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This question popped into my head when I learned some Citation X series have shared (?) type ratings.

So a theoretical situation:

I am a happy person with PPL and IFR ratings and then I decide to rent a 737-800 to give a birthday party to a close friend.

Can I just charter a private jet (assuming I am lucky enough to find a company that will give one to me) and fly? Do civilians need type ratings? I have heard you need a type rating to be the pilot in command. (It wouldn't be hard to find a pilot if that is the case.)

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    $\begingroup$ Would "a happy person with [only] PPL and IFR ratings" even know how to operate a 737-800? Sure, much skill is probably transferable, especially if you're used to a glass cockpit and maybe even have a multi-engine land rating (or your local equivalent), but even ignoring little details like, say, the FMC, there's for sure a whole lot more of everything. You might want to look up XC-VMC for a cautionary tale. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jun 3 at 5:50
  • $\begingroup$ @aCVn I dont think it has something to do with the flight training. As I see all they did was failing to turn the speed knob or relying too much on the autopilot which slowed down the plane slowly compared to the manual pilot control. $\endgroup$ – Delta Oscar Uniform Jun 3 at 8:39
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    $\begingroup$ But you sure need to know the control and how aircraft feels, when to flare etc. It’s much harder than switching from Prius to Humvee. $\endgroup$ – vasin1987 Jun 3 at 17:32
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In addition to a type rating, you cannot fly a 737 without a commercial pilot's license and 1,200 flight hours. Further, your flight and maintenance operation must be certificated by the FAA. You'll need FAA approved opspecs, flight manuals, pilot training and testing, a drug test program, hazmat program, a designated safety manager, and more.

Aircraft with 20 or more passenger seats, or 6,000 lbs payload capacity must be either flown under Part 121 air carrier rules or else they fall under Part 125 regulation. Except for limited circumstances, they cannot be operated under Part 91 (exceptions fall under Subpart F). Because your party isn't a training flight, you don't own the plane, it isn't a sports team, etc., you are under Part 125.

Once the aircraft is large enough, there is no longer a distinction between private and commercial operation, Part 125 covers commercial operations short of common carriage. Even if you're operating an aircraft privately, you have to comply with commercial level safety requirements.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is the 1,200 hours related to a frozen ATPL? I'm guessing a cargo 737 with no passengers wouldn't require any sort of ATPL so it would be a type-related requirement??? $\endgroup$ – Dave Gremlin Jun 2 at 22:48
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    $\begingroup$ @DaveGremlin It's not related. You need 1500 FH for an ATPL. The need for the ATPL depends on the type of operation. For example, UPS and FedEx are common carriers, so they fly under 121, so a ATPL is needed. $\endgroup$ – user71659 Jun 3 at 4:46
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    $\begingroup$ There are truths in this answer, but it confuses merely flying the plane, with flying for compensation and running a charter company. $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Jun 3 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall No, you missed the entire point of this answer. For large jets, these become all the same. Part 91 does not generally apply to large jets and neither does 135. If you think different, write you own answer. $\endgroup$ – user71659 Jun 3 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall This article explains the history. FAA wrote Part 125 to cover everything, allowing ad-hoc exemptions and ended up writing some specific cases into Part 91. If not in one of those cases, Part 125 applies. (The scope limit proposed in the article of 125 never happened and blanket exemptions are no longer issued) $\endgroup$ – user71659 Jun 3 at 16:15
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You would most certainly need a type rating to fly a 737. Any turbine-powered airplane or aircraft gross weight greater than 12,500 lbs (5.67 t) requires a type rating.

In this case, you will need quite a bit of extra training to fly a 737 and need to pass a practical test to earn a type rating.

§61.31 Type rating requirements, additional training, and authorization requirements. (a) Type ratings required. A person who acts as a pilot in command of any of the following aircraft must hold a type rating for that aircraft:

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

(2) Turbojet-powered airplanes.

(3) Other aircraft specified by the Administrator through aircraft type certificate procedures. Large aircraft means aircraft of more than 12,500 pounds, maximum certificated takeoff weight.

Part 1.1: Large aircraft means aircraft of more than 12,500 pounds, maximum certificated takeoff weight.

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    $\begingroup$ Also, I doubt that you could legally fly a 737 with just a single pilot. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Jun 2 at 19:30
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    $\begingroup$ @JonathanIrons IFR doesn’t require two pilots. The operation or aircraft may require two pilots. $\endgroup$ – wbeard52 Jun 2 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ @wbeard52 I'm not sure what you mean, but I don't think there any requirement to have a type rating in order to get an ATP. You can get a single-engine ATP in a light single if you really want to. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jun 2 at 19:52
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    $\begingroup$ Type ratings are tested to ATP standards, so if you have the hours, you might as well pick up your ATP while you're at it. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Jun 2 at 20:30
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    $\begingroup$ Turbojet and turbo fan are interchangeable for this regulation. Turbo prop would be different. $\endgroup$ – wbeard52 Jun 3 at 4:41

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