Chapter 11-Transition to Complex Airplanes

Table of Contents
High Performance and Complex Airplanes
Wing Flaps
    Function of Flaps
    Flap Effectiveness
    Operational Procedures
Controllable-Pitch Propeller
    Constant-Speed Propeller
    Takeoff, Climb, and Cruise
    Blade Angle Control
    Governing Range
    Constant-Speed Propeller Operation
    Ground Boosting vs. Altitude Turbocharging
    Operating Characteristics
    Heat Management
    Turbocharger Failure
        Overboost Condition
        Low Manifold Pressure
Retractable Landing Gear
    Landing Gear Systems
    Controls and Position Indicators
    Landing Gear Safety Devices
    Emergency Gear Extension Systems
    Operational Procedures PreFlight
        Takeoff and Climb
        Approach and Landing
Transition Training


Transition to a complex airplane, or a high performance airplane, can be demanding for most pilots without previous experience. Increased performance and increased 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.

A complex airplane is defined as an airplane equipped with a retractable landing gear, wing flaps, and a controllable-pitch propeller. For a seaplane to be considered complex, it is required to have wing flaps and a controllable-pitch propeller. A high performance airplane is defined as an airplane with an engine of more than 200 horsepower.

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