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era66

Flying Boeing and Airbus in Real Life

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Just curious . . . Any real life commercial pilots out there who are rated in both Boeing and Airbus (for example, interchangeaby flying B737 NGX or A320 routinely)? Are there regulations or specific conditions by the airline industry or FAA (or other government bureaus of other countries) regarding this?

 

era

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I'm not an airline pilot, but I believe it's possible to be rated on both the 737NG (the real plane is not called the NGX) and the A320 at the same time. However, most if not all airlines do not let pilots switch from one aircraft to another interchangeably. So, for example, a pilot won't be flying a 737 from KORD-KJFK, then step onto an A320 for his next leg from KJFK-KLAX. 

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I'm fairly sure flying Airbus and Boeing mixed fleet is not permitted. We have a guy on our team who flies the 737-300 and -800 and he is not allowed to fly both models within a single duty period. If he is flying a multi sector day and an aircraft change is required then it must be the same model as the aircraft he started the day on.

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There is, as far as I know, no limit to the number of type ratings you may hold.

 

However, you must be current on each type. This means that you would need to pass a six-monthly simulator check for each type, plus meet the landing currency requirements etc for each type. Obviously this would rapidly become overwhelming and there'd come a point where you'd end up spending all your time in the simulator and no time actually flying!

 

I don't think there is any Airbus/Boeing mixed fleet flying going on (at least not as normal practice). As Ben alludes to, it is possible to fly different variants of a type and different airlines will have their own rules on this. In the case of the 737, there's one type rating for all variants but there is differences training from the Jurassics to the Classics to the NGs.

 

In the case of the Airbus, the A320 type rating is valid across the entire series (A318/A319/A320/A321). Pilots can and do fly the different models interchangeably, and it is not uncommon to change from one model to another during the course of a multi-sector day in at least one large UK-based airline.

 

Fun fact: as far as I know there are no Level D A318, A319 or A321 simulators in existence: Airbus only provide the data for the A320. 

 

There are plenty of pilots flying mixed short-haul and long-haul Airbus (i.e. both A320 series and A330/340), though I doubt there'd be any interchange between those types during the course of a day.

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.....

In the case of the Airbus, the A320 type rating is valid across the entire series (A318/A319/A320/A321). Pilots can and do fly the different models interchangeably, and it is not uncommon to change from one model to another during the course of a multi-sector day in at least one large UK-based airline.

 

Fun fact: as far as I know there are no Level D A318, A319 or A321 simulators in existence: Airbus only provide the data for the A320.

 

There are plenty of pilots flying mixed short-haul and long-haul Airbus (i.e. both A320 series and A330/340), though I doubt there'd be any interchange between those types during the course of a day.

I am only a GA pilot and no planes that I fly require a rating. But I do know some airline pilots (my instrument checkride was done with a (then) Continental B777 pilot ). I believe that the FAA (US) has regulations requiring Part 121 carriers to have rules regarding flying multiple variants of a type rating in their SOPs. Usually pilots are required to pass a "differences" check between variants within a rating type, this takes typically 2-3 days to pass.

 

Bruce.

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