IMHO.....What ever you purchase as your initial jet, you have to find a Turbine CD Instructor willing to give you dual on a buddy box, and then sign you off on that jet. I didn't start with a trainer, and was signed off prior to the rule change where it had to be on a turbine. I was flying a Cermark F-16 prop jet, which I found to be envaluable, then a BVM Ducted fan Maverick, was signed off on it, then my initial turbine was a BVM F-16. So, no, you don't have to use a turbine trainer, but you do have to find the Turbine CD willing to sign you off. Since I have the Turbine CD, and sign off the guys at my field and the two other Clubs that I belong to,as the Instructor, I would have to know you, and what you can handle. I might sign you off on a Flash, or other sports jet, etc, but not an F-18, F-4, F-16, etc! So, common sense needs to be used. Also remember that you need to be comfortable with it going into the ground for a total loss, and that might determine your comfort level. Even though the Shock Jet is a fun plane, it truly isn't a good jet trainer. All the airframe is; is an Ultra Stick with a turbine in it. Because it doesn't have retracts, or a high performace wing, it doesn't teach you how to fly the military jets. So, even if you start on a trainer jet, you may still have to find someone more experienced to put you on the buddy box for the second jet. Again, this is just from my experience and humble opinion. Good Luck! PS- I got rid of my Jet Cats, due to poor service at the USA service center. This is on other forums, and won't go into it here.