I basically got my Multi Engine Rating however not a single engine rating even though most of my training was in ASEL. Now I am curious what I would have to do to be able to fly friends and family in a single engine instead of a twin.

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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? If a pilot takes a MEL checkride and later a SES checkride, is the pilot now also qualified for MES/SEL? $\endgroup$ Mar 24, 2021 at 4:47
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    $\begingroup$ I think the edit by user2617804 was unfortunate, because by changing the question and title, a lot of the answers don't answer the question anymore. This is also the case for the top voted answer... $\endgroup$
    – Opifex
    Mar 25, 2021 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Opifex I agree, that should be rolled back because it isn't a clarification, it's a different question. $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2021 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ @RyanMortensen in that case I'm sorry for approving that edit. To me, it seemed like the same question. You can roll back that change by going to the revisions page and the clicking the Rollback link next to the revision you want to roll back to. $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Mar 26, 2021 at 9:41

3 Answers 3


No, you cannot. Just like an ASEL doesn't give you the ability to fly an AMEL, if you have an AMEL that doesn't give you ASEL privileges.

Adding the ASEL shouldn't be that hard though, especially if you've done a majority of your training in one. You will still need to take a check ride.

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    $\begingroup$ To add some reasons - engine failure procedures are different if you have one or if you have more, and multi-engine craft don't generally need to worry about prop torque effects. $\endgroup$
    – J...
    Mar 25, 2021 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ Since the question got changed, would you mind adding/updating your answer? $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Apr 9, 2021 at 8:19
  • $\begingroup$ Ron, the original version of the question is answered in your post, but can you please update it as the question is a bit different now? $\endgroup$
    – Farhan
    Apr 20, 2021 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Farhan I will update when I have a few minutes. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Apr 20, 2021 at 14:43

You will need to take a checkride with a DPE (or FAA inspector) to be able to be pilot-in-command in an ASEL airplane. Since your license is AMEL only that is the only category and class or aircraft you can be pilot-in-command.

The answer is found in the Private Pilot ACS page A-12. You hold a AMEL rating and so you follow the AMEL column for the tasks that must be completed.

  • I.F. - Performance and Limitations
  • I.G. - Operation of Systems
  • II.A. - Preflight Assessment
  • II.B. - Flight Deck Management
  • II.F. - Before Takeoff Check
  • IV.A. - Normal Takeoff and Climb
  • IV.B. - Normal Approach and Landing
  • IV.C. - Soft-Field Takeoff and Climb
  • IV.D. - Soft-Field Approach and Landing
  • IV.E. - Short-Field Takeoff and Maximum Performance Climb
  • IV.F. - Short-Field Approach and Landing
  • IV.M. - Forward Slip to a Landing
  • IX.A. - Emergency Descent
  • IX.B. - Emergency Approach and Landing (Simulated)
  • IX.C. - Systems and Equipment Malfunctions

Private Pilot ASEL Added Rating Table

These are the required items to be checked for an ASEL addon with a pilot who already holds a AMEL rating. The examiner, at his choosing, can test on any area of the ACS during the practical test.


To answer the question, no. You cannot fly friends and family in a SEL aircraft if your pilot certificate says MEL.

To add SEL, talk to your local FSDO about the requirements. You can certainly get it with a checkride, but there may be another option...

It might be different with just a private certificate, but I was an ATP Multi engine only, and had single engine commercial added to my certificate years later on the basis of prior experience. (I was also a military pilot, so that could change things.)

Literally everyone I talked to, (CFIs, Chief Instructors, a DPE...) told me I needed a single engine commercial checkride, but that turned out to be not true.

Anyhow, go to the FAA's website and fill out all your hours in IACRA then call and set up an appointment with an evaluator. Good luck, and please correct me if I am wrong.


it is not my intent to create false hope for the OP, and I am willing to concede this may not work, but around 2008/2009 the FAA changed their “look back” rules from 12 months to indefinite. This is what allowed me to obtain SEL on the basis of prior experience. Because at the time of my ATP checkride I was current in multi, and took the checkride in a twin, but hadn’t flown a single in several years. Therefore, at that time, the examiner could only grant MEL.

My advice is don’t go in there pleading that “most” of your training was in a single. I didn’t get SEL on the basis of “most” of my time in a single, I got it because the time I had in singles, and the maneuvers I had performed in singles, far exceeded the requirements for a commercial certificate.

Instead, go through your logbook with a fine tooth comb and be ready to make a case that your time in singles exceeded the minimums needed for a PPL, (dual, solo, night, x-country, etc.) and that later meeting the checkride standards in a multi should permit them to grant SEL on the basis of the look back rules.

If your stand-alone SEL time falls short of the mins needed for a PPL you may not be able to make a convincing case for yourself.

Again, good luck, and I would appreciate any feedback on this approach if you attempt it.

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    $\begingroup$ It sounds like you qualified for single engine commercial based on prior military experience, as you suspected. The regulations on that are in 61.73 and there’s no checkride required. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Mar 24, 2021 at 6:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Pondlife, yes, that’s exactly what I stated in my answer. However, there are a few things to add: Section 61.73 deals with initial attainment of an FAA pilot certificate, but I already had one, obtained via checkride. And it doesn’t address obtaining an SEL if you already have MEL. As I mentioned, it may not work for non-military private only, but the point of my answer is to ask someone capable of actually making the call and not relying on the advice of internet strangers. Because in my case, everyone was wrong... $\endgroup$ Mar 24, 2021 at 16:29

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