Flight Training
What a 'Type Rating' in Aviation Training?

What Is a Type Rating in Aviation?

Call 480-372-9815 to learn about flight training opportunities with Leopard Aviation. 

Type ratings aren’t just for students earning a commercial pilot license. They are also for pilots who operate private aircraft systems. The type rating you earn will determine the type of aircraft you can operate. If you earn various type ratings, you can pilot various aircraft types.

But what is a type rating in aviation? How many type ratings are there, and what exactly do they cover? As you earn your commercial pilot license in Arizona, you’ll learn in-depth information about how aircraft type ratings work. 

What Is a Type Rating in Aviation?

Type ratings work similarly to class ratings on a driver’s license. They determine what aircraft type you can pilot. Some type ratings allow you to operate a broader spectrum of aircraft than others. Each type rating has its own set of pilot training requirements, associated aircraft, and pilot allowances.

Some common type ratings include:

  • Airbus aircraft types like A-310 or A-320
  • Boeing narrowbody aircraft types like B-707 or B-720
  • Falcon aircraft types like DA-7X or DA-10

You might choose a single type rating as you begin your flying career. Later, you may switch to a separate type rating to broaden the aircraft varieties you operate. Many pilots seek additional training to accomplish this.

Type ratings vary based on the aircraft system, the airspace of operation, and the training a pilot has received. Before you operate a new aircraft not listed on your rating, you’ll need to complete a type rating course that matches that aircraft.

What Does a Type Rating Course Cover?

Type rating courses cover several integral areas of piloting, including:

  • Ground school courses specific to the aircraft type
  • Flight simulator training to familiarize you with the controls
  • Basic flight safety training consistent with the type rating practices
  • In-depth courses on emergency procedures and emergency equipment
  • A type rating checkride, a practical test to determine how much knowledge a pilot has retained about the type rating courses — for example, information handling performance

Multiple aircraft carriers require a type rating and will need pilots to renew their type rating training to continue operating the craft after the licenses expire. This is because technological, operation, and equipment changes may change the way in which a private or commercial pilot operates the aircraft.

Completing Type Rating Training

What is a type rating in aviation, and how do you attain it? First, determine which common type rating you would like to obtain as you earn your pilot certificate, as they have many differences:

  • Turbojet-powered aircraft have jet engines and can vary in size.
  • Large aircraft are typified as any craft exceeding 12,500 pounds.
  • Any other aircraft varieties may have varying requirements that are different from freight or passenger craft.

Once you choose the type rating with which you want to begin, you can learn more about the type rating cost and requirements. Although most ratings will include the basics listed above, they may differ for certain aircraft. Consider learning more about the following course specifics to help you gauge your approach to the course:

  • How much time does your type rating require to complete? Some ratings require less than two weeks. Others might require a month or more.
  • What types of flight simulators will you use? Understanding the learning mechanisms and equipment ahead of time will help you predict and better understand required operational skills.
  • What aircraft does your type rating cover? If it covers many different aircraft types, it could offer more opportunities.
  • Which ratings does your chosen flight training school offer? Some schools can only cover a limited amount of ratings. You may need to travel to have your specific rating provided.

The Importance of Type Ratings

What makes type ratings so important? Your type rating training isn’t just about giving you the ability to operate your preferred airplane. Its main function is to ensure that you can fly an aircraft safely and knowledgeably.

Since one airplane might greatly differ from another, commercial pilots need experience and an intimate understanding of a variety of aircraft. Plus, technology continues evolving at a rapid pace, which requires anyone operating a machine to keep up with any changes. Type ratings are about knowledge, competent aircraft operations, and safety for anyone involved.

Keeping Your Type Rating Up To Date

Like driver’s licenses, most type ratings have an expiration date. Most expiration dates occur around a year following your first check on the covered aircraft. Updating your rating is simple. You can simply make an appointment with an approved flight simulator.

During your rating update, you’ll use the simulator to demonstrate your competency. After you complete and pass this check, you can continue using your license and current type rating for the next year. Then, the process begins again.

Learn More About Professional Piloting from Leopard Aviation

So, what is a type rating in aviation? Like a driver’s license, it identifies the type of aircraft a pilot can safely operate. Learn more about how to become a pilot and get your own type rating from Leopard Aviation. Call 480-372-9815 to find out about our training courses, financing options, and resources to support your career and dream. Become a type-rated pilot trained by the best.

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