Complex & High-Performance Endorsements

Flying airplanes with retractable gear or with more than 200 horsepower require logbook endorsements as per the Federal Aviation Regulation 14 CFR 61.31. These are known as the complex and high-performance endorsements.

Unless you logged PIC time in a complex or high-performance aircraft time prior to August 4, 1997, obtaining these endorsements is now required.

The 61.31 Complex endorsement covers aircraft with retractable gear, flaps and adjustable-pitch propellors. The 61.31 High-Performance endorsement covers aircraft with engines of more than 200hp. This is a per-engine requirement—twins that have two engines whose total may exceed 200hp but whose individual engines each have 200hp or less do not qualify.

To act as PIC in an aircraft with these features, a qualified flight instructor must endorse a pilot’s logbook.

There are no specific hour, distance or other numerical experience requirements for these endorsements.

Pilots looking to earn high-performance and complex endorsements must prove to the endorsing instructor their capability as pilot in command of the type of aircraft they’d like to be endorsed for. 

A high-performance endorsement generally will only require a couple of hour-long lessons for experienced pilots. Our Cessna 182 and Cessna 172XP are well-suited to meeting this requirement.

For the complex endorsement, learning how to handle the added feature of landing gear may take some time. Those looking to add this endorsement should expect to spend at least 10 hours in a complex aircraft. While Springs Aviation doesn’t currently have a complex aircraft in its fleet, our instructors are more than happy to help you with any endorsement you need if you can find or provide an aircraft fitting the requirements.

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