Aircraft Category | Everything About

The subject of aircraft category and class can be a little confusing until someone comes along and shows you a nifty way to organize it all in your head.  With any luck that will be me!

Aircraft category applies to aircraft certification and to pilot certification.

When an aircraft is designed, built, and tested it must pass certain certification standards depending on what aircraft category it will be in.  There are normal category, utility category, aerobatic category, experimental category, restricted category, and transport category aircraft.  Most trainers are in the normal and sometimes utility category.

Aircraft are put into different categories in respect to what the pilot’s certificate says they can fly.  For example, if you learn to fly airplanes in a typical flight school your certificate will say “single engine land airplane”.  In this case “airplane” is the category of aircraft that the pilot is allowed to fly and the “single engine land” portion is the aircraft class.