What is a multi-engine rating?


A multi-engine rating is an additional certification pilots earn on a private, commercial, or air transport airline pilot certificate that allows them to fly aircraft with more than one engine. As a certified multi-engine pilot, your flight experience will grow as you fly increasingly capable aircraft. You will also appreciate the safety that a twin-engine aircraft offers if operated correctly. So how does a multi-engine rating work?

How does a multi-engine rating work?

Existing single-engine airline pilots (ATP) and private or commercial pilots can acquire this additional qualification. Although you can obtain the multi-engine rating after receiving your private pilot certificate, some training programs recommend that you wait until you obtain your commercial pilot certification in order to save a considerable amount of money down the line. We’ll talk more about that later, but first let’s see how to get a multi-engine rating.

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How to get a multi-engine rating

Flying a multi-engine aircraft involves mastering the systems, performance, and aerodynamic differences between operating a single-engine aircraft and those with more than one engine. All phases of flight differ – from engine start to landing – as do many of the procedural operations. This is what makes specific multi-engine training crucial (and necessary) to the whole process of obtaining a multi-engine rating.

Although you do not need to log a specific total number of flight hours in a multi-engine aircraft to be eligible for the rating, you will need to spend at least three hours training in a multi-engine aircraft before doing the checkride . You will be trained in emergency procedures, performance, flight maneuvers and aircraft limitations. The control lap is given by an authorized instructor who must give you his approval before you can do the control lap for the multi-engine rating.

The test is not a written exam but an oral exam administered by the designated examiner pilot. But multi-engine training isn’t all you need to be a certified multi-engine pilot. So what are the other requirements?

What are the requirements for a multi-engine rating?

There is no specific age requirement, but you must be at least the age to obtain a private pilot certificate (17 under FAA regulations), and you must be able to read, write , speak and understand English as part of the base. requirements necessary to obtain a multi-engine rating. Basic math skills are also required, along with an FAA medical certificate.

Other FAA multi-engine rating requirements include takeoffs and landings, slow flight and stalls, high altitude operation, and pre- and post-flight procedures. Your ground training will consist of learning aircraft systems, determining weight and balance, and understanding the aerodynamics of a multi-engine aircraft, among other topics.

Your flight training covers both normal and emergency maneuvers and operations of multi-engine aircraft. Once you’re done, it’s time to pay for the certification. How much money do you need to complete the process?

How much does it cost to get a multi-engine assessment?

To get the right multi-engine training, several things need to be funded. Costs include payments to flight instructors, use of rental aircraft, books and equipment, and FAA examination fees for the check flight. Depending on where you train and what type of aircraft you train in, the cost of multi-engine rating will range between $2,000 and $6,000.

How long does it take to get a multi-engine rating?

On average, it takes most pilots one to two weeks to complete the training. Of course, it all depends on the student’s schedule, skills, and commitment to the training program.

How long is the FAA Oral Examination for the Multi-Engine Rating?

The exam will take approximately two hours to administer. An FAA-designated pilot examiner (DPE) will give you scenarios to discuss on the ground before you fly, and you’ll have to walk them through any issues they present. You will also need to discuss aerodynamic principles, explain how systems work and talk about standard procedures. After completing the oral exam, you will take the practical test on the plane.

What else does a multi-engine rating cover?

To fly a certain class of aircraft, such as a multi-engine aircraft, you need a class rating to prove you can safely maneuver the aircraft. But when you hit that class mark, there are a few other boxes you can tick as well. Aircraft that require a multi-engine rating are also considered complex aircraft as they normally have retractable landing gear, adjustable pitch propellers and flaps. They are also generally high performance aircraft if they have engines rated at 200 hp or more.

Benefits of having a multi-engine rating

Your multi-engine qualification will present you with more job opportunities, as private charter companies can use light twin-engine aircraft to transport clients. You may be able to fly faster and farther with a multi-engine aircraft so trips can be made quickly. Flying a twin-engine aircraft also gives you a safety net in the event of one engine failure – if you understand how to handle the aircraft in those situations.


Having another engine means you may not have to land immediately if you have engine trouble. Instead, you can use the thrust and performance of the second engine to find a more suitable place to land the plane in an engine-out emergency. However, some multi-engine aircraft will still lose altitude from the loss of thrust from one engine, especially when operated at high altitude airports or while cruising at altitude.


Your multi-engine rating will come with new knowledge of the speeds used when flying twin-engine aircraft. Speeds important to aircraft operation are called V-speeds. Twin-engine aircraft have V-speeds unique to their operational procedures and can provide a smoother and faster experience than a single-engine aircraft.

However, the V-speeds you will master as you continue your multi-engine qualification include those specific to performance and single-engine operations, such as the best rate and angle of climb speeds on one engine, and the speed minimum controllable airspeed on an engine.


Earning the multi-engine rating allows pilots to earn more money, as discussed earlier in the article. Besides commercial flying, improving your pilot skills can also allow you to instruct others. You can add a Multi-Engine Instructor Rating (MEI) to a Flight Instructor Certificate, although a pilot will usually earn a Single Engine Airplane Rating on their initial CFI certificate. You can earn extra income by working at an aviation school with the MEI supplemental rating.

The multi-engine rating also gives you an edge over the competition in the job market. The more time you have to devote, the more desirable you are to employers.

Single-Engine Rating vs. Multi-Engine Rating

So is it better to have a single-engine rating or a multi-engine rating? It all depends on your motivation to fly. If you only do personal travel and fly because it’s a hobby you enjoy, then a simple, inexpensive plane is enough to meet your needs. However, if you want an aircraft with more power and redundancy, which can get you from point A to point B quickly, work on getting a multi-engine rating.

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A multi-engine rating is an add-on that any aspiring professional pilot should seek to acquire. Not only will this give you access to safer and more powerful aircraft, but it will also allow you to explore different areas in a pilot career. Now that you know how to get a multi-engine rating, you can start your journey.

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