Federal aviation regulations require pilots to have a complex airplane endorsement in order to act as pilot-in-command (PIC) of a complex airplane. This endorsement can be earned through ground and flight training, which focuses on aircraft systems, best practices for flying complex aircraft, retractable landing gear, and controllable-pitch propellers.

The goal of complex endorsement flight training is to become proficient in operating multiple systems in what might be a faster, more complicated airplane than what the candidate has flown thus far.

Training takes 5-10 flight hours, depending on flight experience and type of aircraft used, and may be combined with high-performance training if the training meets both definitions.