Multi Engine Rating or Multi Engine Class Endorsement is the flight training in which a pilot learns to fly an aircraft with more than one engine which is called a Multi Engine Aircraft. Being the most common class rating, this is an additional rating that trains pilots to operate the more complex multi engine aircrafts, and opens more exciting and prospective horizons in the aviation industry. Pilots can add this rating to their existing pilot’s certificates or license like the Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL) or the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).
· GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
The pilot must be at least 17 years old and be fluent in understanding English and basic Math.
· MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS
The pilot must hold a valid Medical Certificate from the FAA, which is the same basic requirement for PPL/CPL and any other flying activities
· HOURS REQUIREMENTS
The pilot must be current as additional flight hours will be required if pilot is not current and must be at least single engine private pilot to get further rating.
PROCESS OF OBTAINING MULTI ENGINE RATING:
As the rating can be obtained even after the completion of PPL, it is beneficial for the student pilot and makes more sense if it is obtained after CPL and Instrument Rating (IR) completion as this saves potential costs and more flight hours helps the pilot gain more knowledge and a better understanding of the aircraft systems, handling and procedures which is very important before flying more complex aircrafts.
As the student pilot already holds a sound understanding of flying and its technicalities, getting the new rating is an add-on to the previous single engine certificates and gets much simpler.
Overall, there is no minimum time requirement for the MER and it takes about 10-15 flight hours to complete on average, along with ground training, which includes both VFR and IFR operations. The flight training is focused towards some key areas and once the student pilot is able to demonstrate proficiency in those areas, he/she is then required to pass the check ride. Flight and Ground training includes:
o Performance and limitations of the aircraft
o Aircraft systems and emergency operations
o Flying with one engine fail
o Navigation and performance maneuvers
o Preflight/ post flight procedures
o Multi engine aerodynamics
The transition from a single engine aircraft to a multi engine aircraft comes with its challenges as students are exposed to new aspects of these aircrafts including retractable landing gear, controllable pitch props and advanced checklists.
When a student is holder of a previous pilot certificate and obtains this as an additional rating, there is no written exam for MER; students are required to pass an oral test and the check ride successfully. However private pilot applicants are required to meet all the PPL requirements where they have to pass the knowledge exam.
COST OF THE MER:
The timeframe depends on the student’s regularity in flying and generally takes about two weeks. The total cost is a package of all the expenses which includes ground training, hourly aircraft flying cost, aircraft rental fee and FAA Examiner fee for check ride and all the other flying material and usually adds up to around $2,000-$6,000.
VALIDITY OF THE MER
The rating is valid for 12 months and is renewed with a flight test every year.
IS A MER WORTH IT:
A Multi Engine Rating is strongly recommended to increase a pilot’s worth in the global aviation market and to increase the chances of advancing into an airline as this rating is most demanded and therefore is a vital part of pilot training. Flying a multi engine aircraft is a new and exciting experience for pilots; it brings more speed, power and improved aircraft performance capability along with more workload and complexity. It helps pilots develop the skills required to fly larger aircrafts and gives them a variety to choose from. Along with the various privileges it holds, it opens up the chances of getting into regional airlines as well as charter services. Therefore, this rating is a crucial part of professional pilot’s training.
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