Ask any airline pilot about their first multi-engine piston (MEP) flying lesson and they will tell you that it was an important part of their development as an aviator.

As professional aviators in training, we spend days looking at the checklist before our first MEP flight. Once in the cockpit, with lots of new systems to check, it takes a little bit longer to start the aircraft up and get the systems humming.

With a taxi clearance we are ready to go. Asymmetric throttle steers the aircraft around corners just like an airliner might feel.

At the holding point, we run the emergency briefing, and, for the first time, things feel different. We must consider what we’re going to do in the event of a single engine failure on the runway or in the moments before we rotate while we are established in the climb: lots to think about here. All the theoretical study we did of V-speeds and performance now seems very real!

Lining up on the runway and applying power feels familiar. The aircraft accelerates rapidly but is easy to keep on the centreline. Calling out the speeds until we rotate, the aircraft leaps into the air like a scalded cat.

Once at the training area, we carry out some familiar drills: 30 degrees bank turns, steep turns and stalls. Now we want to practise the before landing checks and, for the first time ever, we must lower the landing gear. Never again in our whole flying career will we be able to land without checking – really checking – that the gear is down and locked!

The aircraft flies normally and, after a few more turns, we raise the gear, do the after-take-off checklist and turn the aircraft towards home for normal, bad weather, and flapless circuits.

Our previous training kicks in and it all feels very normal. The aircraft flies beautifully and we are soon taxiing back with our first training flight complete and ready for a thorough debrief of lessons learnt during this flight.

A truly unforgettable experience which you will carry with you for the rest of your life!

Speak to us about your MEP class rating at +43 664 102 2033 or send an email to