Can Boeing Pilots Fly Airbus? (3 Truths About Airliners)

The Airbus Fleet
Airbus in all its Glory

There is a saying that I always loved because I flew Boeing 737’s.

If it ain’t Boeing I ain’t going, but “Can Boeing Pilots Fly Airbus?”

YES, Boeing pilots can fly Airbus aircraft. The caveat here is that the pilot must have the proper training in each of the aircraft. This requires a “type rating” for each airplane.

“Can Boeing Pilots Fly Airbus”

1. A Short Course On Pilot Training

Flight training is a long and arduous process that begins with the desire to learn to fly.

The opportunity to discover the amazing world of flight for the first time does not require any more than that desire.

The second step is a trip to a local airport with a flight training center and taking an introductory flight. This requires nothing more than the cash to rent an airplane and pay a flight instructor. Nothing more is needed..

If you discover that you wish to continue you will need to acquire a student pilot certificate and medical from a doctor. Specifically an Aviation Medical Examiner.

Then you will learn that in aviation there is always another hurdle to jump.

You acquire your Private Pilot Certificate then your Commercial Certificate so you can charge others for flying, and then your Instrument Rating. But remember you need a Multi Engine rating to fly a twin or even a four engine airplane!

Imagine you are wealthy enough you can start getting type ratings that are needed for aircraft over 12,500 lbs max gross weight.

You can do all of this with a Private Certificate if you are not charging others for flying.

2. Type Ratings

Now we can explain the question, “Can A Boeing Pilot Fly An Airbus.”

A Type Rating is an intense study of a particular aircraft (over 12,500 lbs). By intense study, I mean that a pilot must know the aircraft inside and out.

The systems, fuel, electrical, hydraulics, everything about the airplane. It needs to be committed to memory. And, yes checklists need to be committed to memory on some planes like the 737 that has 13 emergency checklists.

These must be memorized so when the FAA gives you your oral exam you must spit them out verbatim. It is for the safety of all.

I don’t mean to insinuate that a pilot flying a 172 Cessna does not need to know their airplane, it is just that a Boeing or Airbus is very complex.

A pilot must obtain a type rating for every airplane they may have the opportunity to fly.

I have known pilots that have type ratings for a dozen airplanes or more so it is ludicrous to assume that a Boeing Captain cannot simultaneously hold a type on the Airbus.

I know quite a  number of pilots that I flew with that are now at JetBlue that hold both types and they transitioned from the Boeing to the Airbus and it was not a problem.

3. Diversity

The face of aviation changes very rapidly over short timeframes.

I remember a time when you could not be considered for a position as a pilot for a start-up company unless you purchased a 10,000 dollar-type rating for a Cessna Citation jet.

For guys like me making 500 bucks a week, it was unthinkable. It was a time when the greatest airlines in history were closing their doors.

Along with that, the older airline pilots thought that buying a type for a job was just stupid. If they wanted your skills they could pay the bill for the type.

As it turned out the startup company became one of the largest jet charter (fractional share) airlines in the world. So buying the type would have paid off very well.

Diversification in training and investing in yourself is a good business practice these days,

A type in a Boeing and one in an Airbus just make a pilot more marketable.

Final Thoughts

Every airplane hasa certain feel to it. The secret to flying one is to spend time with the aircraft and truthfully it takes a solid 500 hours in the airplane to really become friends with it.

Any pilot will say that time is your friend in a new aitplane. If you give the time to learn you can fly any aircraft.

The transition from Boeing to Airbus is not easy because it takes time and study but a pilot who is typed in one can be typed in a 2 week period and qualified in both airplanes.


Read This: “Can A Woman Become An Airline Pilot?” ( 5 Yes You Can Facts)




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