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Multi engine time building programs involve a multi engine rated pilot flying the airplane under the hood from the left seat and another multi engine rated pilot occupying the right seat as a safety pilot. Under FAA regulations this arrangement permits both pilots to log pilot in command time on the same flight, with some restrictions: The safety pilot can log as pilot in command time only that time during which the left seat pilot is wearing a view limiting device, provided that the pilots have agreed prior to take-off that the safety pilot will be responsible for the safety of flight during that time. The safety pilot can not log any take-offs and landings, or any time during which the left seat pilot is not wearing a hood, such as taxi, run-up, take-off and landing. This usually amounts to about .3 hours per flight.

Prerequisites: Shared cost time building requires two multi engine rated private or commercial pilots who fly as a team.  It is easiest if two pilots arrive together as training partners, since shared cost time building flights are not possible without a second pilot. If you are unable to find a training partner, we will try to pair you with one. An instrument rating is desirable, but not necessary. If a pilot is not instrument rated, he or she should have about 15 to 20 hours of instrument dual received. Some of the time building flights can be designed to integrate with our multi engine instrument training program.

Initial Check-Out Procedures: The safety pilot is acting as pilot in command, and is responsible for the safety of flight while the left seat pilot is wearing a view limiting device. For this reason we require that the safety pilot be proficient at take-offs and landings and some airwork from the right seat.

(a)   Prairie Air Service trained multi engine pilots: You will already be familiar with the airplane and its equipment. You will receive about 1.5 hours of dual instruction covering traffic patterns and some airwork from the right seat, and receive 1 hour of ground instruction covering crew coordination.

(b)  Multi engine rated pilots trained at other schools:

(1)   Ground training: The initial check-out procedures will consist of the same cockpit briefing and ground school which is part of our multi engine rating program. You will receive additional ground instruction covering crew coordination.

(2)   Flight training: The initial check out will consist of traffic patterns, engine out emergency procedures, steep turns and stalls. The amount of flight training required will depend on the type of airplane in which your initial multi engine training was received, and on the recency of your multi engine experience. A pilot with a recently completed multi engine rating in an Apache or Aztec will require about 2 hours of dual in the left seat and 1.5 hours of dual in the right seat. A pilot who received his multi engine rating in a counter rotating twin, and who is not current may require about 3 – 4 hours of dual in the left seat and 1.5 hours of dual in the right seat. The flight training will be billed at the regular hourly rate.

Cost: To simplify billing procedures, only the left seat pilot will be billed on time building flights. The safety pilot will not be billed for any flight time in the right seat during time building flights. On a typical 5 hour flight, a pilot will pay the regular hourly rate for his 2.5 hours of left seat time, and log an additional 2.2 hours of right seat (safety pilot) PIC time free of charge. This results in an average shared net cost of about 53% of the regular hourly price per logged flight hour per pilot.

Time Building Operating Procedures: Our insurance requires an instructor to be on board our Apache at all times. The instructor will occupy a passenger seat in back and act as coach during the flight, which will insure that these flights also provide enhanced instrument training to both pilots. This is especially helpful if one of the pilots is not yet instrument rated. The instructor shall occupy the right (co-pilot) seat for all take offs and landings at runways shorter than 4000 feet, at airport elevations above 7000 feet, or if strong wind, turbulence or other safety concerns exist. The safety pilot will occupy a rear seat during this time. Upon departing the traffic pattern, or approaching the pattern of such an airport, the instructor and safety pilot will trade places. All landings with the instructor in the back seat shall be to a full stop. No engine out emergency procedures shall be practiced with the instructor in the back seat. Should an actual emergency occur, the instructor will move to the left (pilot’s) seat after the situation has been stabilized.

The exact profile of each time building flight is left to the 2 pilots’ discretion. The instructor will make suggestions for flight profiles which will provide the pilots with maximum training benefits. The different training scenarios can best be described by the following types:

Crew Coordination and Enhanced Instrument Approach Training: On this type of flight the pilots will learn crew coordination procedures and the different responsibilities of the flying and non flying pilot. We will also focus on increasing instrument approach skills by familiarizing the pilots with the various configurations of different approach procedures at a large number of different airports. A typical flight lasts about 2.5 hours per pilot and consist of a short instrument cross country, followed by instrument approaches at several outlying airports which we do not typically use during initial instrument training due to their distance from our home base at Benton. We will land at an outlying field and the pilots will change seats. The second pilot will then fly some more approaches at different outlying fields and finally fly another short instrument cross country back to Benton. Filing of instrument flight plans is optional.

Enhanced IFR Cross Country Training and High Density ATC Environment: This type of training flight involves IFR cross country flights to busy destinations. These cross country flights will be conducted on IFR flight plans to different metropolitan areas with Class B or Class C airspace.  The pilots will become familiar with enroute and terminal ATC procedures to busy airports. Crew coordination will be practiced, and if the pilots encounter difficulties (such as a “slam dunk” approach), the instructor is on board to assist as necessary. Most of these flights will terminate with a radar vectored ILS approach at a major airport. The pilots will switch seats at the destination airport. The typical flight lasts between 1.5 and 3 hours per pilot, which provides us with a choice of 3 Class B and a large number of Class C destinations.

IFR Cross Country Training and Mountain Flying Checkout: A typical flight would be an IFR cross country to Colorado Springs, Denver or Cheyenne, followed by some mountain flying and high elevation airport instrument and VFR training. One of our favorite airports is Leadville, Colorado, located at 9,927 ft. elevation. There are many other high elevation airports in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico where our students will learn high altitude approach procedures and also will gain additional familiarity with IFR Obstacle DPs. This type flight can be a long one day trip or involve an overnight stay.

Long IFR Cross Country Training to a Tourism Destination: This is a multi day  trip to a popular tourist destination such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Niagara Falls, or the Air Force museum in Dayton. We can fly to any destination of your choice in the Contiguous United States and Canada. We fly 6 – 8 hours to our destination on the first day, spend the second day sightseeing at the destination, and fly back home on the third day. A flight to any destination in the mountainous Western US will typically also include mountain flying training.

Additional Costs (on extended cross country flights): On extended flights all out of town expenses (such as hotels, restaurants, rental cars, entry fees, tie down and landing fees), including the instructor’s expenses, are the responsibility of the pilots flying the trip. A cross country fuel surcharge will apply to fuel purchases away from home base. Our hourly rates are based on our bulk fuel costs at Benton. Retail fuel costs are about $1.25 per gallon higher than our bulk cost, which will increase the hourly operating cost by about $20.00. Our Apache has extended range tanks, which enable us to fly about 7.5 hours without refueling. Therefore only extended cross country flights beyond about a 500 nm radius will require retail fuel purchases.

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