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In a Facebook group I stumbled over this nice little picture:

enter image description here

Also there was a discussion about the type rating of this plane, especially if it classifies as a multi-engine plane. It is a Colomban Cri-Cri (MC-12/ MC-15).

What I've learned from the discussion and this document is, that this is an experimental plane and doesn't fall in the classic regulations and that UK's CAA doesn't require a multi-engine rating for the pilot. I think that answers the original question.

But in this thread and another discussion on another website I saw a lot of discussion about what regulations would apply if it would not be an experimental craft and what the FAA would say about it.

So my question is: There have to be specific requirements for a plane to require a multi-engine rating. To stay specific here, let's only look at the FAA. (I come from Germany, so if there would be any differences it would be interesting, but isn't required for this question)

Some people cited different paragraphs, but it seems none really applied and there was a lot of confusion. But I doubt that there is anything regarding aviation that is not tightly regulated, so I think there must be specific rules.

There is already a similar question regarding the Cri-Cri on this page here, but it has a different focus and it was stated that there would be no reason one couldn't file flight time in this plane as multi-engine flight time, but nothing precise.

So, what are the requirements for an airplane to be considered multi-engine and require a multi-engine rating to fly it? Also, why is this airplane considered single engine from a pilot perspective?

Note: I'm not a pilot, only a flight-simmer and aviation enthusiast.

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    $\begingroup$ Your question is confusing to me, are you asking for the requirement for a pilot to attain a multi-engine rating, or what an airplane needs in order to require a pilot to have a rating to legally fly it? $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Nov 13, 2019 at 20:49
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    $\begingroup$ I'm asking about the requirements for an aircraft to be considered a multi-engine plane (which requires a pilot with multi-engine type rating) and why there seems to be confusion about this plane regarding the type rating.Sorry, I don't know how to express it otherwise $\endgroup$ Nov 13, 2019 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ That makes sense now, I've taken the liberty of editing your question to reflect that, feel free to edit it yourself if you would prefer stating it a different way. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Nov 14, 2019 at 8:08
  • $\begingroup$ On a personal note I have seen one of those up close and they are even smaller than the picture may make it seem. The wing didn't even reach my knees! $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Nov 14, 2019 at 8:10

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I couldn't find any definition of "multiengine" anywhere in the FAA's regulations or on their website. The closest thing I did find is from the Airplane Flying Handbook, chapter 13, Transition to Multiengine Airplanes:

For the purpose of this handbook, a “small” multiengine airplane is a reciprocating or turbopropeller-powered airplane with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less. This discussion assumes a conventional design with two engines—one mounted on each wing.

Obviously there are multiengine aircraft with three, four or more engines too. I assume that the FAA doesn't define the word "multiengine" because it has the 'plain English' meaning of that word, i.e. more than one engine.

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    $\begingroup$ and my guess is they define "small multiengine" as twin engine because it was inconceivable to them that something that small would require more than 2 engines :) $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Oct 27, 2021 at 8:36
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Pondlife is correct. The Cri-Cri would be considered a multi-engine airplane because it has more than one engine. It does not require a type rating as it does not meet the requirements to have a type rating issued to the airman. It does appear there is a jet powered MC-15 variant that would require a type rating.

The following ratings are placed on a pilot certificate (other than student pilot) when an applicant satisfactorily accomplishes the training and certification requirements for the rating sought:

§ 61.5 Certificates and ratings issued under this part.

(b) The following ratings are placed on a pilot certificate (other than student pilot) when an applicant satisfactorily accomplishes the training and certification requirements for the rating sought:

(7) Aircraft type ratings -

(i) Large aircraft other than lighter-than-air.

(ii) Turbojet-powered airplanes.

(iii) Other aircraft type ratings specified by the Administrator through the aircraft type certification procedures.

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  • $\begingroup$ The reason there are different certificates for single and multi engine airplanes really has nothing to do with size. It's about the different flying characteristics, primarily what to do if one engine fails. Presumably the Cri-cri would have the same problems. It's why you can get a multi-engine rating that's limited to centerline thrust, if you want to fly something like the Cessna Skymaster. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Oct 28, 2021 at 3:35

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