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?
FAR 61.31(e) states that a pilot is required to receive a one time endorsement to operate a “complex aircraft”. According to FAR 61.1 (b) (iii)
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
Click here for a download of the Piper Arrow II POH
(Be sure to study your actual aircraft’s POH as numbers can be slightly different)
Piper Arrow Maneuvers
Link to Piper Arrow II Maneuvers
(many thanks to CFI Jay Bovy for putting this together)
Procedures to Study:
Takeoffs, landings, go-arounds, shorts/softs
Engine failures – takeoff, climb out, cruise
Fires – Engine/electrical
Emergency gear extension