complex checkout?


New Member
Now that I am almost done with my instrument rating, i am looking forward to flying something more complex, and gettting that endorsement. What can i expect as far as difficulty and depth of information i will expected to learn for this endorsement.? I will be learning in an arrow. thanks for all your inputs.


First, get the POH though be forewarned that Piper's Arrow POH SUCKS. Get an Aircraft Systems book (Jeppesen makes a good one), and look through it for more detailed information than Piper's POH could ever hope to have.

The biggest difference is the prop and the MP, instead of just RPM. Read some of John Deakin's Pelican's Pearch at , specifically the three articles on props, mixture, and manifold pressure.

The main difference for me has been: VASTLY increased takeoff and landing differences (especially on these HOT days), the blue prop knob, and last but definately not least, the gear.

One other good book (but kind of technical) is 'Flying High Performance Singles and Twins' by John Eaklabar (sp). It really explains the workings of the engine very well.

If you're getting the checkout anyways, why not go for the Commercial? It'll be a few extra hours and a bit more money, but you'll have a whole new ticket when it's all done.


Well-Known Member
I love flying the arrow. Atleast now I do. Going from a Katana C1 (practically a glider) to an arrow was a bit shocking. To get the Katana on the ground you have to pull all the power and "point" it at the ground. In the Arrow with the gear down it feels like you are dropping like a rock. Also in the Arrow I learned in, I think maybe somthing with the prop governor was a little off....It would lurch forward a couple of times on take off as the rpms came up.....Sounded and felt very weird....


New Member
You'll be learning about prop governors, constant speed props, manifold pressure, and retractible gear. Those are the topics you should investigate.

As SkyGuyEd indicated AvWeb has four terrific articles worth reading. "Mixture Magic", "Manifold Pressure Sucks", "Those Marvelous Props", and "Putting It All Together". You should definitely check them out.

A systems book would also be helpful. The Tab Practical Flying Series has a good beginner's book entitled "Aircraft Systems" by David Lombardo.

Rod Machado's Private Pilot Manual also does a decent job of introducing and discussing props and MP.

You'll probably have a tougher time finding information on gear because you basically lower it and raise it. However, during your training you'll find, and should look for, information on speeds at which the gear can be raised, lowered, and flown with the gear down (those might be the same speed or three separate speeds, btw). You should look for information on *how* the gear is extended and retracted, whether the nose gear retracts forward or rearward, and what kind of preflight is involved. You'll also want to look for information on how the emergency gear extension works. There are basically three methods - free fall, hand pumped, and gas assisted.

The endorsement itself is not difficult. There's no checkride involved. Some ground training and a flight or two, and you'll have it in your logbook. However, the endorsement gives you access to more complex aircraft and as such you should find out all you can about more complex systems. It opens up a whole new world of additional study opportunity!

Best of luck on the instrument ride, btw.