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From this answer, privileges of single-engine and multi-engine are separated. A pilot who obtained his PPL on a single-engine and his CPL on a multi-engine is not permitted to exercise his commercial privilege on a single-engine airplane. To do so, he must past another CPL exam on a single-engine plane.

Why is this do? I see no reason why a pilot who can operate a multi-engine airplane safely is incapable of doing the same in a single-engine. Training in a multi-engine would include an all-engine-failure scenario, which would be similar in single-engine.

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They (multi-engine certified) probably don't practice total engine failure, given its very rare, to anywhere the near the level of single engine pilot- the probably of single engine (for one engine) failure is higher than multiengine failure but lower than single failure for a multiengined plane. – user2617804 Feb 13 at 2:02
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Just like having a SEL Commercial with a MEL PPL doesn't mean you can operate a MEL commercially.

The certification requirements require the demonstration of particular maneuvers like a Chandelle which includes a slow-flight phase. Slow flight on a single is significantly different than slow flight on an MEL because of p-factor and aircraft handling. Same thing with lazy-8's

Another reason is engine-outs. Engine outs have to be demonstrated, and on a Multi, an engine out means you can limp it to your closest airfield. On a single, unless you are in gliding distance, you will be putting it down off-field.

The FAA also has different test standards for SEL commercial versus MEL commercial. Because you've demonstrated satisfaction on an MEL doesn't mean you are proficient in SEL operations for the same maneuvers, so the FAA makes you demonstrate it.

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On a multi isn't an all engine out scenario practiced? – curious_cat Feb 12 at 16:50
    
@curious_cat I believe so, but so is single engine-out, which I would say is a lot more common. All engine out is typically because of a shared failure, like no fuel or incorrect fuel and I say a rarer occurrence. – Ron Beyer Feb 12 at 16:54

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