hypothetical: 737 type rating just for fun?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Jeff Miner, Nov 13, 2021.

  1. Jeff Miner

    Jeff Miner Filing Flight Plan

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    I've been an aviation enthusiast for decades, and have been a heavy user of flight simulator software on my computer through those years, but I'm not a pilot. I did take flying lessons in Cessnas and Cherokees, but found it to be scary, and I realized that I'm not going to be an actual pilot. I just love the technology and would like to be proficient in operating a 737, even if it's just theoretical. My real background is in software and engineering.

    I'm financially independent and have the time and resources to pursue a serious full-time hobby. I was wondering: What is the farthest I can go in acquiring qualifications for operating a 737, that does not involve actual flying? Could I, for example, enroll in a real 737 training school and do all the required simulator time and checks and exams as real pilots do, to gain a qualification (even knowing that I cannot *use* the qualification for anything except buying more simulator time)? This could be compared to a person who is interested in medicine and who has no need or intention of having a career in medicine gaining a medical degree out of pure curiosity.
     
  2. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    I’m sure they’d take your money for training but probably have a few prerequisites to make it official on plastic. Good news is you could tell the crew that you are capable of landing the aircraft in a worse case scenario every time you fly.
     
  3. mcmanigle

    mcmanigle Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Pretty sure you can't get a type rating without having a pilot's license to attach it to, and I'm pretty sure you can't get any license without flying an actual plane at all. (If you already had a pilot's license, there are ways to get restricted type ratings with simulator time only, but you have to get the license first.)

    All that being said, I suspect that places that offer type rating type training would be happy to put you through their curriculum if you paid them enough. "Enough" might wind up being enough to take a private class, because they might not be able to work you in with a class of pilots trying to get their type ratings. And after 9/11, you might need to really convince them that this is purely a recreational endeavor.
     
  4. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Those courses are designed for those who already have a certificate and many hundreds of hours of flight time. And those simulators, for all practical purposes ARE actual airplanes and actual flying.
     
  5. asicer

    asicer Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    If you're well off enough, there's a lot of other options in between the Cessnokee and 737 ends of the spectrum.
     
  6. rhkennerly

    rhkennerly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Of course, if you proceed, you can expect to be chumming & gumming with the FBI. This is not the first time students have wanted this kind of training.
     
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  7. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Won’t be long before we’re just meat bags with a computer plugged into our brain stems. Who needs to leave the house when you can pretend to ____________ on a computer?
     
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  8. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    Welcome to POA. Invest in a decent VR setup and get DCS World. Its all the rage these days between real pilots and wanabes alike.
     
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  9. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Ever seen The Matrix???
     
  10. Tools

    Tools Line Up and Wait

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    Hmmm... I don’t know why you couldn’t just sign up for a type rating course.

    you simply couldn’t be granted the FAA type rating, but who cares? Should save you the amount of the type ride itself, which is redundant.

    Nothing suspicious, isn’t like you’re asking to be trained to fly and not land... it’s just buying simulator time and instruction.

    quite frankly, after having been through TWENTY of these courses, I really don’t think you do have to know how to fly. If you’re a computer guru, I recommend an Airbus. 73 is a very goofy mix of legacy and technology.
     
  11. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    If you own the chicken concession for an airline food service company, people are going to look at this with a high level of suspicion.
     
  12. Jeff Miner

    Jeff Miner Filing Flight Plan

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    Great pointers, thanks. Yes, I just love the Flight Management Computers in these planes. I'm a programmer, so understanding the FMC feels rewarding.
     
  13. aftCG

    aftCG Line Up and Wait

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    I recently contacted a place for this exact type rating because it would be very helpful for my job.
    I met all the prerequisites, except having passed the ATP written. I thought "how hard can that be? Surely John and Martha have a $299 study course, right?"

    I didn't realize that to take that written you need to do an ATP-CPL course which is around $3000
     
  14. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Wait, you're interested in technology and want to learn the *737*??? :p
     
  15. FlyingTiger

    FlyingTiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    upload_2021-11-14_6-28-4.jpeg
     
  16. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    there are places that will do a 737 type without an ATP.

    The rating is not rare enough to stand out on an application unless they also noticed you had no prior operating experience, it’s pretty simple for the airline to do the TR during onboarding. I'm not sure whether having it in advance with no experience would be a positive or a negative.
     
  17. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    There are places where you can do a "flight experience ". Generally these are short sessions conducted in sims that are no longer used for flight crew training. Here's an article on them from 6 years ago so the the list may be dated.

    As far contacting a part 142 flight center and enrolling in a type rating program with the understanding that you just want the training without a certificate, I suspect you're going to get turned down. It's not something they're set up to do, they don't have a curriculum for it, and I suspect their lawyers might not like the liability associated with doing it.

    That said, call them and ask.

    My suggestion is that if you have that much money to burn, go to a Cirrus flight center and take some lessons in a late model SR-20. Plenty of technology and a parachute to alleviate your safety fears. Good luck.
     
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  18. Tools

    Tools Line Up and Wait

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    I think they have a sim for the Cirrus Jet, that’ll have all the tech of a heavy, probably cheaper and far less weird scrutiny.

    If you do get in a airliner type sim, I recommend something that flies across the pond. Hopefully it’ll be set up for CPDLC and all. It’s another layer of tech that you’ll likely find pretty cool. HF position reporting is all gone for folks with that.

    ALL OF THAT aside, you still have more information with foreflight... geesh
     
  19. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't fault you for your interest, but I don't think your vision of this experience is realistic. Without the foundation of having a private pilot certificate with multiengine and instrument ratings you're going to be spinning your wheels in the mud during training for a type rating. Even if you just want the "experience" the training won't make a lot of sense without the fundamental skillset needed. The many years of flight sim/systems interest won't move the needle much, if at all, on that.
     
  20. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    I concur.
     
  21. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    I think you'll have a hard time arranging this. I would guess most airline sims are booked 24/7 these days, so they don't need to try to find other revenue streams. Your special case would just not be worth their time. But I suggest calling around anyway. You could also try to do it in a bizjet as well, most modern ones are generations more technically advanced than any 737.
     
  22. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Pre-takeoff checklist

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  23. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    And report back with results. Sometimes the meaning of your life is to serve as a warning to others....My username checks. :D
     
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  24. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    he must have cut his programming teeth on a TRS-80......
     
  25. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    If you got the means, why not just buy a simulator? It would totally be the bomb at house parties.
     
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  26. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    I did.
     
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  27. Kenny Taylor

    Kenny Taylor Pre-Flight

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  28. Brad Z

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  29. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Ah, yes, hindsight foreshadows the future. Sort of like history repeating itself before it’s even happened.
     
  30. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    "Hey Ma, it works!"
     
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  31. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    For that much money, you could build a heck of a home sim setup in your basement and run X-Plane with the Ultimate 737 mod.
     
  32. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Same here. 4 MHz is fine if your simulator is just for the instruments.
     
  33. sarangan

    sarangan Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    If you are want to do this for entertainment and not for real flying, why do you care if you get a rating from the FAA or not? Just pay a company to put you through the sim training and call it done.
     
  34. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    Are you taking about the TRS-80? I'm pretty sure the original's (Model I) Z-80 CPU had a clock rate of 1.77Mhz. 4KB RAM was the entry level expandable to 16K on board. The Expansion Interface allowed you to expand to 64K RAM.

    I started with the original with 4K, Level 1 BASIC, and 250 BAUD tape drive. Eventually expanded to 64K RAM, two 5-1/4 drives, 300 BAUD Modem, and I did one of the modifications which added lower-case letter support. I remember buying a Microline dot-matrix printer that cost hundreds of dollars. I bought one share of Tandy as, back then, share-holders received a discount at Radio Shack. My TRS-80 lasted until I upgraded to a Tandy 1000 in 1984 and I've been PC-compatible ever since. I wish I had kept that TRS-80 around. It would be fun to go back and play with it now.
     
  35. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    I’ve still got mine.
     
  36. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude

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    I upgraded to a Tamdy 1000 from a Tandy Color Computer.
     
  37. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Several years ago I spent a long weekend doing the ATOP 737 Course. It was a great experience and I highly recommend it; the cost is a very reasonable $495 (possibly the best $495 I've ever spent). For an extra $125 you can get a High Altitude Endorsement in your log book. They also offer a similar course for the A320.

    Unfortunately, a requirement to take the course is that you hold at least a Student Pilot Certificate, have 15 hours of airplane pilot time, and have an elementary understanding of "ILS" approaches.
     
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  38. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I think that is the difficulty with the OP's question. Most schools or programs are setup for someone with a certain basic level of knowledge and skills, and are also in a class format with other students. Interjecting a student pilot or non-pilot into an actual type rating for real world pilots would be a distraction or disruption for the actual pilots. Best case would be to find a museum with a sim, like Delta's Airline museum, that offers a sim experience to non-pilots.
     
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  39. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Model II. The business computer. It was 64K, 4MHz, one 500K 8" floppy drive, IIRC. We ran part of the family business on it with software I wrote as a teenager in BASIC. Hayes 300 baud modem, to link in an H-19 terminal so I could remote it command line. I had a 4P as well, and yeah, I wish I had that, too. Things were simpler back then, and the funny part is that spreadsheets at least aren't really any better at all. Those old PC's booted faster, and were way more reliable than Windows is today as well. When the first IBM came out I couldn't believe anyone would design it with such a weird processor, or with more addressable memory than disk space. Up to 384K of RAM, and the single side 5" drives were smaller than that.
     
  40. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    I’m not educated on the subject. Can you get typed VFR only??