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Which rating to get first: Commercial Multi or Commercial Single?

Old 05-22-2008, 12:01 PM
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Lightbulb Which rating to get first: Commercial Multi or Commercial Single?

I'm just finishing up with my Instrument Rating and trying to decide which route to go. It seems that the traditional route is to get a commercial ASEL and then get a multi add-on. However, many flight schools are now pushing the commercial AMEL and then getting a single add-on. My ultimate goal is to get a job with a Regional and I plan to CFI for awhile before getting the knowledge and experience necessary to be a good FO. Below are a brief outline on the pros/cons that I see, but I'd like to hear from those of you who have "been there, done that" about my dilemma.

1. Commercial Multi first and then Single Add-On
PROS: build lots of ME time during training
CONS: expensive, can't log ME PIC time

2. Commercial Single first and then Multi Add-On
PROS: cheaper
CONS: spending money on SE PIC time may be pointless because I will get plenty as a CFI

It may be that in the end, it doesn't really matter which route I choose, but right now I want to make the "right" decision. It seems that much of my confusion lies in whether airlines will care about ME Dual-received (counts for total time, right) time or whether they just care about ME PIC time. Can anyone help?

Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by orlandoite View Post
1. Commercial Multi first and then Single Add-On
PROS: build lots of ME time during training
CONS: expensive, can't log ME PIC time
Bad idea: you'll pay twice as much per flight hour and none of that ME time will be PIC. You've identified that in your CONS list. The PROS isn't really a valid statement.

2. Commercial Single first and then Multi Add-On
PROS: cheaper
CONS: spending money on SE PIC time may be pointless because I will get plenty as a CFI
The PROS is very much a true statement, and even though you think you'll get lots of PIC single time as a CFI, which you will, if you go ME first, you get NONE of that as PIC time, so if you're gonna pay for something, it might as be something that will actually help you.

It may be that in the end, it doesn't really matter which route I choose, but right now I want to make the "right" decision. It seems that much of my confusion lies in whether airlines will care about ME Dual-received (counts for total time, right) time or whether they just care about ME PIC time. Can anyone help?

Thanks!
It does matter, because it will beg the question: "How long do you want to be making those student loan payments?"

It's ALL ABOUT ME PIC.

Get the comm single first, then do the multi. IMHO, it would be disheartening to know that after I got my comm/multi, I have to go back and knock out the single.
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:36 PM
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I did the ME first then on SE addon I would somewhat agree with the above. Did my 51hr of Multi help me get my first job perhaps, but now I don't have the PIC to upgrade when it comes time for that. That being said some jobs require X number of ME hrs. So it's a tough call. The industry being the way it is I would get the Single, start instructing and get the ME later with all that extra money you won't be making.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:12 AM
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If you stop and take the ME private after 15 or so hours, then the next 50 or so WILL be PIC. That's the way my flight school did it. It's a pain, but it's what, $300 with a DE for the checkride? I did ME first because I didn't want to struggle for multi time. I had too many friends with 800-900 hours and only 25 multi and couldn't get an interview. Also, if you only do a ME add-on, you'll have 15-20 hours and no PIC. You're not going to get hired with 15-20 multi, so you'll have to get an MEI and instruct, right? Well you need 15 ME PIC to get an MEI, so that's 15 more hours out of pocket. Plan on needing 100 ME with the current market. Just something to think about.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:05 PM
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Yeah, ME time can be a pain to acquire. You might have to buy it anyway, so it is worth considering doing your training in a twin. Depends on your prospects for an MEI job. Other than the puppy mills, many clubs, FBO's, and small schools will require 100 hours ME for insurance reasons before you can MEI.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:23 PM
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hi there my case is kind of similar I hold a private pilot license with single and multiengine,friday Im taking my check ride for my instrument ticket and then I was thinking on doing the comm multi.since I have already my multiengine...will I get my comm multi training hours as a PIC?
what do you guys think?
thank you
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:12 AM
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I am in the same situation and am doing my Comm. SEL practical this next week. It seems from some of your responses that since Multi is (well everything is these days) so expensive that the best route for the Comm. MEL may be to fly the dual and test for the Private MEL after 15 hours? The rest of the hours building for the Comm. MEL can then be logged as PIC correct? I have asked the question many times to the local flight instructors about what the savings may be to do the ME training after becoming a flight instructor with the school...oddly enough, I have never really gotten a straight answer? I know all schools won't charge the same, but I was wondering if there may be an average cost savings.
Another question I have is trying to hire into a FedEx job or something similar where the flying is done by a single pilot in a Cessna Caravan...what type of time and what type of equipment experience are they looking for? Obviously as a new Comm. ticket holder or even a new CFI, there isn't a lot of opportunities to gain that turbine experience, but is that was is needed to qualify for that all elusive single pilot turbine cargo job?
Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto123 View Post
I am in the same situation and am doing my Comm. SEL practical this next week. It seems from some of your responses that since Multi is (well everything is these days) so expensive that the best route for the Comm. MEL may be to fly the dual and test for the Private MEL after 15 hours? The rest of the hours building for the Comm. MEL can then be logged as PIC correct? I have asked the question many times to the local flight instructors about what the savings may be to do the ME training after becoming a flight instructor with the school...oddly enough, I have never really gotten a straight answer? I know all schools won't charge the same, but I was wondering if there may be an average cost savings.
Another question I have is trying to hire into a FedEx job or something similar where the flying is done by a single pilot in a Cessna Caravan...what type of time and what type of equipment experience are they looking for? Obviously as a new Comm. ticket holder or even a new CFI, there isn't a lot of opportunities to gain that turbine experience, but is that was is needed to qualify for that all elusive single pilot turbine cargo job?
Thanks for your help.
To determine the incremental cost increase for doing Comm time-building in a twin is easy...

Figure out how much of your time-building can be accomplished in the twin. Exclude your intial ME rating, since you would have to pay for that anyway.

Let's say you come up with 130 hours, of which maybe 30 will need to be dual (I'm just using these numbers, calculate your own).

Find the cost of 100 hours solo and 30 hours dual in an ASEL.

Now find the same cost for the AMEL.

Subtract the two, and divide by 130 hours. You are going to have to spend the ASEL money either way, so this is the extra amount you pay for that twin time...

Example:

ASEL: 100 x $85 = $8500
ASEL Dual: 30 x $120 = $3600
Total = $12,100

AMEL: 100 x $170 = $17000
AMEL Dual: 30 x $200 = $6000
Total = $23,000

Incremental: $23,000 - $8,000 = $15K

$15K/130 = $115. This means that you would be getting 130 hours of ME time for a net cost of $115/hour...pretty good deal (but please run your own numbers).

Some things to consider: If money is tight, you might not be able to afford to do this, even though it is a good deal. In that case you will get all your ASEL ratings, get a job and then try to get twin time. Maybe you can get an MEI job at some point...if you know for sure that you will have an MEI opportunity, then don't buy extra twin time.

Those FDX caravans are operated under part 135, so you will need 1200 hours to fly single pilot (FAA regs).

But why do you want a caravan job? The airplanes are operated by contractors (not FDX), Single-engine turbine will not make you competetive for any major airline (unless it was in a fighter), and you will not get preferential hiring at FDX. If you want to move on, you would need to go to a regional after the caravan...might as well just start at a regional.

BTW, caravans have a poor safety record in icing. Caravan pilots routinely give their lives for the greater good of over-night package delivery.

There are several threads here on the subject of caravan time...maybe you should check them out..
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:34 AM
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Thanks Rickair...

As for the FDX caravan job and why I would want to go that way, I guess it has always been attractive to me to fly like a modern day bush pilot before moving onto bigger and better things. You do bring up a good point of transitioning afterwards though and falling back into a regional job. I also didn't realize that they were contracted outside of FDX? I do realize that they are a huge risk as well for someone else's gain (package). I was figuring that it might be a shorter step into flying the big iron for FDX/UPS or DHL. I suppose it isn't given that I wouldn't really be offering anything to the company with respect to experience on bigger aircraft if I wanted to transition.

I suppose it is time to rethink the path and be open to whatever I can turn up or whatever presents itself as I step into the aviation career.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto123 View Post
Thanks Rickair...

As for the FDX caravan job and why I would want to go that way, I guess it has always been attractive to me to fly like a modern day bush pilot before moving onto bigger and better things. You do bring up a good point of transitioning afterwards though and falling back into a regional job. I also didn't realize that they were contracted outside of FDX? I do realize that they are a huge risk as well for someone else's gain (package). I was figuring that it might be a shorter step into flying the big iron for FDX/UPS or DHL. I suppose it isn't given that I wouldn't really be offering anything to the company with respect to experience on bigger aircraft if I wanted to transition.

I suppose it is time to rethink the path and be open to whatever I can turn up or whatever presents itself as I step into the aviation career.
The big cargo guys want civilian pilots with heavy, multi-engine, turbojet experience. They don't care about what was in the back...cargo or pax is mostly the same once you shut the door.
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