Is it possible to fly in Europe with my FAA pilot certificate?
Answered By AOPA
You’ve decided to finally take that vacation to Europe that you’ve always wanted. While you’re there you’ve also decided it might be fun to rent an aircraft and see the sights from the air; however, you only possess an FAA pilot certificate. Is it possible to fly while on your vacation to Europe?
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AOPA Staff Answer
The short answer is, yes, it is possible to do what you propose. The easiest way would be to find a place that rents N-registered aircraft and rent an aircraft from them for your flight(s). FAR 61.3 is the regulation that allows you to operate an aircraft registered in the United States with your pilot certificate issued under part 61. Most countries have allowances for you to fly an aircraft of foreign registry as long as you hold a pilot’s certificate from that country. We would still recommend going for a flight or two with a flight instructor who knows the area to get idea of the operations in the area and rules for the country you’re flying in.
Another more costly and time consuming option would be to try to obtain an EASA license based on your FAA certificate. For a vacation this probably would not be the most practical approach. For more information on this topic you can contact the International AOPA affiliate for the country you’re interested in flying in.