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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    $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ Feb 13 '16 at 2:02
  • $\begingroup$ As a practical matter, take your commercial check ride in a single, then add a multi rating and you'll be covered. $\endgroup$
    – user7868
    Feb 26 '17 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ Having taken both I can say the single engine is far more challenging. You really don’t take a multiengine much beyond it’s ability because an engine failure below vmc may not be recoverable. For the single engine you have to do semi aerobatic maneuvers that keep you on the edge of stall. In the twin you have to fly around and shoot approaches on one engine but once you figure that out it’s pretty easy. $\endgroup$
    – user959690
    Oct 20 '18 at 2:30

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.

  • $\begingroup$ On a multi isn't an all engine out scenario practiced? $\endgroup$ Feb 12 '16 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ @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. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Feb 12 '16 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ No we never do all engine out in a multiengine. It’s not part of the cerification standards. $\endgroup$
    – user959690
    Oct 20 '18 at 2:31

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