Is it possible to fly in Europe with my FAA pilot certificate?
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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?
3 Replies
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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.
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Pilot's residence/citizenship don't matter, just that the airplane is N-reg and the pilot is FAA certificated.  You can fly anywhere in the world that way.  American Airlines does that all the time.  But as Hoss said, you might want to get some training on local rules and procedures.  You can be sure American's crews get that.

That said, European governments are cracking down on European citizens owning N-reg aircraft because the governments are losing a bunch of revenue -- they heavily tax European-registered aircraft, but can't charge registration fees on N-reg airplanes.  But that's a local taxation issue, not a flying rules issue.
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This is a great answer. Does the same apply to a non-US national or resident pilot that holds an FAA pilot certificate? I looked at FAR 61.3 and it doesn't exclude such persons. So the use case is:  Netherlands based N-registered aircraft, FAA PPL to a Netherlands national , flying in Netherlands and possibly adjacent countries.

As I understood it no other activity is required or formal approval. Certainly, airspace and operations are different and it would be highly recommended to get familiar to them.