adding the glider rating to a certificate based on a foreign license
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I have an FAA private pilot certificate issued on the basis of a foreign pilot license. 
Now I am considering training for the glider rating in the US. Normally, a private pilot certificate holder will be exempt from the glider written test. However, my case is a little different, as I actually never took the FAA written test. All the exams that I had were taken in another country under a foreign civil aviation authority. Will I be required to take the FAA glider written test to complete my training here?
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1521 Posts

I don't see anything in 14 CFR 61.63 which restricts the holders of a PP certificate based on a foreign certificate from taking advantage of the provision in paragraph (b)(4) exempting them from the need to take the written ("knowledge") test for an additional Glider category rating if they already hold an FAA PPL with an Airplane rating, regardless of its basis.  However, I think it would be prudent to confirm this with the FSDO where you're planning to take the practical test, as that's whom the CFI signing the application and the DPE conducting the practical test will ask when the application is presented.

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Thank you @Ronald Levy! I will call the FSDO and post here what they say.

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@Ronald Levy I received an official response from my FSDO:
Your assumption is correct – you will need to take the Private Pilot Glider (PGL) written exam.  This is due to the fact that you do not hold a standard private pilot certificate, rather you hold a private pilot (foreign based) certificate.  You can’t add the category to your existing certificate because it is based on your foreign license which does not have the glider category.  You will be able to claim some of your hours and training towards the requirements to add the glider, but you will need to satisfy all the training requirements.  Assuming you pass the written test, complete the required training, and pass the glider practical exam, you would hold a standard private pilot – glider, and you would continue to hold your private pilot (foreign based) airplane single engine land.  

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1521 Posts

Thanks for sharing that.

CFR 14 61.75 (C) (c) Aircraft ratings issued. Aircraft ratings listed on a person's foreign pilot license, in addition to any issued after testing under the provisions of this part, may be placed on that person's U.S. pilot certificate for private pilot privileges only. 

I think this would argue against the FSDO's answer.

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1521 Posts

Christopher Roberts: 
 

CFR 14 61.75 (C) (c) Aircraft ratings issued. Aircraft ratings listed on a person's foreign pilot license, in addition to any issued after testing under the provisions of this part, may be placed on that person's U.S. pilot certificate for private pilot privileges only. 

I think this would argue against the FSDO's answer.

I agree, but the only way to get past that would be to get the Chief Counsel to say Flight Standards is wrong.  Not all that easy to do these days.