Welcome to the multi-engine course! This course prepares Private, Commercial, and Airline Transport (ATP) pilots to add multi-engine privileges to their certificate. Please note that this course assumes a knowledge base appropriate to your level of certification. In other words, if you are a Private Pilot, you are expected to start this course with the knowledge level expected of a single-engine Private Pilot; Likewise for Commercial and Instrument Rated pilots. The reason for this is simple — When you take your oral and practical exams, you are adding multi-engine privileges to your highest level of certification and rating, and your examiner will evaluate you with that in mind.
Multi-engine airplanes offer a variety of advantages over single-engine airplanes. They are often faster, and have higher payload capacities. They also offer a degree of redundancy: if an engine fails, there’s another one left.
That said, multi-engine airplanes will get pilots into a lot of trouble very quickly if they don’t give multi-engine flying the respect it deserves. There are a host of pithy sayings about light twins in particular, such as “if you lose one engine, the second will take you all the way to the scene of the crash”. The dangers of multi engine flying include:
- The enormous performance penalty that results from an engine failure
- The aerodynamic loss of control that can result from an engine failure below minimum controllable airspeed (VMC)
- The faster speeds often associated with multi-engine flying which leave unprepared pilots with dangerously low situational awareness (SA)
- A multi-engine airplane lands faster, therefore it crashes faster. The major advantage of an engine out scenario in most light trainers is the extremely slow speed at which a crash can be accomplished. This is often not the case with multi-engine airplanes.
- Increased systems complicated (the Cessna 310 fuel system is a notorious example, and one which we include in this course)
In this course, we approach the academic side of multi-engine flying with a focus on the practical: how can pilots apply this knowledge to keep themselves out of tight situations and ensure their safety? A multi-engine rating allows pilots to fly airplanes with more than one engine, and even more than two (although often this requires a type rating). There is no “tri-engine” or “quad-engine” category/class addition. This is because once you understand the aerodynamics of operating a twin engine aircraft, you should be able to apply that knowledge to airplanes with more than two engines.
Hope is not a strategy in aviation. Multi-engine pilots are often lulled into a false sense of security through their two engines. But they often react poorly when the engine fails. This course will equip you with the academic knowledge to succeed as a multi-engine pilot, but it is critical that you apply it through chair flying and in-airplane practice to ensure your reactions during an engine failure are timely and correct.
Lastly, without effort and an appropriate investment of time, you will not get very much from this course. Our goal is to provide students with the knowledge and thought processes needed to operate safely in the multi-engine world. We work hard to explain concepts in the simplest way possible without sacrificing accuracy or over-simplifying ideas. Some concepts take longer to sink in than others, and the exact learning process varies from person to person. Reach out to us if you need help, but make sure you put the time in towards learning and applying the knowledge in this course. Section quizzes and the end of course exam can help you evaluate the degree to which you are retaining the information. Furthermore, you should use the course study guide as appropriate to ensure you understand the answer and purposes behind the Flashcard Questions at the end of each lesson.
With that in mind, let’s get started!
In addition to the following resources, this course includes access to the Maneuvers Course and the full access to the resources directory, which includes dozens of handouts and study guides of various topics. It can be a great resource for knocking off rust in other areas of flying! You will also probably want to regularly refer back to the following resources: