Important things to consider about multi-engine aircraft and training.
The multi-engine rating is often a step in the training progression for pilots that are considering a commercial flying career. But it's also an important step for single-engine General Aviation pilots. Often these pilots would like to challenge themselves and take their experience to the next level. For many GA pilots, a multi-engine rating is a big feather in one's cap and one way to experience something more like "big time" aviation.
No matter what category you fall into, a multi-engine rating is serious business. For those pilots that are considering a multi-engine rating and/or plan to move up to a larger twin engine airplane, I would like to pass along the knowledge I have garnered in my 46 years in aviation.
Generally, all a pilot will need to begin working on a multi-engine rating is a private pilot certificate. However, I would recommend at least 400 hours of single engine experience and an instrument rating before you consider a multi-engine rating. You must know how the airspace system works and be able to operate within it.
Per the FAA, the minimum requirements for earning your multi-engine rating are set in the Practical Test Standards (PTS). After earning the rating (or any rating, for that matter) to the satisfaction of the test standards, insurance companies will dictate the minimum time and experience required for insurability.
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