Pilots start their career on a training aircraft. These aircraft are not usually complex, and are very forgiving of errors. Pilots usually fly single-engine and light twin-engine piston engine aircraft. These aircraft require one to be “checked-out” after an hour or two with an instructor. Aircraft have become very complex in their systems and operations, and require highly specialized training for a pilot to fly them. This specialized training is known as a Type Rating.

When is a Type Rating required?

  • When the aircraft is a large or heavy, heavier than air aircraft
    • Small Aircraft: aircraft with maximum take-off weight up to 41,000 lbs.
    • Large Aircraft: aircraft with maximum take-off weight over 41,000 lbs up to 255,000 lbs.
    • Heavy Aircraft: aircraft with maximum take-off weight over 255,000 lbs.
  • When the aircraft is a turbo-jet aircraft
  • High Performance Aircraft
    • Aircraft with never exceed speed vne of 250 KIAS (knots) or higher
    • Aircraft with stall speed vso of 80 KIAS (knots) or higher
  • Any aircraft specified by administrative  authority  (usually based on above criteria)

What is involved in the Type Rating?

  • Ground School
    • Aircraft Systems
    • Operating Procedures
    • Emergency Procedures
  • Flight Training Device (Non-Full Motion Simulator)
    • Normal and Emergency Procedures practiced on Flight Training Device before moving on to full motion simulators
  • Full Motion Simulator
    • Normal and Emergency Procedures practiced on full-motion flight simulator.   This is as realistic as it gets without being in an actual aircraft
  • Most type ratings for highly complex aircraft such as Boeing or Airbus are done entirely on simulators, without going into an actual aircraft.  This reduces costs immensely.

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