High performance ground topics


Well-known member
Jan 4, 2003
Total Time
Per 61.31(F)... The high performance endorsement requires logging GROUND and FLIGHT TRAINING in and an aircraft, sim, or flight training device that represents a high perf aircraft. The reg does not stipulate what topics should be covered in the ground portion. There is no (AC) Advisory Circular on the high performance either. Non of my books covers it either. So... I have a list of what I would think should be covered in a ground lesson for an aircraft that has greater than 200 HP. I have come up with 8 points, but would like to get others opinions and additions to the following list:

1. More torque (would be very crucial in a tail wheel)
2. Faster airspeed
3. Staying ahead of the airplane due to its faster airspeed
4. Ability to fly to higher altitudes.
5. Oxygen requirements due to ability to fly higher
6. Shock cooling and the use of cowl flap
7. Descent planning due to shock cooling.
8. Operation and systems of the airplane.

Please add on other points you think are important to cover for a high performance ground lesson. Muchos Gracias in advance.


Remember this one?
Nov 27, 2001
Total Time
Good start

It really depends on the airplane and what the guy is gonna do with it.

Do you have a copy of Kershner's (sp?) Advanced Pilots Handbook? It's been years since I read it but I think it should cover some of this stuff.

Basically you'll just need to concentrate on stuff like:

Fuel injection/hot starts/vapor lock
Constant speed props
Retractable gear
Cowl flaps
Deice system (maybe)
Radar (maybe)
Pressurization (maybe)
GPS (maybe)

That's just off the top of my head. Where's Avbug? He's good at this kind of stuff.

Here's one more (sort of a pet peeve): A lot of new pilots don't realize that an engine is "mass in motion" and as such it has an inertia. So the bigger the engine, the more mass and the more inertia.

That means you gotta take it easy with the throttle. A pro will feed the throttle in nice and smooth. When going from idle to a high power setting just feed in a little to accelerate the engine a bit and then make a nice smooth application of power.

With bigger props and high power settings that means more chances of picking up crap off the ground.

If you ran the propellor over a puddle of water you'd be able to see the vortex (low pressure area) in front of the propeller that sucks up everything in its reach. When taxiing on loose gravel (old ramps and such) it's better to make your turns into the wind. A downwind turn will just push all that crap right into the prop.

Anyway...more than you asked about.
Good luck.


Well-known member
Jan 20, 2003
Total Time
I think you've basically got it. For both flight and ground training for the high performance aircraft, I have two goals.

One is to how this airplane is, in general different from previous ones flow. Of necessity, even in the simplest transition from a 172 to a 182, this will involve touching on a bunch of topics from increased torque to the different short final procured made necessary by the airplane nose-heaviness to incremental deceases in power during cruise descent to avoid unnecessary engine cooling.

The other is to us the airplane being learned as an example of how to approach =any= new airplane.

A few references for you to consider:

1. If you haven't looked at it yet, AC 61-98a - Currency And Additional Qualification Requirements For Certificated Pilots - has guidance and even a proposed syllabus.

2. The FAA Safety Program has a booklet called the "Meet Your Aircraft Quiz." It's sort like the short written tests many FBOs use for checkouts, but in much, much more detail. I use a modified version for most "new-to-me" transitions. Really forces the pilot to think about the airplane.

3. AOPA ASF has a couple of "Safety Highlights" for a few airplanes that include suggested ground quizzes and a training syllabus. Even if that's not the airplane you are using, it should help you focus you thoughts on what should be covered.

4. The AC mentioned above refers to GAMA Specification No. 5 - Transition Training Master Syllabus. I haven't found a downloadable version, but you can purchase the master syllabus from GAMA at http://www.gama.aero/pubs/itemDisplay.php?catalogID=23