information. The enquiry can be submitted per fax or mail. You need to indicate, however, from which office you intend to pick up your license later on. The enquiry takes about 8 weeks to be processed. In the meantime, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) enquires with your local aviation authority about the validity of your license. Once it is done, you will receive a letter confirming that the validation can be issued. From this date, you have 6 months time to travel to the US and collect your validation from the FSDO (Flight Standards District Offices). Please enquire in advance for the exact procedure in your particular case.

Am I allowed to fly right away?

No. In order to be able to use the validation or even the full-scope license in the US, you require a so called BFR (bi-annual flight review). It represents a training flight with a flight instructor which needs to be reviewed every two years, and is analogous to a check flight with an examiner in your country of origin necessary to attain a category rating.

Can I add a category permission to my validation?

Yes. To attain a category permission SEP (Single Engine Piston)-SEA, you do not need a full US license. You can have the extension entered on your validation. In order to do that, you need to apply for a new validation before the examination date as long as the validation is no older than a year. (See: How do I get my licence recognized?)

We recommend all non-US pilots who only wish to acquire a SEP-Sea class rating with us to apply for a validation.

We are best informed about the process and will be happy to support you in case of any questions concerning the application.

In short:

1. Apply for validation here
2. enter the Orlando FSDO office to collect your documents
3. wait for confirmation
4. visit us and fly with us
5. make an exam for SER-Sea category approval with us (no written test required, only spoken and practical parts)
6. wait at home for the new validation issuance including the SER-Sea category

In case of any further enquiries, please contact us by kontaktatwasserflug-florida [uodt] de (E-Mail)!