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: