Second-In-Command Rating Available

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We can't remember the last time the FAA handed out new ratings without requiring additional training but thousands of airline first officers should be lining up for the new paper, but only if they fly internationally. According to the National Air Transportation Association, the agency has started issuing second-in-command (SIC) type ratings to right-seaters on overseas routes. Now, as everyone knows, a first officer has all the qualifications to fly the aircraft that the pilot handling the controls has (although he or she might not have as much experience). However, some member countries of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) want to see it in writing. The ICAO, of which the U.S. is a member, has regulations stating that pilots working as second in command must have the appropriate type rating. Even though training qualifications for U.S. pilots exceed the requirements for the ICAO SIC type rating, some member countries have given U.S. crews grief for not having their documents in order. NATA says it should be a paperwork exercise only for qualified pilots and the forms must be filled out in time to get the rating no later than June 6, 2006. Pilots who are sure they'll be staying on this side of the pond need not bother.