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Twin Rating - minimum "maintenance" required

Let's say you have a SE PPL/IR or CPL/IR.

To get an ME version of each, you need to fly a ME checkride for the PPL/CPL, and a ME checkride for the IR. I think that is true for both JAA and FAA.

No exams to sit, but you have 2 x oral exam with the DPE for the FAA stuff.

Now the question about longer term. Let's say you own a SE plane, so would need to rent a twin for any revalidations.

Am I right that to keep ME versions of my FAA CPL/IR and my JAA PPL/IR going, I would need to

  • fly an FAA BFR every 2 years, in a twin
  • fly a JAA PPL reval every 2 years, with an instructor (?), in a twin
  • fly a JAA IR reval every 1 year, with an IRE or CRE/IRR as at present, but in a twin

Even allowing for the fact (?) that every 2nd JAA IR revalidation can be done in a sim (which is a pig anyway since the FNTP sims are horribly unrealistic things to fly), it sounds like keeping a twin rating is quite a hassle if you don't own a twin. Renting a twin with an instructor is c. £500/hr nowadays.

Is there an easier way?

What if one lets it lapse. How long can you let it lapse for before you get real hassle e.g. a new initial checkride?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Hello!

I have no idea about FAA regulations.

But under JAR-FCL (EASA will be no different in that respect I suppose) the easiest way to renew MEP/IR and SEP/IR (no matter if PPL, CPL, ATPL) is this:

Every 12 months you do an IFR checkride on a multi engine aircraft. You need not have flown a single hour MEP during that last year for that! This one checkride will renew your MEP class rating and your MEP IR for one year. If you have flown at least xx (10 I think, almost sure) hours SEP during those last 12 months, then the MEP/IR checkride will also renew your SEP classrating and your SEP IR for another year. And it will also count as the mandatory bi-annual training flight with an instructor!

If you let your MEP/IR lapse, then it can be brought back to life with an extended checkride within 36 months. After that, you have to take a new classrating course.

So one (block) hour of renting a twin, two or three landing and approach fees and the fee for your examiner - maybe 1000 GBP or Euros all included - will be required minimally per year. But honestly, I would not allow my family members to fly on twin with anybody who only does his one-hour checkride every year...

EDDS - Stuttgart

If one were to take the option noted, the one block, could they get insurance? Also agree that it would only be a matter of time before the old life insurance policy was called in by the surviving family members. I have thought long and hard regarding owning and operating a twin, and maintening an MEP licence, but frankly, unless you were really using it hard business, it does not appear to make any sense. Nice to have??, maybe, but difficult to justify. Interestingly, I was flying yesterday, with my friend, ATPL, 19000 hours, bush flying, desert flying, you name it, this guy has done it. We were chatting over lunch, and I was talking about an FAA IR. He said, he would never fly serious IFR, in a GA, type, always he would go VFR, with mixed IFR when required. He reckoned that unless your recency of IR flying was extremely current, then the chances of really screwing up were massively increased. Not worth it was his view, he then started to tell me some good stories about qualified Captains he used to train, who could not complete a VOR hold, but that's another story.

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

I would not allow my family members to fly on twin with anybody who only does his one-hour checkride every year...

Sure I agree re the currency required for twin flying. My question was about the minimum effort required to keep the rating, and it is clearly very non-trivial.

When I was looking at the FAA IR to JAA IR conversion one of the options was to do an ME PPL and ME IR (they do the two separately) at Egnatia (Kavala, LGKV) in Greece, for something like €7k, in a sim and a DA42.

This was superficially attractive because if I ever buy a twin it will be the DA42. But I decided against the Greek route for other reasons, and ME piston flying at somewhere like Bournemouth was a hugely unattractive prospect, so the ME option was dropped.

More recently a colleague in a similar situation looked at it and also dropped the idea, due to the costs of keeping it valid.

he would never fly serious IFR, in a GA, type

Sure; many airline pilots hold that view. Many say an SE should never leave the circuit

Of the working or retired airline pilots who fly GA, nearly all fly "rag and tube" types. There are just a few who do instructing or co-piloting in stuff like bizjets, King Airs, TBMs, etc.

he then started to tell me some good stories about qualified Captains he used to train, who could not complete a VOR hold

I can believe that, but a GA pilot won't be doing that either. He will fly the whole thing using the GPS... and if you have a GPS moving map, and you actually know which knob in the panel does what, everything becomes easy. Nearly all the difficulty of IR checkrides lies in having to fly (a) by hand and (b) without a moving map.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

If one were to take the option noted, the one block, could they get insurance?

No problem at all here. All you need is a valid and current rating. And you must satisfy the 90 day rule of course if you wish to take passengers along.

EDDS - Stuttgart

In the FAA system ratings and licenses don't expire and you never have to retake a test.

My understanding is if you have completed a flight review in any class you are rated in in the preceding 24 months you are allowed to act as PIC in any aircraft you are rated to fly, weather single or twin, land or sea.

To bring passengers you have to have completed 3 take-offs and landings in the preceding 30 days in the same class.

To fly instrument you have to be instrument current (6 approaches + 1 hold + 1 sector in the past 6 months)

Either way you need a valid medical.

Any checkride counts as a BFR, so when you, for example, add your seaplane rating you are covered for 24 months on all your ratings.

Of course no one would rent a twin to you if you have no currency on type.

Jorgen

EHLE, Netherlands

He said, he would never fly serious IFR, in a GA, type, always he would go VFR, with mixed IFR when required. He reckoned that unless your recency of IR flying was extremely current, then the chances of really screwing up were massively increased. Not worth it was his view

What a stupid opinion. I think any flying unless you are current is a risk. An ATP who is not used to single pilot IFR may well have problems.

EGTK Oxford

Peter, we do an awful lot of this as part of our core business, especially FAA - JAR/EASA conversions. If you have an interest, drop me a line and I will get my Head of Training to clarify the least onerous route to follow (I think what next more or less has it).

Finally, if someone is quoting £500/hr for a twin, they are having a laugh. Our DA42s with instructor go out at £395.

Fly safely
Various UK. Operate throughout Europe and Middle East, United Kingdom

Hi Peter, if you want to do the ME-IR rating on a DA42, please also check Keilir in Iceland. They offer a ME-IR for 2310+1925=4235EUR.

The nice thing about Iceland is that you will be training in solid IMC most of the time ;-)

It might sound silly but can you maintain a twin rating on a Cri-cri, either officially or ethically?

There was one recently advertised on AFORS for 16000 GBP and I understand you can count time on them towards an ATPL 500 hours twin time, though obviously not multi-crew. I understand that their single-engine handling is much more benign than most twins, but still essentially twin-like.

EGCW
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