What is the difference between a rating and a certificate?

2018-08-03 19:05:22

I did some research on what it would take to become a private pilot. I am totally green to the aviation world, so bear with me on my question.

I see the licenses also referred to as certificates but I also see the term "rating" listed on many things like "twin-engine", "turbo-prop", etc.

So what is a "rating" vs a "certificate"? Am I over-thinking this?

I'm referring to US regulations.

You are certified as a pilot to fly a certain class of airplanes. Typically, one would start with Airplane, Single Engine, Land. Then you could have more classes of airplanes added with additional training - tail draggers, floatplanes, complex (200 or more HP, retractable gear, constant speed propeller), high performance, multi-engine, etc.

Then you add ratings - instrument rating (can fly in clouds), commercial rating (can fly for hire), transport rating (can fly larger things for hire?).

I may be oversimplifying a little. Go find a local airport with a Cessna 172 or a Pip

  • You are certified as a pilot to fly a certain class of airplanes. Typically, one would start with Airplane, Single Engine, Land. Then you could have more classes of airplanes added with additional training - tail draggers, floatplanes, complex (200 or more HP, retractable gear, constant speed propeller), high performance, multi-engine, etc.

    Then you add ratings - instrument rating (can fly in clouds), commercial rating (can fly for hire), transport rating (can fly larger things for hire?).

    I may be oversimplifying a little. Go find a local airport with a Cessna 172 or a Piper something and get in the air!

    2018-08-03 20:20:01