JAR Type Ratings for Helicopters

Published: 02nd June 2011
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Why Get a Type Rating?

Type Rating

You have a PPL(H) and you want to try something different. For most pilots, getting another JAR type rating on their license is one of the first things they will do. Having probably completed their training on a small helicopter, they now want to carry more passengers and luggage. Larger helicopters will normally have a faster cruise speed and so traveling time is reduced. But what is involved in getting a type rating?

If you are getting your first Robinson R22 or Robinson R44 type rating, then you will have to do a minimum of 10 hours flying during your type rating course. If you already hold a Robinson R22 rating then you will only need to do a minimum of 5 hours flying on your type rating course and vice versa.

Your first piston engine or turbine engine type rating will require you to fly a minimum of 5 hours during the course. If you already have completed a piston or a turbine engine type rating, then you will require a minimum of 2 hours flight time during your type rating course. (The actual time required will depend on your experience and ability but low time pilots should budget for 5 hours to be safe).

Approved Training Organizations (ATO)

All training for type ratings must be undertaken at a training school approved for type rating training. At the moment these schools are called Flight Training Organizations (FTO) and Type Rating Training Organizations (TRTO) but when EASA takes over from JAR in 2012, both of these will be referred to as Approved Training Organizations (ATO).

You can check with your country’s Authority to find out which training organisations can do the specific type rating courses.

How Long?

If you are doing a type rating course that only requires 5 hours of flying, you can expect to spend the first day in the classroom and learning all about the systems of the helicopter. This will normally end with a technical written examination on the specific helicopter type.

The following two days will normally be spent doing the flying part of the course. The flying does not have to be done right away. You can do this at your convenience but if you have the time and the money, I would advise doing it all together.

When your flying training is complete, your instructor will sign a course completion certificate and an application can be made for you to be tested by an examiner.

The Flight Test

The flight test will normally take between 45 minutes and 1 hour. It is a test of your general handling. There is no navigation as such but you will be required to fly away from the airfield and return to it and do all the radiotelephony. The flight test tolerances are the same as the PPL skills test. You will have to demonstrate proficiency in all of the general handling manoeuvres and complete some simulated IFR manoeuvres.

Make sure you know the emergency procedures of by heart as you will definitely be asked most (if not all) of them.

To keep your rating current, you must do a License Proficiency Check (LPC) each year. This can be completed up to 90 days before it is due to expire and if you pass it, it will be valid for another year after it is due to expire. You must have completed at least 2 hours flying (dual or solo) in the previous 12 months before doing the LPC.

If you a renewing a Robinson rating then you will need to check if you meet the SFAR 73 requirements (do you need to do the SFAR 73 safety awarness training?).

If your type rating has lapsed you can still renew it fairly easily as long as it has not lapsed by more than 5 years. Less than 5 years requires you to do some remedial training and a flight test. If it has lapsed by more than 5 years, then you will have to do the type rating course again.

Further information may be found at My Helicopter Blog.

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