All Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers and all others who use English in radio telephony communication must be at International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) English Language Level 4 or above.
ICAO validity scale:
- Level 4: Operational, valid 3 years
- Level 5: Extended, valid 6 years
- Level 6: Expert, lifetime valid
As Ultralight pilot you are not obliged to use or have a radio as long as you only fly in uncontrolled airspace. But being able to use the radio correctly will increase your safety and those of other pilots.
Below a report of the test I took in November this year at Kortrijk Wevelgem International Airport.
This was a paper based test, also in two parts, total time allocated 30 minutes. First you are given a complex story, mine was about an emergency exercise on an aircraft, afterwards you have to answer multiple choice question about this story. The second part consisted of completing a series of English sentences, again multiple choice. Different versions of the tests were distributed amongst the group, so copying your neighbors answers is not a smart thing todo.
This was an individual test everything was record on video and took no longer then 20 to 30 minutes. I was asked to introduced myself, we talked about work, flying of course. Then I was given a picture taken from an aircraft, and I had to described what was shown on the picture. After this I had to read out loud a text describing the workings of an altimeter. And finally we went through the questions of part I.
Overall the test was no too difficult, pay attention in the first part to the details. For the second part talk with confidence, the content does not really matter. The more you talk the easier it is for the examiner to get an idea of your level.
And yes, I passed, I obtained level 6 so valid for the rest of my life, if the rules don’t change. I paid 125€ for this test.