March 2015 Issue

Multi-Engine Trainers: A Strong Field

The Piper Seminole is still the trainer of choice, but we think the Tecnam P2006T may be a lower cost replacement if it’s robust enough for training.

Acquiring a multi-engine rating is a rite of passage for any pilot who dreams of flying for a living. There’s no denying the feeling of power you get on first grabbing a fistful of throttles and shoving them up to the stop. There’s also no denying that, unless you pay for a type rating yourself, it’s the most costly rating you’ll get on a per-hour basis. With the market offering three production twins being regularly used as trainers, we were curious as to how they stacked up. We flew each one, spoke to several instructors at flight schools that did a significant amount of multi-engine instruction and used an out-of-production twin that’s still used for training for comparison. After all the Vmc demos and engine-out simulations, we came away of the opinion that all of the airplanes have some weaknesses, but none that are crippling—although someone who learns in a Twin Star will need significant additional training to fly anything other than a jet—and that the Tecnam P2006T has the potential to take over the multi-engine training market.

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