- PIC Captains
Persons employed by the air operator primarily for the purpose of exercising the privileges of an FAA pilot certificate issued under FAR 61 and assigned primary responsibilities for operation and safety of an aircraft during flight. These persons will be qualified and trained as a PIC (Pilot in Command) by the air operator.
Here is the FAA’s official definition of PIC:
1. The PIC has the final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of the flight;
2. Has been designated as pilot in command before or during the flight; and
3. Holds the appropriate category, class, and type rating, if appropriate, for the conduct of the flight.
- Other Pilots
Persons employed by the air operator primarily for the purpose of exercising the privileges of an FAA pilot certificate issued under FAR 61. This person may or may not be qualified and trained as a PIC by the air operator but will not be assigned primary responsibilities for operation and safety of an aircraft during flight. This person typically will be a second-in-command (SIC) pilot.
A pilot is an individual duly authorized by FAA to exercise piloting privileges. The pilot certificate is one of several kinds of airman certificates issued by the FAA.
A pilot is certificated to fly aircraft at one or more named privilege levels and, at each privilege level, rated to fly aircraft of specific categories. Privilege levels of pilot certificates are, in order of increasing privilege:
- Student Pilot: an individual who is learning to fly under the tutelage of a flight instructor and who is permitted to fly alone under specific, limited circumstances
- Sport Pilot: an individual who is authorized to fly only Light-sport Aircraft
- Remote Pilot: an individual who may fly small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for compensation or hire
- Recreational Pilot: an individual who may fly aircraft of up to 180 horsepower (130 kW) and 4 seats in the daytime for pleasure only
- Private Pilot: an individual who may fly for pleasure or personal business, generally without accepting compensation
- Commercial Pilot: an individual who may, with some restrictions, fly for compensation or hire
- Airline Transport Pilot (often called ATP): an individual authorized to act as pilot for a scheduled airline. (First Officers that fly under 14CFR 121 are required to hold an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate as of August 1, 2013.)
Pilots can be rated in these aircraft categories:
- Flight Attendants
Persons employed by the air operator primarily to perform duties required by FAR 91.533, FAR 121.391, FAR 125.269 or FAR 135.107.
A flight attendant is an individual who works in the cabin of an aircraft that has 20 or more seats and is used by a part 121 or part 135 air carrier to provide air transportation.
Persons employed by the air operator primarily for the purpose of exercising the privileges of an FAA aircraft dispatcher certificate issued under FAR 65, Subpart C.
A flight dispatcher (also known as an airline dispatcher or flight operations officer) assists in planning flight paths, taking into account aircraft performance and loading, enroute winds, thunderstorm and turbulence forecasts, airspace restrictions, and airport conditions.
- Check Airmen
Persons designated by the Administrator as check airman for the air operator under the provisions of FAR 121.401(a)(4), FAR 135.323(a)(4) or FAR 125.295. Do not include persons in a training center authorized under the provisions of FAR 142.55(a).
A check airman is a person who is qualified to conduct flight checks in an aircraft, in a flight simulator, or in a flight training device for a particular type aircraft.
A check airman must, with respect to the aircraft type involved,
(1) Hold the airman certificates and ratings required to serve as a pilot in command in operations;
(2) Have satisfactorily completed the training phases for the aircraft, including recurrent training, that are required to serve as a pilot in command in operations;
(3) Have satisfactorily completed the proficiency or competency checks that are required to serve as a pilot in command in operations;
(4) Have satisfactorily completed the applicable training requirements;
(5) Hold at least a Class III medical certificate unless serving as a required crew member, in which case holds a Class I or Class II medical certificate as appropriate;
(6) Have satisfied the recency of experience requirements; and
(7) Have been approved by the Administrator for the check airman duties involved.
Persons employed by the air operator who either (1) hold an inspection authorization issued under FAR 65.91, but are not working under the provisions of a continuous airworthiness maintenance program of the FAR 121 or 135 air carrier; or (2) have been employed to fulfill inspection responsibilities of the FAR 121 or 135 air carrier maintenance program but are not identified as designated inspectors.
Aviation safety inspectors work to ensure the safety of aircrafts, including its parts, processes, and its aircraft operators. Inspectors spend much of their time examining parts of the plane as well as inspecting work done by mechanics and technicians. Inspectors monitor maintenance records and all equipment such as new aircraft, gauges, meters, access plates and various mechanical parts of the plane like landing gear and tires. Inspectors are also in charge of investigating accidents and determining what went wrong. Based on their extensive knowledge of aircraft operation and safety, inspectors make repair recommendations and, when necessary, recommend changes in policies, procedures and regulations.
There are two different types of aviation safety inspectors, general and air carrier. The main difference is in the size of the aircraft they inspect. In a general role, they are responsible for aircrafts under 12,500 pounds. In an air carrier, safety inspectors are responsible for aircrafts over 12,500 pounds. These inspectors are responsible for everything having to do with their assigned aircrafts.
- Designated Inspectors
Persons employed by the FAR 121 or 135 air carrier who are not full time inspection employees, but have specific inspection authority, and who derive their inspection authority through the continuous airworthiness maintenance program of the air carrier under the provisions of FAR 121.369(b)(3) or FAR 135.427(b)(3).
- Non-certificated Mechanics
Aircraft mechanics employed by the air operator who have not been certificated by the FAA under the provisions of FAR 65, Subpart D. A non-certificated mechanic must be working under the supervision of a certificated mechanic or repairman as authorized by FAR 43.3(d).
- Certificated Mechanics
Persons employed by the air operator who have been certificated by the FAA under the provisions of FAR 65, Subpart D, to inspect and perform or supervise maintenance, preventive maintenance, repairs and alternation of aircraft and aircraft systems. The US licensed qualification is sometimes referred to by the FAA as the Aviation Maintenance Technician and is commonly referred to as the Airframe and Powerplant(A&P).
Persons employed by the air operator who have been certificated by the FAA under the provisions of FAR 65, Subpart E, to perform or supervise the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration of aircraft or aircraft components appropriate to the job for which the repairman was employed and certificated, but only in connection with duties for the certificate holder by whom the repairman was employed and recommended.
The basic difference between a mechanic and a repairman is that a mechanic can perform maintenance on any aircraft; a repairman can perform maintenance only on aircraft for their employer, or that they own.
- Flight Engineer Examiners
Persons employed by the air operator designated by the FAA under the provisions of FAR 183, Subpart C, with privileges to conduct practical tests under FAR 63, Subpart B, for qualified applicants of airman qualification.
- Flight Engineers
Persons employed by the air operator primarily for the purpose of exercising the privileges of an FAA flight engineer certificate issued under FAR 63, Subpart B.
A flight engineer, also sometimes called an air engineer, is the member of an aircraft’s flight crew who monitors and operates its complex aircraft systems. Flight engineers check systems before flight, help develop flight plans, and continue to perform checks while the aircraft is in flight. Their focus is to ensure that there are no mechanical concerns, and they monitor the engines, mechanical systems and fuel levels during the flight. They answer any question the captain has and document all checks they make. They also document any changes that are made during flight. Some flight engineers also serve as first officer.
- Pilot Examiners
Persons employed by the air operator designated by the FAA under the provisions of FAR 183, Subpart C, with privileges to conduct practical tests under FAR 61 to qualified applicants of pilots.
- Aircrew Program Designees
Air operator employees authorized to conduct airman certification under aircrew designated examiner program authorized under the provisions of FAR 183. Do not include persons at a training center authorized under the provisions of FAR 142.55(a).
An Aircrew Program Designee (APD) or a Designated Flight Engineer Examiner (DFEE) is designated to conduct certification within a specifically-approved Aircrew Designated Examiner (ADE) program. An ADE program is associated with an operator which conducts its own program of airman qualification. It is the preferred program for conducting the certification of flightcrew members for complex part 121 and 135 operators.
Persons employed by the air operator primarily for the purpose of exercising the privileges of an FAA flight navigator certificate issued under FAR 63, Subpart C.
Flight navigators are responsible for locating the position of an aircraft and direct its course on domestic and international flights, using navigational aids.
Flight navigator is a position on older aircraft, typically between the late-1910s and the 1970s, where separate crew members were often responsible for the flight navigation, including its dead reckoning and celestial navigation, especially when flown over oceans or other featureless areas where radio navigation aids were not originally available. As sophisticated electronic air navigation aids and universal space-based GPS navigation systems came online, the dedicated Navigator’s position was discontinued and its function was assumed by dual-licensed Pilot-Navigators, and still later by the aircraft’s primary pilots (Captain and First Officer), resulting in a continued downsizing in the number of aircrew positions on commercial flights. Modern electronic navigation systems made the navigator redundant by the early 1980s.