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A type rating is an authorization entered on or associated with a pilot licence and forming part thereof, stating pilot's privileges or limitations pertaining to certain aircraft type. Such qualification requires additional training beyond the scope of the initial license and aircraft class training.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) specifies the international personnel licensing requirements, as documented in Annex 1 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Which aircraft require a type rating is decided by each country's civil aviation authority, in accordance with specifications outlined by ICAO.
ICAO stipulates that:
- Type Ratings should be established for aircraft with minimum crew of at least two pilots or when considered necessary by the Licensing Authority
- The applicant for a Type Rating must demonstrate the degree of skill required - including all normal flight procedures, emergency procedures, instrument procedures (where applicable) as well as upset prevention and recovery.
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. In many countries pilots of single-engine piston aircraft under a certain maximum weight (5,700 kg or 12,500 lb, typically) do not require a type rating for each model, all or most such aircraft being covered by one class rating instead. There are exceptions to this, e.g. under the European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) regulations the piston version of the Piper Malibu does require its own type rating. In New Zealand and South Africa there is no class rating, each aircraft model requires its own rating. Countries which have adopted the class rating system for small aircraft typically require additional training and license endorsement for complexity features such as conventional undercarriage (tailwheels), variable-pitch propellers, retractable undercarriage, etc.
Many commercial aircraft share type ratings, allowing qualified pilots to transition from one to another with differences training. Examples include the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767, Boeing 777 and Boeing 787, the entire 737NG family, Airbus A330 and Airbus A340, Airbus A330 and Airbus A350 and all of the members of the A320 family (the A318, A319, A320, and A321).
Type Ratings in the United States
In order to remain compliant with ICAO Annex 1, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States requires co-pilots (second-in-command, or SIC) to have a 'SIC Type Rating' for aircraft requiring a crew of two, and otherwise requires a type rating to act as pilot-in-command (PIC) to fly internationally, or over international airspace. This is outlined in Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 §61.55 (14 CFR 61.55) and introduced in 2006. Such a type rating is not required for operations completely within the United States. An instrument rating is required for some type ratings.
In the United States some type ratings can be issued with a "visual flight rules (VFR) only" limitation when the type rating checkride was conducted without instrument flight rules (IFR) approaches or operations, but only VFR maneuvers and procedures. This is most typical in older aircraft (i.e. Ford Trimotor, N-B25, B17, etc.)
Type Ratings in Canada
Canada follows US FAA and ICAO standards for fixed-wing type ratings. Unlike the US, Canada requires type ratings for all helicopter types, regardless of MTOW.
Type Ratings for EASA states
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) publishes its ICAO type rating compliance and further regulations in Part-FCL - Flight Crew Licensing, Subpart H.
- ^ Doc 9713 International Civil Aviation Vocabulary (PDF). Montreal: ICAO. 2007. ISBN 978-92-9194-917-5.
- ^ Annex 1 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Eleventh Edition - July 2011. International Civil Aviation Organisation.
- ^ Annex 1 - 220.127.116.11 a, 18.104.22.168 c. ICAO.
- ^ Annex 1 - 22.214.171.124. ICAO.
- ^ "What's your type?". www.aopa.org. AOPA. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
- ^ "Type Ratings and Licence endorsement lists". EASA. European Union Aviation Safety Agency. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
- ^ "FIGURE 5-88, PILOT CERTIFICATE AIRCRAFT TYPE DESIGNATIONS – AIRPLANE". Federal Aviation Administration. 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
- ^ Part-FCL. EASA.