Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Earn Your Multi-Engine Rating

ATP’s 10-hour Course Trains You In A Piper Seminole In Just Four Days

"Mixtures, props, throttles," I repeated to myself on the drive from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to the Doubletree hotel. "Flaps up, gear up. Identify, verify." It was, indeed, a dead left engine as my "dead" left foot indicated in the imaginary scenario. This mental simulation was something I'd repeat over and over, each time striving to be quicker and more confident. But, I had just finished my second day of multi-engine training and was starting to show signs of pre-checkride jitters.

The previous day of training had gone great. The Piper Seminole was easy to handle. Garmin G500 avionics made life simple. Steep turns were fun, stalls were a non-event, and the twin landed nicely—I had this! But today, I wasn't quite so sure. Systems, V-speeds and emergency checklists swirled in my head. Critical engines, VMC demos—things I wasn't used to as a single-engine pilot were interesting, but also overwhelming.

With only two more days until my checkride, I needed to study during every spare second. Back in my hotel room, I settled in with training guides, notebooks and coffee. I "chair flew" countless VMC demos. Slow to 100 knots. Close the left throttle. Increase the right throttle slowly to full. Maintain directional control. Rudder! Pitch up through Blueline. First indication of stall—recover. It sounds easy on paper, and it wasn't too bad on the couch, but would I be able to demonstrate the maneuver to an FAA examiner in just two days?

My instructor, Pat Williams, had encouraged me to send a text if I had questions while studying. And, I did.

"In what situation would you want to use X-FEED?" "What is the micros-witch on the nose gear for?" "How do you prevent a heater overtemp?" Williams always replied promptly with a clear answer. But as the hours went on, a mild panic set in.

"My brain hurts," was my final text to Williams for the evening. His reply: "That's a good sign!"

Immersion Training
With 36 flight centers nationwide, ATP Flight School is the largest flight academy in the country. The school offers immersion training in a disciplined, airline-style crew environment. This year, ATP has helped place more than 300 of its graduates with regional carriers. A successful track record with airlines has earned it the well-deserved reputation of being a top accelerated flight academy.


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