If you are a pilot with a private pilot’s license and you want to go from flying a prop or piston engine to a turboprop or even turbojet aircraft, the transition can seem a little scary. While there are no specific requirements to get a certification/type-rating to fly turbine-powered aircraft, some formal training is necessary to be able to get insurance for your plane. Even if you’re not planning to go through the formal certification/type-rating training, here are three endorsements you may want to request during your formal training sessions.
A high-altitude endorsement (14 CFR 61.31(g)) is sometimes misunderstood. While you do not need this endorsement to pilot every pressurized aircraft, you do need it if you plan to fly a plane with a “service ceiling or maximum operating altitude, whichever is lower, above 25,000 feet msl (mean sea level)”.
To get this endorsement, you’ll need some ground training from an authorized trainer who covers things like high-altitude aerodynamics, respiration, hypoxia symptoms and effects, high-altitude sickness, supplemental oxygen use, and more. Once you meet these requirements, the instructor can make an endorsement in your logbook or training record. Then you’ll need to log some flight time from an authorized instructor in a pressurized aircraft, flight simulator, or other training environment that is representative of a pressurized aircraft.
Another endorsement you may want is a complex endorsement. You can find all the details of this endorsement in 14 CFR 61.31(e), but it means you have training on how to operate a complex aircraft, defined as one with:
- Retractable landing gear (this is not part of the definition of complex seaplanes)
- Controllable pitch propeller
While the Code of Federal Regulations doesn’t require a specific number of flight hours to obtain a complex endorsement, you will need to log ground training and flight (or simulator) training that covers important topics related to flying a complex plane. If you want to operate as a pilot-in-command, you will need separate training and endorsement for that.
Under 14 CFR 61.31(f), a high-performance aircraft is defined as one with an engine of more than 200 horsepower—that has changed over the years to now focus solely on the engine, and only apply to those that exceed 200 hp. You’ll need to log ground and flight or simulator training in a high-performance airplane, and show you’re proficient in the operation to get this endorsement.
At Flying A Turbine, we offer a one-day training course that provides you with 1.5 hours of flying time, 6 hours ground training, and these three endorsements if requested, so you can be on your way to flying a turbine-powered aircraft for a fraction of the cost of other training programs. Contact us today to find out more.