14 CFR 61.55 says:

...

(d) A person may receive a second-in-command pilot type rating for an aircraft after satisfactorily completing the second-in-command familiarization training requirements under paragraph (b) of this section in that type of aircraft provided the training was completed within the 12 calendar months before the month of application for the SIC pilot type rating. The person must comply with the following application and pilot certification procedures:

...

(6) The applicant must appear in person at a FAA Flight Standards District Office or to an Examiner with his or her logbook/training records and with the completed and signed FAA Form 8710-1.

(7) There is no practical test required for the issuance of the “SIC Privileges Only” pilot type rating.

What exactly is an SIC type rating used for and how can someone get a "type rating" without any kind of practical test?

It's an ICAO requirement, basically it's just official documentation showing that you've been trained and are competent to act as SIC in a given airplane.

ICAO is an organization that standardizes regulations and procedures among the participating countries (close to 200 if I recall). If you fly as SIC internationally you'll probably need an SIC type rating.

The rating is almost the same as a PIC type rating, except the rejected takeoff and taxi requirements (and maybe some others) don't have to be met. It's basically a formality for any airline first officer as they will have met all the requirements just by going through the airline's training.

  • Looking at the excerpt that I quoted above, it says that there is no practical test required. I think that you are describing a 121 or 135 SIC checkride in your last paragraph, not the SIC type (which has far fewer requirements than an actual type rating). – Lnafziger Feb 13 '14 at 6:55
  • You don't have to take a formal checkride, but you have to do all the training for one and be satisfactory in it. Checkrides are just a formality. – Ralgha Feb 13 '14 at 15:52
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    Actually, if you read the rest of 61.55 there is very little training that is actually required for Part 91 and it is nothing like a PIC type. Under 121 or 135 you have to complete their training program, so it is as you describe it. – Lnafziger Feb 13 '14 at 15:58

A U.S. pilot can apply for a SIC type rating after receiving instruction specific to that airplane to include:

  1. Operational procedures applicable to the powerplant, equipment, and systems.
  2. Performance specifications and limitations.
  3. Normal, abnormal, and emergency operating procedures.
  4. Flight manual.
  5. Placards and markings

The applicant will then need to perform the required takeoff and landings as well as flying the airplane during single engine operations and become familiar with engine out procedures.

The PIC who trained the SIC applicant should sign their logbook and 8710 as the recommending instructor. There are provisions for a person in management to make the required endorsements.

The applicant will then submit the application to the FAA either by making an appointment with their local FSDO or meeting with an examiner who has those privileges.


An SIC rating is not required for any U.S. domestic operations but may be required for operations outside the United States. It is important that a U.S. pilot who does not plan to fly internationally is still required to meet the requirements above (also found in 61.55) they just don't need to complete the final step and get the actual "SIC type rating" on their pilot certificate.

Its a box to check to make ICAO happy if you want your operation to fly outside of the US. For a 121 initial training program it literally is a checkbox -- you pass training and have an 8710 ready and an APD gives you the rating.

Its a formalization of knowing the airplane well enough to operate it in normal and abnormal conditions without the rigor of the PIC type (e.g. as an FO you do the oral exam with your sim partner and as Lnafziger points out, you don't cover the PTS for the SIC type like you do for a PIC type).

  • You don't need to cover any of the PTS for an SIC type. See my comment on his answer above. :) – Lnafziger Feb 13 '14 at 6:56

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