- A retractable landing gear (land aircraft only; a seaplane is not required to have this)
- A controllable-pitch propeller (which includes constant-speed propellers)
- Movable or adjustable flaps.
Before or after earning the private pilot certificate (PPL) (usually after), a pilot can be trained in complex aircraft operation by a flight instructor. When the pilot has demonstrated proficiency in complex aircraft, the flight instructor endorses the pilot's logbook and the pilot is said to have a "complex endorsement".
As of April 24, 2018 the FAA requires a commercial pilot applicant and CFI applicant to have experience in a complex aircraft; however, the practical test may be taken in a non-complex aircraft for the commercial pilot certificate (CPL) and the flight instructor certificate (CFI).
- 14 C.F.R., Sec. 61.31(e)
- 8900.2 - General Aviation Airman Designee Handbook
- N_8900.463 - Use of a Complex Airplane During a Commercial Pilot or Flight Instructor Practical Test
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