Aircraft type ratings (overview)
Learn about the new rules for aircraft type ratings - in effect since 1 September 2014. The full rules are contained in Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
The Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 - Prescription of aircraft and ratings - CASR Part 61 legislative instrument lists the aircraft that have type ratings, as well as the models that require differences training.
This information sheet includes details about two exemptions that came into effect on 1 July 2016. The exemptions are:
- CASA EX93/16, which provides alternative requirements for pilot type rating instrument proficiency checks
- CASA EX97/16, which provides an alternative to the aircraft class rating and pilot type rating biennial flight reviews, with an aircraft category and multi-engine aircraft requirement.
What is a type rating?
A type rating authorises a pilot or flight engineer to operate a particular type of aircraft. Pilots exercise the privileges of pilot type ratings and flight engineers exercise the privileges of flight engineer type ratings.
If the aircraft is certified for multi-crew operations, both the captain and co-pilot need to hold the pilot type rating for that aircraft. The aircraft operator is responsible for assigning one pilot as the captain and another as co-pilot for a multi-crew aircraft and ensuring both pilots are properly trained and qualified to perform their respective roles.
Flight crew licensing type ratings are listed in a legislative instrument. It is updated when new aircraft are introduced or ratings are changed.
Some type ratings include different models. For example, the DHC8 (Bombardier Dash-8) type rating covers the DHC 8-100 series, 200 series, 300 series and 400 series aircraft.
Which aircraft require a type rating?
All aircraft that are certified for multi-crew operations have a type rating.
All multi-engine helicopters are type-rated.
Some complex single-pilot aircraft are designated as type-rated aircraft as they require additional training to ensure the pilots flying these aircraft are competent.
Examples of single-pilot type rated aircraft are:
- helicopters – AS355, A109, BH214, S76 series
- aeroplanes – BE350/1900, C550, Dornier 228 series
- type-rated aircraft that are not included in a class rating.
Aircraft that are not included in a type rating are covered by the applicable aircraft class rating.
What changes are there in Part 61 for type ratings?
- Some aircraft are included in a class rating and don’t require a specific rating (endorsement) such as most light multi-engine aeroplanes and some single-engine helicopters.
- There are no separate aircraft ratings for co-pilots.
- There is a new cruise-relief type rating.
- Multi-crew cooperation training is required for all pilots in multi-crew operations.
Why has the co-pilot type rating been removed?
Australia is aligning its licensing and operational requirements with the International Civil Aviation Organization and other countries which do not have a separate co-pilot endorsement/rating. Both pilots of a multi-crew aircraft need to be competent operating the aircraft as pilot-flying and pilot-monitoring including normal, non-normal and emergency aspects of an operation.
I have a Lear 45 co-pilot endorsement. What rating do I get under Part 61?
You get a Lear 45 type rating and it has a condition that limits your privileges to acting as co-pilot (subregulations 202.226(7) and (8)).
How do I have the co-pilot limitation removed from my licence?
You have to complete appropriate training and a flight test for the rating. This training covers any gaps between your previous co-pilot endorsement training and what is prescribed in Part 61. A flight test is also required (regulation 61.822).
What is a cruise-relief co-pilot rating?
This rating authorises you to act as co-pilot of an aircraft of the specified type. However, some limitations apply:
- you can only act as co-pilot with an operator that has an approved cyclic training and proficiency program
- you can only act as co-pilot while the aircraft is at Flight Level 200 or above.
Do I need to complete my training at a flying school?
You need to complete training for a pilot type rating at a Part 142 school. In some cases, pilot type ratings can be done at a Part 141 school. These aircraft are listed in a legislative instrument (paragraph 142.015 (2)(d)).
How do I obtain my new pilot type rating?
After completing your training, you need to complete a pilot type rating flight test. At the end of the test, assuming you pass, the examiner will enter details of the rating in your licence and send a report to CASA so that your records can be updated. You can exercise the privileges of your licence in that type of aircraft as soon as the examiner has issued the rating.
What is 'differences training' and who can provide that training?
Where the aircraft systems, performance and operating procedures of one model of an aircraft type are sufficiently different to other models of the same aircraft type, CASA will prescribe differences training.
The aircraft rating legislative instrument lists the aircraft models that require differences training.
Differences training can be done by a training organisation that is authorised to conduct the type rating training. In most cases that will be the holder of a Part 142 certificate, although in some cases, Part 141 certificate holders could be authorised to conduct that training.
Is there a mandatory simulator training rule for type rating training?
Yes. Regulation 61.205 requires training to be conducted in a flight simulator in certain circumstances where the aircraft has a maximum certificated passenger seating capacity of more than nine. Training in flight simulators leads to more effective training outcomes, especially in areas that are risky to conduct in the aircraft.
If there is an approved flight simulator available in Australia, then it must be used. Otherwise, the training may be conducted in the aircraft.
If an approved flight simulator is not available in Australia and the aircraft maximum certificated take-off weight is more than 8,618 kg, then an approved flight simulator that is available outside of Australia must be used.
Do I need to do a type rating flight review?
While regulation 61.800 requires you to have a valid flight review for the aircraft type, an exemption has been made that provides an alternative way of satisfying this regulation. You only need to have a valid flight review for an aircraft of the same category, and for a multi-engine aircraft of the same category if applicable.
Refer to CASA’s flight reviews information sheet for more details.
What do I need to do to conduct an IFR flight in a type-rated aircraft?
Regulation 61.805 requires pilots to have a valid instrument proficiency check (IPC) that was completed within the previous 24 months. For single-pilot turbojet aeroplanes, the period is 12 months. Regulation 61.880 requires you to have a current IPC for the aircraft category. If the aircraft is a multi-engine aeroplane or helicopter, the IPC must have been in a multi-engine aeroplane or helicopter, as applicable .
An exemption has been made that replaces the specific type rating IPC with a more general 24 month IPC. The following three IPC criteria must be met within the previous 24 months:
- to fly a type-rated aircraft, the pilot needs to have done an IPC in any type-rated aircraft of the same category
- to fly a turbojet aeroplane as a single-pilot operation, the pilot needs to have done an IPC in any turbojet aeroplane that is certificated for single-pilot operations, as a single-pilot operation
- to fly a multi-crew certificated aircraft, the pilot needs to have done an IPC in any multi-crew certificated aircraft of the same category.
I hold a single-pilot type rating and need to fly the aircraft in a multi-crew operation. Are there any special requirements?
Yes. To fly in a multi-crew operation each pilot must have completed an approved course of training in multi-crew cooperation. Alternatively, the pilots must hold a multi-crew type rating (regulation 61.785).
In some cases, a single-pilot type-rated aircraft has to be operated as a multi-crew operation. For example, the regulations require aircraft carrying more than nine passengers in regular public transport operations to have two pilots regardless of the aircraft certification. In that case, the aircraft is a multi-crew operation.
Are there any special requirements if the aircraft rating is done in a simulator?
If the flight test for a turbine-powered aircraft type rating is passed in a flight simulator, the pilot must have at least 25 hours of flight time as pilot an aircraft covered by that rating to exercise the privileges of the type rating as pilot-in-command.
However, there are other ways to meet that requirement.
For example, Pauline completes a Dash 8 type rating in a flight simulator, although she hasn’t logged 25 hours in that type of aircraft. However, Pauline has over 1000 hours of flight time as pilot-in-command of other turbo-prop aeroplanes. Therefore, Pauline can operate as pilot-in-command of the Dash 8 as long as other operational requirements are complied with.
See regulation 61.775 for more details.
Want to know more?
- Read CASA’s Aircraft ratings and Aircraft class ratings information sheets.
- Visit the Licensing Regulations section.
The rules for aircraft type ratings are contained in Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations:
- Regulations 61.770 to 61.822 – pilot type ratings
- Regulation 61.800 – flight review for pilot type ratings
- Regulations 61.805 and 61.880 – instrument proficiency checks for type-rated aircraft
- Regulations 61.825 to 61.850 – for cruise-relief co-pilot rating
- Regulation 61.780 – differences training for model variants.
- CASA EX93/16 – instrument proficiency checks.