Pilot Training Overseas

Hello. I am an American living in Brazil. I am here for at least another year for work. I am interested in obtaining my Private Pilot License in Brazil and then transferring to the ATP program.

I have asked around a couple of schools in Sao Paulo and they said that they have English speaking instructors but that the tests are all in Portuguese.

I have seen some US based online ground school programs.

My questions is, can I take the online ground school classes, do flight training in Brazil, then take the FAA exam to get my US Private Pilot License?

It seems a bit complicating. I could wait until I return to the US but would like to begin now so I don’t waste any time.


I believe you can. You’ll simply have to find an instructor in the US to sign you off for your checkride and have your logbook verified for all the training requirements (solos, night, cross country, etc) needed for your PPL. They’ll most certainly want to take you up a few times to verify you are in fact ready but I don’t see why not.



Yes you could do your training in Brazil BUT a couple things come to mind.

FAR 61.103(f) says that to be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the training in the areas of operation listed in FAR 61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.

FAR 61.103(j) also says that a person must hold a U.S. student pilot certificate, sport pilot certificate, or recreational pilot certificate.

So, even if you conduct your flight training in Brazil, once you get to the states you’ll need to apply for and hold a student pilot certificate and a US-based instructor still has to give you training in the areas of operation listed in FAR 61.107(b) before they can endorse you for the checkride. It will be up to the instructor to determine how much training you need.

I would recommend doing the training in the US. If you want to complete an online knowledge course while living in Brazil, that’s fine, but it really is better to just do the flight training in the US.


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Thank you Tory. It looks like I would end up paying for training twice if I went this route. I read that an overseas license could transfer to an FAA license but I would have to get the Brazilian government license. I can speak basic Portuguese and that wouldn’t be sufficient for taking a sophisticated test.


I have heard of a few people that tried to do what you are talking about and it always ended up being a huge mess and costing much more in the long run because of the need to repeat so much of the training. Something else to keep in mind is that if you want to be a pilot in the US, it is best to train here. Policies and procedures vary greatly from one country to the next, I could see you being really behind in the US if you did all of your training down south. I would focus on the knowledge portion of your training, such as take a private pilot online ground school and working on the written exam.

I do admire your desire to get ahead though, keep that attitude going.



Correct. You could get a Brazilian license and then convert it to an FAA license, but again, all of your flight experience would have to also meet the FAA requirements. Almost always extra flight training is required before a CFI feels comfortable signing you off for the checkride.