The Type Rating Course – How To Become A Commercial Pilot

SOUTHAFRICAPPL- The Type Rating Course How To Become A Commercial Pilot

What Is The Type Rating Course Like? What Can You Expect?

In this blog post, I’m going to explain what a Type Rating is, why it’s important, and what you’ll experience in a typical Type Rating course. I’ll also share my personal journey of getting a Type Rating for the Airbus A320.

This blog post is part of our detailed guide on becoming a commercial pilot. It has loads of information about picking the right flight school, various pilot training options, passing assessment tests, and much more Learn about the airline pilot life.

What Is A Type Rating For Pilots?

A Type Rating is like a special license for flying a specific airplane. For example, I have a Type Rating for the A320, which means I can fly airplanes like the Airbus A318, A319, A320, and A321 because they all belong to the same family of aircraft. However, it’s important to know that I can’t fly an Airbus A350 or a Boeing 787 without getting a new Type Rating for those planes.

If you’re starting a career with an airline or switching to a different type of airplane, you need to take a Type Rating course. This applies to all airline and transport pilots to make sure they can safely operate the planes they’re responsible for.

Type Rating Course is the specialized training that is a crucial step in becoming a commercial pilot, especially for those who wish to fly different types of aircraft. Here’s what you can expect from a Type Rating Course.

Aircraft Type Specialization: A Type Rating Course helps you become skilled at flying a specific kind of aircraft. These courses are needed for planes that are quite different from the ones you’ve flown before.

Requirements: Before you can join a Type Rating Course, you typically need to have a private pilot license (PPL) or a commercial pilot license (CPL). You might also need a certain number of flight hours, depending on the type of aircraft you want to be trained on.

Classroom Learning: The course starts with a part where you learn about the aircraft on paper. This is called “ground school.” You’ll study the plane’s systems, how it performs, its limits, what to do in emergencies, and more. You’ll also learn about things like how planes move through the air, how to navigate, and the rules for flying.

Simulator Practice: A big chunk of the Type Rating Course happens in a simulator. This is like a big video game that copies the aircraft you’re learning about. You’ll get hands-on experience with the plane’s controls and how it works, but you’re doing it all safely in a simulator.

Real Flying: Once you finish the classroom and simulator parts, you’ll move on to real flying with an instructor. You’ll practice taking off, landing, dealing with problems, and other flying stuff specific to that type of plane.

Tests: All through the course, you’ll have tests to see how well you know the plane and how well you can fly it. These tests are important for getting your type rating.

Time: How long the Type Rating Course takes depends on the plane’s complexity and your flying experience. It can take a few weeks to several months.

Money: These courses can be costly. The price depends on the type of plane, where you’re learning, and the flight school you choose. Be ready to spend a lot of money.

Keep Learning: Since aviation keeps changing, pilots have to keep learning to stay good at what they do. You might need more training later on to keep your type rating.

What Happens in Type Rating Ground School?

The course consists of several weeks of ground school where you’ll learn about the specific systems of the airplane you’ll be flying.

You don’t need to become an engineer, but you should understand the basics of how these systems work.

In addition to grasping the aircraft systems, you’ll also need to learn the airline’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and become familiar with the airplane itself.

After successfully passing the required exams and training, you’ll move on to the simulator phase of your Type Rating course.

The Type Rating Simulator Phase

The simulator phase is a bit like the AQC course, but it’s more tailored to the specific airplane you’ll be flying and the way the airline does things. During this part, you’ll deal with more complex and tough situations and problems.

In this part of your training, you’ll have to learn a lot of new stuff, mainly about how the airline does things. These are called SOPs, which are like the airline’s rules for how to get the plane ready before a flight and how to safely turn off the engines and park it. It takes a lot of time and focus.

But it’s really important to get good at these procedures, to know what to do and say at each step. This way, you’ll free up space in your brain to handle any unexpected problems while flying the plane safely.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to know these SOPs really well. They should become like second nature to you, just like your favorite song. This knowledge will help you not only during your Type Rating course but also throughout your career when flying this plane for the airline.

Learning about Complex Problems in Type Rating Training

In the simulator phase, you’ll face tricky emergencies like issues with the plane’s hydraulics, problems with its systems, and even fires or engine failures. Sometimes, you’ll have to fly the plane with only one engine, which can be quite hard, especially when an engine fails during takeoff (EFATO). Mastering how to handle EFATO is one of the toughest parts of this training.

Being able to deal with EFATO is super important because it’s a big problem that can happen during one of the most important times in a flight. Also, you’ll need to be able to make approaches and land the plane with just one engine working.

SOUTHAFRICAPPL-Learning about Complex Problems in Type Rating and Training with how to Completing Your ATPL Skills Test

Completing Your ATPL Skills Test

After you finish all your required training, the next significant step is the ATPL skills test. This is the final step before you get to actually pilot a jet!

During this test, you need to safely fly from one point to another and make sure to do all the necessary checks on the ground. But it’s not just a simple flight; you’ll have to handle various problems, some of which are quite complicated, while others are more straightforward.

One critical part is showing that you can handle an Engine Failure After Takeoff (EFATO) and safely control the aircraft when one engine isn’t working.

You’ll also have to demonstrate your ability to perform ‘memory items,’ which are important emergency procedures. These include tasks like stopping take-offs and performing maneuvers to escape dangerous situations.

Once you successfully finish this skills test, you’ll get your Type Rating Pilot Certificate, and you’re ready to move on to the next stage, which is Base Training.

My Journey with the Type Rating Course

I can honestly say that the Type Rating Course is one of the most exciting parts of your training. It’s the moment you start handling a modern jet, even though it’s in a simulator. This is the final step before you get to fly the real thing.

But it’s important to understand that it’s not easy. You need to prove that you understand the aircraft systems well, and you’ll be expected to smoothly remember the company’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and emergency protocols during every simulator session. It’s a challenging but incredibly exciting part of your journey to becoming a pilot!

The number of engines left after one fails depends on the type of plane you’re learning to fly. For most planes, you’ll keep going with just one engine, like I did when I got my training for the Airbus A320. But with certain big planes like the Jumbo Jet and Airbus A380, you might still have three engines working.

Pros And Cons Commercial Pilot Type Rating Course

  • Type Rating Courses help pilots become experts in flying a specific kind of aircraft. It’s great for advancing their career and finding better job opportunities.
  • Pilots with Type Ratings are safer because they know their specific aircraft really well.
  • Type Ratings can lead to better jobs with higher pay, especially at major airlines.
  • Sometimes, you have to get a Type Rating to fly certain commercial planes. It’s a must for your pilot career.
  • Type Rating Courses make sure all pilots know the same rules and safety stuff for a particular airline. This keeps flights safe and standard.
  • These courses can cost a lot. You have to pay for training, using simulators, and taking tests, which is tough on your wallet, especially for new pilots.
  • The training takes a while, often several weeks or even months. It might slow down your career progress.
  • Type Ratings are only for one kind of plane. If you want to fly a different one, you need more training, which means more time and money.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)

A Type Rating Course is like special training for pilots. It helps them learn how to fly a specific kind of airplane, sort of like getting a special license for that plane.

Pilots need a Type Rating to show they’re good at flying a particular plane. It’s a rule, and it makes sure they can safely handle that aircraft.

No, not all commercial pilots need Type Ratings. They’re only needed if a pilot wants to fly a very different kind of plane from what they’re used to.

To pick the right Type Rating course, think about what you want to do in your pilot career, how much money you have, and which plane you want to fly. Check out different training places and see if they have a good reputation and good training.

Usually, you need a private pilot license (PPL) or a commercial pilot license (CPL) before you can start a Type Rating Course. Sometimes, you’ll also need to have a certain number of flying hours.

It depends on the plane and how much flying experience you already have. It can take a few weeks to several months.

Type Rating Courses can be expensive. You’ll have to pay for classes, simulator time, books, and tests. The total cost depends on the plane and where you get your training.

Yes, if you have a Type Rating, you’ll need to do extra training now and then to keep it.


Type Rating Course is an intensive program that prepares you to operate a specific type of aircraft. It includes theoretical and practical training, simulator time, exams, and a financial commitment. Your success in the course will allow you to expand your piloting career and open up opportunities to fly a variety of aircraft.

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