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Transitioning to complex aircraft

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General Aviation, Instrument Rating, Private Pilot

How many hours should I have before I transition to a TAA aircraft and or a multi engine aircraft.  And then to a Meridian / King Air?  I am a 100 hour pilot working on my instrument rating and deciding between a future purchase of a Meridian or King air and my current instructor is just an old ASEL INST CFI.

5 Answers



  1. Gary Moore on Feb 02, 2012

    well – it’s not about the number of hours – it’s about proficency and ability and attitude.  But a Meridian and/or King Air is a far cry from where you are currently.  You could move into a TAA whenever you want – it would be a good instrument platform –  and I’m guessing “old ASEL INST CFI” won’t mind you moving on……….

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  2. Martin Griggs on Feb 02, 2012

    Thanks Gary,  and I don’t mean my comment “old CFII” to be derogatory, but he is advanced in age and just been flying out of our local airport for his whole career and actually suggested I ask other pilots.  Thanks. 

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  3. Matthew Waugh on Feb 02, 2012

    It doesn’t matter what any of us think – the question is what does your insurance company think? You don’t need a lot of hours to fly those planes as long as you take professional simulator training.

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  4. Nathan Parker on Feb 02, 2012

    “How many hours should I have before I transition to a TAA aircraft and or a multi engine aircraft.”
     
    I took a newly minted 17 year old PPL directly from a C152 to a Piper Seneca, so it’s doable, if money is no object, as it seems to be for you.  And a King Air is easier to fly than a Seneca.  😉  But I think you’d be safer in any of these airplanes after gaining experience in a less demanding, single engine airplane. If a friend were contemplating flying as a passenger in a King Air with a 200 hour pilot, I would advise him against it.

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  5. Jim Foley on Feb 02, 2012

    First off, a bit of nit-picking:  I get the impression that you are using TAA and complex aircraft interchangably.  TAA are defined as an aircraft equipted with at least a moving map display, IFR approved GPS navigator, and and autopilot.  (source)  Complex aircraft are must have retractable landing gear, controllable pitch propeller(s), and adjustable flaps.  Two totally different ‘types’ of aircraft.
     
    Now that that’s out of the way; I got my complex endorsement after less than 2 hours in a 172RG.  Flying a TAA does not require an endorsement, but It’s a really good idea to become very familiar with the systems.  It took me about 10 hours until I was comfortable flying a full instrument approach in a G1000.  Statistics show that due to unfamiliarity with the new technology, accident rates are higher in TAA for those pilots without proper training.
     
    As for purchasing either a Meridian or King Air, I would lean more toards that Meridian, but that’s just my personal preference.  The aircraft you choose to buy all depends on what you want to with it.

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