Should I do MEL now?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Rykymus, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Rykymus

    Rykymus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was thinking about doing my complex and high performance endorsements next month. But now I'm thinking about doing my MEL instead. Does the MEL fulfill the complex/HP? And about how many hours are involved in getting an MEL, on average?

    FYI: I have about 500hrs PIC, and have my instrument rating as well.
     
  2. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    A multi training program will cover complex, but for most twin trainers that are 200hp or less per side, not include a high performance endorsement. That's pretty easy...perhaps one flight in a 182 will do it.

    What's your goal?
     
  3. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Here's the regs for complex and high performance 61.1(b)(3), 61.31(f)(i). Are you going to get your PMEL or CMEL?
     
  4. Rykymus

    Rykymus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My goal is to get my wife to fly all over the country with me. But to do so, I'll require more speed, comfort, and reliability than my Archer can provide. She also needs pressurization, as spending any significant time above 10k ft pretty much wipes her out for an entire day, if not two. I was leaning toward a used Malibu, but I've always loved the Duke B60. I know that the twin (especially the Duke) will be more expensive to operate and maintain, but considering that I could pick a decent one up for half what I'd pay for a comparable Malibu, it would likely be a wash. Missions would be at least 1 trip per month of 100-300nm, one around 1,000nm, and at least twice per year coast to coast. A twin is likely too much plane for the shorter trips, but I don't mind. The main thing is getting my wife to travel, and giving her a big, heavy, comfortable and fast plane to fly in will make her feel better. And the extra engine will make her feel safer. (Not looking to open up the argument about safety of singles vs twins. It's about what makes the wife feel better, so all logic is OUT!)

    Thanks
     
  5. mondtster

    mondtster Cleared for Takeoff

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    If you have no twin to fly I would wait and do the multi rating when you're actually going to start flying one.

    In the meantime, get a complex and high performance endorsement and fly a complex single a bit. It will be a good intermediate transition and worth the time and money spent.
     
  6. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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  7. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I know your wife won't believe it, but I guarantee you that a light twin will kill a complacent or out of practice pilot way faster than a high performance single, in certain circumstances.

    Ironically, losing an engine on takeoff is Numero Uno in risk. There is no time to deal with it, and no performance margin at SEA LEVEL. Bring that twin up here, it's worse.

    Manufacturers do not even publish a chart for single engine failure in the takeoff configuration with a prop windmilling. None. It has no margin in that configuration. Count to four, and you're impacting the ground, ready or not. Runway underneath you, or not.

    The other risk in light twins is not knowing when to land off-airport when one fails in flight. Vast numbers of accident reports of people who let the second engine carry them to the crash site.

    If you go through multi training, she may feel better, but you will KNOW better. A twin must be flown with a hairy eyeball on the performance numbers. Until you get to a certain size and engine power level, you're not adding safety in certain modes of flight. Takeoff being a big one. Not at all.

    Let a twin get low and slow on a single engine, even in a clean configuration, and you're in a world of (about to be) hurt.

    Your wife won't believe it, but you're the rated PIC...
     
  8. Rykymus

    Rykymus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well, I had hoped that this wouldn't turn into a singles vs twins thread, but apparently some people cannot resist.

    I am not concerned with the risks associated with multi-engine operation by unpracticed pilots. I have never been the type to let myself become unpracticed. I religiously practice all skills learned, regardless of whether or not they are often used. And if I were to become unpracticed, I would hire a CFI to take me up and sharpen my skills.

    Being a good aviator means staying educated, practiced, and recognizing risk and mitigating that risk, regardless of what you are flying.
     
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  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    No, no that was not my intent. Just an MEI telling you that skills take you to one level in a twin, and there are airports and scenarios where it literally doesn't matter your skill level, the twin adds more risk not less.

    Until you buy up to a level where your twin has enough excess horsepower to climb on a single engine in the takeoff configuration with a draggy windmilling prop on the dead side, you have a built in risk zone where you're going to impact the ground in a few seconds. It's just physics.

    I'm just saying this because you haven't sat down with an MEI yet and worked the numbers. Once you do, you'll have some interesting information to share with your wife coming from a place of knowledge instead of perception.

    You can mitigate it some by load. For the safety level your wife is expecting, here would be a typical conversation leaving a hot, high, airport with a short runway:

    "Two people only, two bags, and we only have enough fuel on board to fly to the big city airport over that direction that has a 10,000' runway."

    It all depends on your mission. I love flying light twins. I don't kid myself on their capabilities though. You don't sound like you would either.

    But you're paying for it dearly. Pushing 30 gallons per hour even in a light twin, and two engines and two props to buy when overhaul time comes. The price tag goes up on a steep curve when you want true single engine performance and speed.

    Deep pockets and a smart brain and you'll get what she perceives you'll be getting. That's all I'm saying. Buy wisely. Fly wisely.

    Her "need" for "safety" might go down a bit if you show her it'll cost at least $100,000 more in acquisition costs and maintenance over the ownership period, and more than double the operating cost.

    Easiest way to show it? Grab the rental price list of a big club with light twins and point out that the ones on their line unless flown very light and in short hops, will not be as safe at certain airports, as the column of singles and let her compare prices.

    If you're okay with the price tag, go for it. I love flying 'em as do a number of folks here. Technically I can also teach in them, but don't have access to one with the right insurance, etc yet.

    But keep in mind you can be Bob Hoover and Sean Tucker combined and there's still flight modes you can put yourself in willingly in a light twin, where your only option is that you're going off the runway, through the airport fence at a high rate of speed.

    The gear takes 13 seconds to fully transit, you've lost an engine and due to drag you only have four seconds left in the air, and you can't go up. That's the reality of light twins at takeoff under most flight conditions.

    Just be aware that her perception does not match reality. Even a pilot's perception of twins and safety gets a severe "tweak" once they start training in one. Mine did. :)
     
  10. TRocket

    TRocket Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I see in another thread you posted about wanting to knock out your commercial ASAP as well. I am no expert and anyone feel free to correct me, but if you are thinking of going that route, I would knock the commercial single first (which will have to include your complex by rule, and if you do an hour or so of that in a 182 RG will take care of the High Performance as well). Then find somewhere to knock out your multi in a weekend or so. That way you can do your multi and CMEL add on in the same ride.
     
  11. Rykymus

    Rykymus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @denverpilot: Thanks for the clarification. I do appreciate it. I'm by no means sold on twins. I just desperately want to fly all over the country, and I don't want to do it alone. I know my wife would love it, as she loves planes and airports, and also wants to see the country. I just have to figure out what will give her the comfort and feeling of safety, and not be a complete waste of money. I really thought that a Malibu would do it for her.

    I'm going to do the MEL regardless, just because I want to, even if I never fly twins again. And I'll likely take TRocket's advice on that one.
     
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  12. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    Get an oxygen bottle.

    What you have to realize is a twin usually gives you better chances if you lose an engine but can kill you if you dont handle it right. And there is roughly TWICE the chance losing an engine in a twin, because you have two (I know, minus the chance of losing BOTH engines at the same time, not likely). Statistically, GA twins aren't any safer than singles. Its really what you are comfortable with. I mean, its not THAT likely youre going to lose an engine no matter what you fly (if you keep that engine reliable).
     
  13. \__[Ô]__/

    \__[Ô]__/ Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Once you get your single engine CFI add-on, I think you'll find that singles also have a tendency to deposit you back on the ground if you lose an engine on takeoff ;)

    To the OP, MEL add-ons tend to be in the 6-14 flight hour range. You've got a bit of a disadvantage if you don't have experience in complex or HP planes. There is a lot more going on in a twin than non-HP, non-complex singles. It tends to be overwhelming for someone who hasn't flown something with so many systems. You'll need to demonstrate IFR proficiency in the twin. A lot of people have some struggles with approaches in a twin if their only flying experience is non-HP, non-complex singles.

    It is totally doable but just be aware that you've got a steeper learning curve than someone already proficient flying faster and complex aircraft.
     
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  14. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    LOL don't need the CFI for that! My point was, many people think they lose an engine on takeoff in a light twin, they're just going to fly around the patch and land on one engine -- then they go get the training and realize nope... I'm headed for the trees and the airport fence just like the single and depending on airframe, maybe flying faster than a single doing it. (Higher impact forces.)

    Paid all that extra money for a second engine and you're still crashing. Heh. Go figure. ;-)
     
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  15. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There is a compromise -- Cessna Skymaster.
     
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  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I have a mental block on those things because of a flight in one that was poorly maintained once. But they're interesting.

    Half an hour circling and screwing with the gear on that flight and never got a nose wheel indication until we were on short final. Owner had decided to make the landing and take whatever happened and the crash crew was out.

    Jackass didn't fix the problem when it happened on the way out (in Vegas) and then later told all three of us on board that "this happens all the time". Screw that guy.

    Various other bad ADM choices too. I never felt so close to being an accident statistic as I did in that aircraft.

    Wasn't the aircraft's fault though. I shouldn't take it out on the airplane type.
     
  17. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They sure are weird looking aircraft.
     
  18. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    They actually fly pretty well. Felt heavier in pitch by a smidge than my 182 and about the same in roll. I hear that single engine performance on the rear engine alone is fairly poor, but we didn't do any single engine ops. Just failed landing gear ops. Twice. :)
     
  19. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Given your stated goal, I'd say go for the Multi. Depending on the plane, it will count for complex/HP. Just because you get the rating doesn't lock you into to having to buy one.

    My lady had no problem flying across the country in a 172 or Saratoga but she really wanted the safety/redundancy of a twin. That said, so did I. So we bought one and have been happy about our decision.

    I know you specifically requested this didn't go to a measuring contest on twin vs single and that lasted 1 post so here is my rebuttal to what was mentioned.

    Yes, there is a period immediately after breaking the ground while accelerating to Vyse and gaining that first 1000 agl where losing an engine requires the pilot to do the absolute right things in a very timely manner to avoid a crash. With that said, there are many, many twins out there that have pretty decent single engine numbers (just so happens none are used in training). Yes, you will need to pay attention to density altitude/weight/etc. Here's some points to a twin that weren't mentioned: 2 alternators, 2 vacuum pumps, 4 sets of mags, much more stable in turbulence (happy wife), typically faster (happy wife), much more loading capability (happy wife), to name a few. And here is the best part. What was meant to scare you away from the crazy notion of owning a twin is minimized by training and oh by the way accounts for less than 1% of your total flight. The other 99+% of the time you simply step on the ball, run through the checklist, if needed feather and secure the motor and go land. I did most my schooling in Georgia but I'm pretty sure a single has to put it down at every flight phase following the loss of an engine.

    I love Duke's as well. I would never be able to pull the trigger on one because of performance and maintenance. If I was looking for a pressurized plane with your mission, I'd jump on a 340. If you are financially set before starting the multi training, you could get a 310, train in it and them move up to the 340. Insurance would appreciate this move and your wife would probably enjoy a 310. @James_Dean has a really nice one listed for sale unless it's gone already.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  20. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Reminder: As someone else already pointed out, most light twins do NOT qualify for the HP endorsement. Not enough ponies per side.
     
  21. GRG55

    GRG55 Pattern Altitude

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    I understand the stats for the 337 Skymaster are no better than a conventional twin configuration.
     
  22. GRG55

    GRG55 Pattern Altitude

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    Any airplane can kill you "if you don't handle it right", even a Cessna 150.
     
  23. GRG55

    GRG55 Pattern Altitude

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    Every airplane has performance limitations (well maybe an F-15 doesn't :) ). It's up to the pilot to know what they are. If some don't understand how to read the performance charts for single engine operation for a twin, and somehow think the thing is going to keep them fat, dumb, happy and harm free that is not a reason that twins should be summarily dismissed as "unsafe". They aren't. But they aren't risk free either. Just like a Mooney is more demanding to fly in critical phases of flight compared to a Cessna 172, a light twin is more demanding in some respects than a single.

    I'll point out yet again there are no statistics kept for light twins that experience a failure of one engine and make an uneventful landing. In addition, the probability of any one engine failing on a light twin is no greater than the probability of an engine failure on a single with a similar Lycoming, Continental or whatever engine.

    Flying is not a risk free pastime or profession. If you think the momentum of a failed takeoff in a light twin with both throttles closed (that's how we eliminate Vmc) is problematic, I wonder how fast a loaded Cirrus jet is going at rotation if the engine fails at that moment? No chute will help that situation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  24. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    And nobody here has deemed them so. All we've said is the LEVEL of safety his wife PERCEIVES in a twin, isn't there until you get to a very big and expensive twin.

    How he handles her perception problem, is up to him. I'm certainly not getting in the middle of it! Haha.

    Kinda like when my wife started a text conversation earlier today with me with, "I'm hangry."

    The only possible response to that is, "Ok."

    :)

    Edit: Fixed the quoting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  25. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    I recently went through commercial MEL and I had the opposite experience of Nate. That might have something to do with the aircraft and terrain around here. I saw better single engine climb rates out of the twin comanche than I have seen from some Cessna 150's. For a high performance twin, losing an engine is not a big deal except for the first 400' AGL on takeoff.
     
  26. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    Don't knock my Skymaster.

    The rear engine is the critical engine. It flies better on the rear than it does with the one up front.

    People like to claim it doesn't have a "critical engine" because of its configuration, but, if you look up the definition of a critical engine, it does.

    I really want to fly a Skymaster again...
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  27. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Birds have better single engine climb rates than a 150! LOL. That isn't even a flyable airplane up here in the summertime! ;-)
     
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  28. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Uhhh. 22:34...
     
  29. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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  30. GRG55

    GRG55 Pattern Altitude

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    I don't believe we know exactly what his wife perceives about the added safety of a twin, so I can't agree with your statement.

    I live in region similar to Denver; lee side of the Continental Divide, airport altitude not quite yours, but a respectable (and to be respected) 4000 ft ASL. I use my light twin to fly over a series of mountain ranges to/from the west coast regularly. Maybe it's just my "perception" but when I owned singles I wouldn't do this very often, and unlike now I never ever flew my singles in a straight line direct - I always followed the highways. Yes, I know fellow pilots at my airport that fly singles direct over those mountains, and a few that actually fly hard IFR in their singles too. Only lost one so far due to engine failure, and that was a Conti powered Malibu that didn't make it gliding to the closest airport. Yes, I could have a double engine failure and be no better off than a single, but I think that risk is low and generally fuel related so can be managed.

    The amount of flight time that is spent at that critical low airspeed, low altitude take-off which you are focused on is tiny. The probability of one of the engines failing in a twin is no greater than the probability in a similar powered single. The probability of an engine failing in those few moments right at or after take-off is even lower. If it happens it is dangerous - regardless whether its a single or a twin. That's one reason we all train. To manage those emergencies properly in whatever airplane we happen to be in. I remain completely unconvinced that a properly flown twin is any more dangerous (as you imply) than a properly flown single. I also don't think it is any "safer" either if one wants to push weather and such just because they are flying a piston twin. All it does if give one some options that some (like me) would not regularly exercise in a single.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  31. denverpilot

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    I see you've added assumed words to what I said. I have not claimed they were "more dangerous". I have claimed that they are no LESS dangerous. Very different thoughts.

    Long periods of time over inhospitable terrain here means going west, and ground level is usually higher than the single engine service ceiling.

    His words, not mine, were that she'd feel better because it was "heavier and bigger". Neither of which is a safety item, when you're a knowledgeable PIC and know better.

    All I've stated is that he'll pay a LOT more money for no truly significant real safety in a light twin. The simple physics is the size of the engines on the wings and how well one of them can lug around all of that drag.

    If he's got the pocketbook to go deeper and get a bigger twin and fly it light, it's a winner, if flown properly. Or if he has a use case like yours over inhospitable terrain that's also not higher than the single engine service ceiling.

    Don't read things into what I l typed. The words stand all on their own, but if you make up things that I never said, in your head, that's on you.
     
  32. Dr. O

    Dr. O Pattern Altitude

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    Those of us who have flown twins longer than most of you have been alive just shake our heads.
    And to the OP - YES, do your MEL now. You will be a better pilot for it.
     
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  33. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I will just address a direct quote as opposed to making you feel I'm adding assumed words to what you said.

    Anyone who has any appreciable time in a real "light" twin will say you are misinformed. You say "no truly significant real safety". I say how can this be possible of a plane that has: 400 ft per minute single engine climb rate, two engines and two props in case either system malfunctions, 4 independent magnetos, 2 vacuum pumps, 2 alternators, better handling in rough air, 2 pitot static systems, more redundant flight instruments, etc. I'm not sure what your definition of significant real safety is but I'm guessing most reasonable people would consider all these extra systems as added safety.

    I'm not saying a twin is the right answer for all. I have certainly recommend mooney's, sr-22's, 182's, saratoga's, etc to people depending on their mission. That said, I think if more people were qualified in twin's, have actually flown non-training twins that have real performance, and had more disposable money for maintenance, there would be way more people buying them because they are in deed a real safety advancement.

    In closing here is a video (posted before) for you. Think a 182 driver would be this calm after losing an engine?

     
  34. Rykymus

    Rykymus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Although I have no personal experience with twins, I would agree that there is some increase in safety with a twin, assuming it is operated properly. My wife's perceptions, be they accurate or not, are all that matters as far as getting her to travel with me as much as I'd like. It's my job to see to her safety, regardless of her perceptions. Knowing myself, I would enjoy the additional challenge of operating a twin, and maintaining proficiency at it. I can't say that I'd enjoy the increased cost, but if it gets her to travel with me, I'm okay with it.

    However, I do appreciate all the comments. Even if I don't agree with some of the opinions, they do give me food for thought.
     
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  35. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I believe you'll find the words "no significant real safety" were associated with the words "added in certain flight regimes" or similar. Removing the rest of the sentence or even the paragraph changes the thought considerably.

    For a twin that will exhibit a "400 fpm single
    engine climb rate" here at my home airport altitude of 5885, in summer with the DA pushing the underside of 9000, you're looking at a twin that costs roughly five times the equivalent speed and performance single. Especially if that "400 fpm climb rate" is required in a dirty configuration. You're talking a very big twin at that point.

    We need a twin with a single engine service ceiling of roughly 11,000 to maintain level flight on a summer day here. Obviously that's not the requirement elsewhere, but if you're planning visits to high DA airports, it's a reality check.

    And if you read my words very carefully the costs were mentioned as part of the entire cohesive thought. These items were not discussed in a vacuum without context.

    It's just like any aircraft purchase. Cost per mission. If you fly at lower altitudes and buy something big enough to climb out after trashing one on a hot day with the gear still down after takeoff, great! I love it. It's "safer".

    Backup electrical, instruments, etc? All sorts of ways to do that in either type, even if most folks don't do it in singles. Have seen some owners who spend an inordinate amount of time in IMC in singles who who have done it to singles. It's not a very compelling argument.

    I've not been attempting to talk him out of a multi. On the contrary, I'm suggesting he look really hard at the performance numbers of a multi that will adequately meet his mission. If his wife says she wants additional real safety, then BUY additional real safety. Not the first light twin that looks sexy on the ramp.

    Can figure that all out long before plunking down the money for training and fuel.

    Light twins are sweet little machines. I'll be enjoying teaching in them. I just don't kid myself (especially up here) of their performance numbers. Bigger twins are where the safety value starts to grow significantly, but so does the price tag.

    All my posts have really been saying is, "Don't get suckered by that sexy extra nacelle. It isn't always safer."