The exercises on this page were created to help French pilots prepare for the DGAC English test, colloquially referred to in France as the “FCL055 exam”. This is actually a misnomer, as FCL.055 is simply the regulatory text that lays down the basic requirements for English tests. However, if you talk to any French pilot about ELP, they are likely to just call it “FCL55”!
Even if you don’t plan to take the DGAC exam, the listening exercises in particular can be used to practice your aviation English listening skills.
The exam is in three parts:
- Listening comprehension (recorded radio messages with “fill in the blanks” type exercises)
- Emergency situations (translation of an emergency message from French to English)
- Simulated flight (radio messages written in French to translate into English)
Go directly to the free training materials for the DGAC ELP assessment:
A short history of the DGAC assessment
Before the arrival of European regulations governing language proficiency, each country was able to test the level of English of its pilots as it saw fit.
At that time, the DGAC had three main examinations for French licence-holders:
- The “Qualification Restreinte de Radiocommunication Internationale” (QRRI) for private pilots
- The “Qualification de Radiocommunication Internationale” for commercial pilots
- The “Anglais du Pilote de Ligne” for commercial airline pilots.
To begin with these exams were valid for life.
In 2003, ICAO laid down the objective of achieving level 4 in English (valid for 4 years) for all pilots by 2008 (see here).
This objective was then added to JAA regulations (FCL 1200) and later in EASA regulations (FCL055).
These requirements superseded all previous “legacy” exams, meaning that everybody had to take a new exam under the JAA / EASA system
However the format of the DGAC assessment has not really changed since the days of the QRI.
Perhaps the most amusing idiosyncrasy of this particular English test is that if you don’t speak French, it is impossible to pass, as all the questions are in French!
You will probably find the DGAC exam relatively easy if:
- You have a diploma in translation (like James!), as it is mainly a translation exercise from French to English.
- You are unemployed, as the exam is free for job seekers.
Download the DGAC summary (French)