How difficult is the Type Rating for Pilots stepping up to Jets?

In my opinion, the answer to this question depends on three primary factors: prior experience, attitude, and preparation.

Too often people equate total hours to skill level. Although there is correlation, quality of hours is more important than quantity. For example, the US Airforce puts a pilot in an F-18 after just a few hundred hours total time – that is high quality training. On the other hand, a pilot that flies with bad habits for thousands of hours is just reinforcing those bad habits. Likewise, a pilot that flies the same mission repeatedly (i.e. airline) is not necessarily prepared for the demands of single pilot operations. While they have a clear advantage with experience in the Flight Levels, they have auto-throttles and a first officer sharing a huge amount of the workload; take those two things away and things get pretty busy, fast!

Attitude plays an enormous part in the first-type-rating experience. For example, if a pilot with thousands of turboprop hours thinks that the HondaJet is small step up, they are likely to be disappointed and frustrated when they get in the simulator. A little humility goes a long way.

Which leads us to the last primary factor – preparation. If you buy your HondaJet with no prior Jet rating and just show up to FlightSafety, you are likely to be very disappointed. Instead, fly with a mentor in your plane before you attempt your first ever Jet Type Rating. Buy your plane, hire a mentor, and go fly it! Even if you hold prior type ratings, if they don’t include Garmin 3000, you should fly at least a couple hours before going to Greensboro.

You absolutely can make the jump – even from single engine prop – to a HondaJet with an appropriate amount of preparation. I know because I did exactly that – which you can read about here.

Here are my recommendations for the amount of hours you should spend flying your new airplane with a mentor prior to your Type Rating:

Prior Twin Engine Jet Type Rating with G3000 – none

Prior Twin Engine Jet Type Rating without G3000 – 2 hours

Significant and proficient twin engine turboprop experience – 5-10 hours

Significant and proficient single engine turboprop experience – 10-20 hours

Instrument Rated, Proficient Multi/Single Engine Prop experience – 25-50 hours

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