Multi-engine Piston (MEP)
The Multi-engine piston is a class rating which is required to fly multi-engine aircraft. Once you have the rating then you will need to complete differences training for each new type of MEP aircraft.
Need 70 hrs PIC before starting MEP course
7 hrs ground school covering aircraft tech and asymmetric flight (VMCA)
Valid for 1 year from licence issue
Course 6 hrs flying of which 3:30 needs to be asymmetric plus test.
MEP skills test includes GH, CCTs and plenty of engine failures leading to asymmetric flight.
Valid for 1 year.
To revalidate the rating you must pass a proficiency check within three months prior to expiry. If you have not flown at least 10 route sectors as pilot of MEP aircraft (or type) then one route sector must be flown as part of the proficiency check. A route sector is a flight with take-off, departure, cruise of not less than 15 minutes, arrival, approach and landing phases.
If you satisfy the requirements above then the licence is valid for an additional 12 months from the expiry date.
This is the most common question we get asked, “Do I need a MEP rating?”
Answer: Yes and No.
During commercial training you need to demonstrate that you can fly a Multi-engine plane whilst flying on instruments. This training is usually completed on a Multi-engine Piston (MEP) plane as they are considerably cheaper than the alternatives, like a multi-engine Turbine plane (MET). So yes, you do need a MEP rating for your initial IR-SP-ME (MEIR) skills test.
What about a MEIR Revalidation, which is when your IR is still current. The regulations state that the ME class rating must be current when you conduct the test, or must be renewed during the test.
What about a MEIR Renewal, which is when the MEIR has gone past the printed expiry. Same as above, MEP must be current or renewed during the test.
So if your MEP is current and your IR-SP-ME (MEIR) is also current, then each alternative year you can complete a MEIR Revalidation in a simulator, which is considerably cheaper than the aircraft. This will extend your MEIR for another 12-months from expiry (if test taken within 3-months of expiry), but it won’t extend your MEP rating.
Does this matter? Well it depends if you require a MEP rating to fly a MEP plane. If you have no intention to fly a MEP plane then you don’t need the rating.
Will this stop me getting a job? Commercial operators (airlines, business jets, cargo) require you to hold a CPL and a MEIR, no mention of a MEP rating. The commercial operator will teach you how to fly a jet or turbo-prop plane, so you don’t need a MEP rating. The MEP rating serves as a basis to gain your MEIR and to keep it current but isn’t required for employment.
If my MEP rating expires, then will my MEIR expire? No, IR is still valid until expiry date.
When do I need a MEP rating? If you plan to fly a MEP plane. Remember the ‘P’ stands for piston, so it’s not required for jet or turbo-prop aircraft.
If I let my MEP lapse, then is there a lot of extra training and paperwork during the 2-yearly MEIR Revalidation as I will also have to renew my MEP? As it has expired, you will require some training at a school to get to a test standard. The difference between flying the plane once in 2 years, versus not flying a MEP plane in 2 years is very similar. Either way you’ll need a little refresher training. Hopefully you’ll have secured employment within 2-years and the MEP rating will no longer be an issue.
What’s your advice? To revalidate in the sim each alternative year and let the MEP lapse, save the money.
Details on renewing and revalidating a MEIR can be found here.