Here is the FAA's complex airplane definition:

A retractable gear (not necessary for a seaplane).
In-flight adjustable flaps; and.
A controllable pitch propeller.

How is this airplane defined under EASA and what is required to fly it? A pilot with EASA PPL is able to act as a PIC with retractable gear and flaps; or flaps and controllable pitch. Can he fly an airplane that has all three elements without any additional ratings or endorsements? Or are there any other requirements to fly this type of airplanes?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! This question is related. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Dec 30, 2020 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ Also related $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Dec 30, 2020 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ Somehow it is, but I meant if I have EASA PPL, will I be able to fly for example Mooney M20, without any additional training to fly this plane (I mean endorsements etc). $\endgroup$ Jan 3, 2021 at 20:18

1 Answer 1


I can't find any equivalent definition for what the FAA defines as a complex aircraft for the purposes of endorsements. EASA defines a complex aircraft completely differently.

“‘complex motor-powered aircraft’ shall mean:

(i) an aeroplane:

with a maximum certificated take-off mass exceeding 5700 kg, or certificated for a maximum passenger seating configuration of more than nineteen, or certificated for operation with a minimum crew of at least two pilots, or equipped with (a) turbojet engine(s) or more than one turboprop engine, or

(ii) a helicopter certificated:

for a maximum take-off mass exceeding 3175 kg, or for a maximum passenger seating configuration of more than nine, or for operation with a minimum crew of at least two pilots, or

(iii) a tilt rotor aircraft;”

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I know that EASA defines a complex aircraft differently, my question was rather if I can fly an airplane with retractable gear, flaps, a controllable pitch propeller without any additional endorsements like FAA requires - AOPA article $\endgroup$ Jan 3, 2021 at 20:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For an answer to that its best to hear from an EASA CFI. $\endgroup$ Jan 3, 2021 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ BTW, as an EASA pilot, there is nothing to stop you from hiring a US CFI and getting a complex/high performance endorsement in your logbook to allow you to operate such aircraft in the N-registry where legally possible. The air work part of the endorsements are all dual. $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2021 at 4:13

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