Transition to Complex Airplanes

A high-performance airplane is defined as an airplane with an engine capable of developing more than 200 horsepower. A complex airplane is an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller. In lieu of a controllable pitch propeller, the aircraft could also have an engine control system consisting of a digital computer and associated accessories for controlling the engine and the propeller. A seaplane would still be considered complex if it meets the description above except for having floats instead of a retractable landing gear system.

Transition to a complex airplane, or a high-performance airplane, can be demanding for most pilots without previous experience. Increased performance and complexity both require additional planning, judgment, and piloting skills. Transition to these types of airplanes, therefore, should be accomplished in a systematic manner through a structured course of training administered by a qualified flight instructor.

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