Complex Endorsement

What is a complex endorsement?

14 CFR 61.1(b)(3): Definition of “complex airplane”

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.

14 CFR 61.31(e): Additional training required for operating complex airplanes
  1. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of a complex airplane, unless the person has —

    • Received and logged ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in a complex airplane, or in a flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a complex airplane, and has been found proficient in the operation and systems of the airplane; and

    • Recieved a one-time endorsement in the pilot’s logbook from an authorized instructor who certifies the person is proficient to operate a complex airplane.

  2. The training and endorsement required by paragraph (e)(1) of this section is not required if the person has logged flight time as pilot in command of a complex airplane, or in a flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a complex airplane prior to August 4, 1997.

How long will it take you to receive your endorsement?

  • ​Each student is unique, so overall cost may vary by student based on experience and required time to complete.  

  • Most students can expect approximately 2 to 4 hours of ground instruction along with 4 to 8 hours of flight instruction in a complex airplane.  

How much will my endorsement cost?

  • Students should budget $1,000 to $1,800 for their complex endorsement training.

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