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Should The FAA Require Commercial Pilots To Test In A Retractable Gear Airplane?

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Retractable singles are becoming a rare breed. The gear handle was once the signature of a high-performance aircraft, found on Cessna 210s, Beech Bonanzas and Mooney 201s.

Now, they're a signature of an old design. Two of the fastest piston singles on the market with modern designs - the Cessna TTx and the Cirrus SR22 - don't feature retractable gear. They're designed to be fast without the added weight, complexity and expense of a retract system.


Alan Wilson / Flickr

The FAA still requires you to train in, and take your check ride in, a retractable gear airplane to earn a commercial certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. So, you'll probably train in the venerable Piper Arrow - one of the few affordable retractable singles left. It's slow, it's simple, but the gear does fold up.

Aircraft like the TTx and SR22 are much more complicated - and harder to fly. Their faster speed requires more planning and the complex avionics require more systems mastery.

So - is it essential for a commercial pilot to train in a retractable-gear airplane, or should the regulations change to accommodate other highly-complex aircraft? Vote!

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Keep The Retract Requirement!

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Drop The Retract!

Thanks for voting! Check out our Boldmethod clothing pre-sale! Everything's 15% off through Wednesday, 10/29! Aviation gear never looked so good...

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Should The FAA Require Commercial Pilots To Test In A Retractable Gear Airplane?

Check out our Boldmethod clothing pre-sale! Everything's 15% off through Wednesday, 10/29! Aviation gear never looked so good...

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Check Out Our Boldmethod Clothing Pre-Sale! 15% Off Through Wednesday, 10/19

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Aleks Udris

Aleks is a Boldmethod co-founder and technical director. He's worked in safety and operations in the airline industry, and was a flight instructor and course manager for the University of North Dakota. You can reach him at aleks@boldmethod.com.

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