A jet aircraft seems for sure very complex as such. But, referring Wikipedia, a "complex aircraft" (as legally defined) has:

  • A retractable landing gear
  • Flaps
  • and A controllable pitch propeller

And there is no propeller in a jet.

What are the reasons of defining "complex aircraft" so that it does not cover jets? Are these reasons other than historical?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ What jurisdiction/CAA is this? (FAA, UK CAA, EASA, etc...?) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ Related $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 23:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, the complexity associated with variable pitch propeller is not there in a jet either. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 9:07

1 Answer 1


All jets require a type rating. Therefore you don't need the complex endorsement directly (other than needing it likely for your commercial checkride, which requires a complex aircraft). The historical training progression is: simple prop, complex single engine prop (requiring the complex endorsement), high performance (200 hp+, though this one is sometimes not gotten), light multi-engine props, and then finally moving into heavier turboprops and then jets which require type ratings.

Note, my answer is FAA specific, and other agencies might have different rules/interpretations for this issue.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ A small point, but you can get a type rating without getting your commercial license, so you don't necessarily need to have your complex endorsement in order to fly a jet. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 5:47

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