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From what I read in 14 CFR 61.31 it never mentions type rating requirements for rotorcraft or helicopters. I Googled online but most of the results showed up for Australia, Canada and the UK.

I am starting to believe that the US does not require a pilot to have a type rating for a Robinson R22 or R44 helicopter.

Am I correct that unless the FAA has made a type certificate for that helicopter it does not require a type rating? Would it just require a checkout from wherever you are going to rent?

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    $\begingroup$ Keep in mind that many pilots will spend their very first rotorcraft hours in a R22... $\endgroup$ – UnrecognizedFallingObject Jan 29 '15 at 1:46
  • $\begingroup$ From Wikipedia's article on the R22: "Due to the issues relating to a low inertia rotor-system and a teetering main rotor, operation by any pilot in the United States of the Robinson R22 or Robinson R44 requires a special endorsement by a certified flight instructor." $\endgroup$ – Mark Jan 29 '15 at 3:05
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    $\begingroup$ Pls correct me i am confused. Type certificate is for aircraft to operate legally. Type rating is for airman to legally operate the aircraft that required one. See type certificate of R22 $\endgroup$ – vasin1987 Jan 29 '15 at 3:34
  • $\begingroup$ @vasin1987 You are correct. A type certificate is required for an aircraft type to be legally operated regardless of whether its pilots are required to have a type rating to operate it. $\endgroup$ – reirab Jan 29 '15 at 21:04
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SFAR 73 is Robinson R-22/R-44 Special Training and Experience Requirements and lists the specific training requirements for that model. Here's one relevant piece:

(1) No person may act as pilot in command of a Robinson model R-22 unless that person:

(i) Has had at least 200 flight hours in helicopters, at least 50 flight hours of which were in the Robinson R-22; or

(ii) Has had at least 10 hours dual instruction in the Robinson R-22 and has received an endorsement from a certified flight instructor authorized under paragraph (b)(5) of this section that the individual has been given the training required by this paragraph and is proficient to act as pilot in command of an R-22. Beginning 12 calendar months after the date of the endorsement, the individual may not act as pilot in command unless the individual has completed a flight review in an R-22 within the preceding 12 calendar months and obtained an endorsement for that flight review. The dual instruction must include at least the following abnormal and emergency procedures flight training: [...]

SFAR 108 has similar requirements for operating the Mitsubishi MU-2B.

Finally, note that the type certificate is for the aircraft, and has nothing to do with whether an individual pilot is qualified to fly it or not.

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  • $\begingroup$ When I first read this, I missed the 'or' and the end of (1)(i) and I was really confused as to how you were supposed to get 50 hours in an R-22 if only 10 of it was dual instruction and you weren't allowed to act as PIC. - haha $\endgroup$ – reirab Jan 29 '15 at 21:08
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    $\begingroup$ It's important to note that SFAR73 is modeled after an aircraft type rating, and behaves as such. $\endgroup$ – rbp Jan 30 '15 at 5:26
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, In summary 10 hours of dual to get a endorsement that last 12 months. And if you don't have 50 hours after 12 months you need to do a flight review before continuing to fly on it. $\endgroup$ – Annerajb Jan 31 '15 at 1:12
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The FAA does indeed require model-specific type ratings for many aircraft (a list of aircraft which the FAA recognizes type ratings for is here). FAR 61.31 says that type ratings are required for

(1) Large aircraft (except lighter-than-air).

(2) Turbojet-powered airplanes.

(3) Other aircraft specified by the Administrator through aircraft type certificate procedures.

In this context, according to Advisory Circular 61-89E, "large" means it has a gross weight of 12,500 lbs or greater. In addition, based on (2) above, you need a type rating in the US to fly any jet, even small, single-engine jets or those designed specifically for single-pilot operation.

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  • $\begingroup$ Purely for argument's sake, would a propfan-powered aircraft count as a "turbojet" for the purposes of FAR 61.31? What about a turboprop? $\endgroup$ – Sean Mar 3 at 4:14

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