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Aviation Learning Center Document Meet Your Aircraft P-8740-29
Author: FAA Date: 1995
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One of the most interesting challenges in aviation for any pilot is transitioning to a new type aircraft. Normally, the pilot's first question is, "How do I start?"

The question is an easy one to answer. The best way to transition to any new aircraft is to find a certificated flight instructor (CFI) qualified and current in the aircraft to teach you how to fly it safely. If the transition is to a high performance aircraft or one that requires a category or class rating, or one that requires a type rating (e.g, a turbojet), you might want to attend one of the many flight training schools that specialize in such training. Another option is to attend the aircraft manufacturer's training course for the model if the company offers such training.

Regardless of where you attend training, the best way to transition to a new aircraft is to work with someone, preferably a CFI, who is current in the new aircraft. In some cases, you may need the appropriate CFI endorsement (e.g., high altitude, tailwheel, complex, or high performance) to fly the aircraft.

If you cannot find a CFI to fly with, the next step is to try to find another experienced pilot who is current in the aircraft. This is especially true if the aircraft is an experimental aircraft or a very rare model. The reason is that every aircraft is unique. By flying with someone current in the make and model of aicraft, the transitioning pilot gets the benefit of the other pilot's experience and knowledge, plus the added safety of someone who knows the aircraft. What a transitioning pilot does not want to do is to become a test pilot in a new aircraft.

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