Multi Engine Checkrides – DPE not required type specific LOA

Until recently, we used to have this one problem that was a nightmare to deal with. A student would show up with his/her own multi engine airplane and would ask us to train in their airplane for the CFI, CFII or MEI, or even a commercial/flight instructor combination course. In any case, the training had to be conducted in the applicant’s own multi engine airplane.
The training was never an issue. As a flight instructor with a multi engine rating, we are authorized to teach in any make/model if a light twin airplane, provided we have at least 5 hours PIC time in that make/model of airplane. With so many years of teaching in various airplanes, we usually have just about all the light twin airplanes in our logbooks, with 5 hours minimum under the PIC column. And every now and then, if a new one shows up anyways, nothing to worry. We are always so excited to learn and fly another “new” light twin anyways.
The problem that’d show up was, not being able to find a DPE who would have a Letter of Authorization (LOA) from the FAA to conduct a checkride in that make/model. Now, we’d just be stuck at the mercy of the local FSDO to schedule a ride with one of their inspectors (and with the current short staffed situation), which could be as long as a month or more in the future!
The DPEs had to obtain an LOA for each make/model; by demonstrating their skills to an FAA inspector in flight, in each make/model of light twin they wanted to conduct a checkride in. And then do an annual proficiency check in each make/model (on a rotating schedule) with the FAA. This process would discourage DPEs from having more than 2 or 3 makes/models on their LOA at any given time.
Now, their LOA allows then to conduct a checkride in ALL light twins! At last the issue is rest to peace, and the lawmakers have realized that they can look elsewhere to prevent accidents and increase safety.

CFII and MEI Combination Course

Note: If you do not have 15 hours PIC required to qualify for an MEI checkride, you definitely should consider our CFII plus MEI combo course. Instead of renting a multi-engine airplane to meet the MEI course pre-requisites, you can use this same 10 hours towards your CFII flight training.

CFII and MEI combination

CFII and MEI combo

This way you can better use the 10 hours multi-engine rental time (instead of just flying around), and save on renting a single engine for your CFII separately.

Airplane Rental cost comparison

The CFII course is 10 hours of SE airplane rental and the cost is $1100

The MEI course is 7 hours of ME airplane rental and the cost is $1750 (the pre-requisites is 10 hours ME PIC)

So, the total cost is $2850. The additional 10 hours of ME rental for time-building (special rate for CFI course students) is $250/hour, which is a total of $2500. This brings the total cost of CFII + MEI + 10 ME PIC to $5350.

The ground school and instruction time etc remain the same in any case, so we are not worrying about it here for this discussion.

Now, if someone were to get their CFII and MEI combo with CFI Academy, this would be the total cost:

Total 17 hours of ME airplane rental (for both CFII and MEI training) $4250

Plus 2 additional hours of flight instruction $100

Total cost of CFII + MEI + ME PIC time aircraft rental = $4350.

Conclusion

  • There is a savings of $1000 in airplane rental costs if someone does their CFII, MEI and the 10 hour ME PIC together as a combination course with us.
  • You obtain better value for the multi-engine time, and use the time to learn and practice instrument maneuvers and procedures in a multi-engine airplane.
  • At the end, you will be much more proficient in the multi-engine compared to if you were to do the courses individually.
  • Many DPEs will subsidize the cost of the checkride, i.e. your CFII and MEI checkride will be all in one checkride, so instead of paying for 2 separate checkrides, you just pay for enhanced one. Possibility of saving another $200 here.

If this is something you’d want to consider, and have any questions, or require more information, you should contact us right away.