Class rating

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An example of a single engine land class aircraft, the ubiquitous Cessna 172

In aviation, a class rating is an allowance to fly a certain group of aircraft that require training common to all aircraft within the group. A type rating is specified if a particular aircraft requires additional specialized training beyond the scope of initial license and aircraft class training. Which aircraft require a type rating is decided by the local aviation authority. Almost all single-engine piston (SEP) or multi-engine piston (MEP) single pilot aircraft can be flown without a type rating, but are covered by a class rating instead.

United States[edit]

In the United States, all turbojets require a type rating. Aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of more than 12,500 pounds (5,700 kg) typically require a type rating.[1]

In the United States, there are seven categories of aircraft, which contain the following classes:

Category Class Category Class
Airplane Single-engine land (ASEL) Lighter-than-air Airship
Multiengine land (AMEL) Balloon
Single-engine sea (ASES) Powered-lift
Multiengine sea (AMES) Powered parachute Powered parachute land
Rotorcraft Helicopter Powered parachute sea
Gyroplane Weight-shift-control aircraft Weight-shift-control aircraft land
Glider Weight-shift-control aircraft sea

Class ratings may have limitations placed upon them. In the United States, if a pilot being examined for a multi-engine rating does not demonstrate the ability to control an aircraft under asymmetric thrust, their multi-engine rating will be endorsed as "Limited-to-Center Thrust".[2] (In the European Union, a multi-engine centreline thrust aeroplane is considered a single-engine aeroplane when being used for an instrument rating skill test.[3]: FCL.620 )


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What's your type?". AOPA. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Volume 5. Airman Certification. Chapter 1: Direction, guidance, and procedures for Title 14 CFR Parts 121/135 and general aviation. Section 4: Considerations for the Practical Test". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Part-FCL" (PDF). EASA. Retrieved 14 May 2023.