Things You Should Know
Anyone who wishes to become a pilot needs to know about type rating. Simply put, type rating is a certification issued by the country’s regulatory body (such as DGCA in India) that certifies that a pilot is fit to fly certain types of aircrafts. The first step to becoming a pilot is undoubtedly training and obtaining a licence followed by accumulating flying hours. This gets you to a point where you can fly single engined aircraft below a certain weight without obtaining type rating. However, in order to fly on a professional basis, a type rating is necessary.
In the States the FAA stipulates that a pilot who wishes to fly across international air space must have a type rating licence, which requires additional training and endorsement on license. The main pilot in command must have a type rating and the co-pilot too needs to have a SIC type rating. Getting the main pilot in command type rating is more difficult than obtaining a SIC type rating for the co-pilot. The usual route is for a pilot to go in for SIC, get experience and then apply for PIC. Type ratings may also be required for instrumentation. Type ratings may be aircraft specific but commercial aircraft pilots may undergo additional training to be type rated for most aircrafts such as the Boeing and Airbus family of aircrafts. This may involve about 75 hours of training on simulatorsType ratings must comply with requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
All this involves additional expenses for pilots seeking to make a career as commercial pilots after they have obtained licence and a job. Therefore, it is important that when you gain an entry in a commercial airline, you select one that will bear the cost of type rating certification or share it. Type rating costs can be high at around $20000 and more.
Type rating is a must when one plans to fly aircrafts that weigh in excess of 5600 kgs mean take off weight and for turbojet powered aircrafts and for multi engine jet aircraft. You have to pass an oral exam and flight test along with practical test standards. Depending on the country and its regulations and the aircraft and its family of jets, a pilot may obtain a single pilot type rating or may have to obtain type ratings for different crafts within the family. Even then one must log in 25 hours of flying as assistant before being able to fly solo. One must also have unrestricted jet type rating, 2000 hours total flying time with 500 hours in multi-engine jets, 500 hours as second in command and 1000 hours as second pilot in type rated aircraft to obtain unrestricted type rating.