International pilots holding a valid pilot certificate from their country or from the United States may enter the U.S. under a tourist visa to build flight time providing the aircraft weighs less than 12,500 pounds and does not require a type rating. These pilots do not have to register with TSA or FAA if they have already converted to an FAA pilot certificate and are not training for additional ratings.
American Flight Schools locations have one of the largest and most diverse fleets available for rental at incredibly reasonable pricing which makes us a popular place for foreign pilots to rent aircraft to build flight time. Our fleet of aircraft includes Cessna 172/182, Diamond DA-20/DA-40, Piper Warrior/Archer/Arrow, Cirrus SR-20/SR-22, and twin engine aircraft such as the Tecnam P2006T and Diamond DA-42. You can experience the traditional “6-pack” panel or glass panel cockpits including both Garmin and Avidyne.
Before renting an aircraft from us, you must convert your foreign pilot certificate into a FAA pilot certificate prior to your arrival and complete an aircraft rental checkout and possibly a mountain checkout with an American Flight Schools flight instructor.
Required Pre-departure Training
- Flight review – 4 to 8 hours
- Instrument proficiency check – 4 to 8 hours (if instrument rated)
- Mountain flight training – 8 to 32 hours (varies based on pilot experience)
How do I schedule and complete the pre-departure training?
Our instructors and administrative staff schedule both ground and flight training after you provide the following pre-scheduling documents:
- AFS/AFC renter’s insurance policy and payment ($100)
- Copy of passport
- Copy of pilot certificate
- Copy of medical certificate
- International pilot records
- Estimated flight plan with projected destinations and dates
- Contract with pricing and payment details
- Signed document verifying an understanding of policies and the English language
Note: International pilots are non-members and pay non-member rates. We invoice three hours per day minimum, so plan accordingly. Additionally, you must provide the following documents 90 days prior to arrival:
- Copy of pilot logbooks
- Copy of FAA pilot certificate
American Flight Schools and Aspen Flying Club cannot issue visas. To rent an aircraft from us for the purpose of building flight time, you must possess a green card or a B-1 (business), B-2 (tourist), F-1 (student), J-1 (exchange visitor), M-1 (student) visa or be visiting from one of the 36 countries that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). There is no limit to the amount of time you can fly while your visa is valid in the United States.
How will U.S. flight training help me outside the U.S.?
Flight training and building flight time in the United States can help you become a pilot anywhere in the world. The U.S. has affordable fuel, plenty of open airspace, temperate climates, and no aviation user fees. In addition, the U.S. offers the opportunity to quickly learn English up to the internationally required proficiency level through total English immersion. Most importantly, the well-respected training necessary to earn FAA certificates is recognized by agencies around the world.
How do you handle my payments?
Your money is safe with us. At American Flight Schools, we require international renters to deposit 25% of the estimated cost prior to booking the flight. We charge 100% of the estimated cost prior to departure. All unspent funds on account with our school are 100% refundable unless you cancel less than 14 days prior to your first day of rental. We assess a 10% non-refundable fee if you cancel less than 14 days prior to your first day of rental.
How do your locations differ?
We invite you to visit the web site for each location to learn the differences in the airport, fleet, and weather. The Colorado locations have fewer rainy or cloudy days while Oregon can be quite cloudy especially in the winter. As an international renter, you may choose to fly at any of our locations to get the most valuable experience possible. Colorado offers excellent weather for flying, making flights much less of a hassle than other locations. Additionally, Centennial Airport is the premier general aviation airport in Colorado and typically the first or second busiest general aviation airport and among the top 25 busiest airports of all types. You can learn a lot from a busy airport.
Can I take a tour?
Of course you can take a tour! We would love the opportunity to show you around our facilities and explain or services in more detail. You can also meet the staff, instructors, and other students to get a feel for our training environment. Contact us today to set up your tour!
FAA Application Requirements
A person who is applying for a U.S. pilot certificate/rating on the basis of a foreign license must submit a request of Verification of Authenticity of his/her license to the FAA’s Airmen Certification Branch (AFS-760). Once the Airmen’s Certification branch has verified the authenticity and the validity of the person’s foreign pilot license and medical license with the foreign civil aviation authority, a verification of authenticity letter will be issued to the designated Flight Standard District Office and a copy sent to the applicant. This process usually takes 45-90 days. All instructions concerning this pre-application may be found on the FAA web site. Additionally, holders of CAA licenses issued by the United Kingdom must submit an additional form to the CAA. You can download the required form from their website. You can use the following contact information to apply for the Verification of Authenticity of your foreign license with the Orlando District:
FAA – Airmen Certification Branch
AFS – 760
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0082
Foreign applicants who require a visit to a FAA Flight Standards District Office or are applying for the issuance or replacement of an airman certificate in accordance with 14 CFR 61.75 must contact their selected Flight Standards District Office upon receipt of this verification letter to schedule an appointment with a FAA Inspector or authorized certifying official. Do not anticipate an appointment earlier than two weeks after this initial contact, due to enhanced security procedures. The verification letter will be valid for six calendar months (unless the license expires prior to that date or a shortened validity period is indicated by the verifying Civil Aviation Authority)