When a new aircraft is developed that requires a new kind of type rating to fly, considering that FAR 61.195(b)(2) and (e) require the instructor giving a type rating (or any sort of instruction) in an aircraft that requires a type rating to hold a type rating in that aircraft, how is the first type rating for that new aircraft type issued? Is it implicitly acquired by the flight test pilots, who then can give type rating exams and checkrides to other instructor pilots? Or is there some procedure tucked into a dark corner of FSIMS that is used when "we need a brand new type rating, now what?"


1 Answer 1


Seems you guessed right, actually. FSIMS 5.9.3 does indicate that you can get a letter of authorization in lieu of a type rating:

B. Requirements for Aircraft Undergoing Certification. During the type certification process, it is sometimes necessary for industry pilots or FAA inspectors with airman certification responsibility to be qualified in a particular aircraft before a pilot certificate type rating designator is established for that aircraft. In these circumstances, and at the discretion of the manager of the aircraft evaluation group (AEG), an LOA (Figure 5-187) may be issued in lieu of a type rating. This LOA and Letter of Application (Figure 5-188) must be in the pilot’s possession when exercising the authorized privileges. The LOA can eventually be surrendered to a district office in exchange for a temporary airman certificate bearing the category, class, and type ratings.

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    $\begingroup$ Which CFI gave Orville his endorsement to solo, anyway??? Sometimes the first ones just get the benefit of slightly different rules that the rest of us follow. And for purposes like this, that's probably inevitable. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Jul 12, 2015 at 16:30

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