Complex Endorsement and Transition
Note: These documents are for training and reference only and are never meant to take the place of your flight instructor. Always check with a certified flight instructor, your airplane manuals, and official FAA documentation during your flight training.
What is a complex aircraft?
Complex airplane means an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller, including airplanes equipped with an engine control system consisting of a digital computer and associated accessories for controlling the engine and propeller, such as a full authority digital engine control; or, in the case of a seaplane, flaps and a controllable pitch propeller, including seaplanes equipped with an engine control system consisting of a digital computer and associated accessories for controlling the engine and propeller, such as a full authority digital engine control.
How to Prepare:
Below is a simplified “checklist” of things to do in preparation of flying your complex airplane:
Constant Speed Prop
Read this well written article (WITH PICTURES!) on how a constant speed propeller works.
Find your POH and read about the retractable gear system, including the emergency extention.
Next find the V-speeds for your new aircraft. You have two new ones to find.
- Vle – landing gear extended speed
- Vl0 – landing gear operating speed (the gear are more “fragile” while in motion as opposed to being “down and locked”)
Below is a general outline of what to expect during the flight training portion:
- Aircraft familiarization
- Slow flight, Stalls (first indication), Steep turns
- Normal landings
- Flight by instrument reference
- Simulated engine failure
- Simulated emergency gear extension
- Short and soft field takeoffs and landings
- Power-off 180°s
- No flap landings
- Cleaning up procedures and maneuvers if needed
- Complex endorsement will be achieved with approximately 5 hours of flight training and proficiency in all operations
Piper Arrow II POH
(Be sure to study your actual aircraft’s POH as numbers can be slightly different)
Procedures to Study:
Takeoffs, landings, go-arounds, shorts/softs
Engine failures – takeoff, climb out, cruise
Fires – Engine/electrical
Emergency gear extension