A type rating is a regulating agency’s certification of an airplane pilot to fly a certain aircraft type that requires additional training beyond the scope of the initial license and aircraft class training. What aircraft require a type rating is decided by the local aviation authority. In many countries pilots of single-engined 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.

Aircraft Type Ratings

After sitting a flight test that requires a new licence to be issued, pilots can have additional aircraft type ratings added to their new licence for no extra charge. Applicants must include a completed licence amendment form CAA24061/04, and photocopied evidence that the type rating has been issued and certified by a flight instructor in the applicant’s pilot logbook, along with their licence issue paperwork.

When pilots gain a type rating for a single-pilot aircraft type, after the initial issue of their licence, they are now requested to fill in a type rating form so that the type rating can be added to their record in the database.

Pilots who have done this will automatically have any new type ratings added to their licence, at no extra charge, when they upgrade it, for example from a PPL to a CPL, or if they gain an Instrument Rating. Prescribed issue fees for the licence or prime rating are still payable.

If pilots wish to have type ratings added to their licence as a separate exercise from a licence upgrade or prime rating issue, then a licence amendment fee will be charged.

A type rating is a regulating agency’s certification of an airplane pilot to fly a certain aircraft type that requires additional training beyond the scope of the initial license and aircraft class training. What aircraft require a type rating is decided by the local aviation authority. In many countries pilots of single-engined 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 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 requiring 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.

Starting in 2006, 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 in order to remain compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This is outlined in Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 §61.55 (14 CFR 61.55). Such a type rating is not required for operations completely within the United States. Obtaining a SIC Type Ratings is significantly less rigorous than obtaining a ‘full’ or Pilot in command (PIC) type rating.
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.)