Twin or Single

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Stegoo_86, May 7, 2021.

  1. Stegoo_86

    Stegoo_86 Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey All!

    Just wanted to know your reasons for purchasing what you did. Did you go with a twin or a single-engine aircraft and why? Debating what I would like, obviously mission, useful load, and range are all considerations, but I can't find a lot of "sticking points" for one or the other.
     
  2. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    Basically, I rolled a die, and came up with an ace.
     
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  3. FancyG

    FancyG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What you can't do with a single, fly commercial.
     
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  4. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    I couldn't make up my mind, so I have one of each.
     
  5. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    A twin gets you 1.95 times a single maintenance, twice the fuel burn, higher takeoff and landing speeds plus longer ground roll for each, and you need more recurrent training to stay safe in a twin. Also, your speed increases by the third root of two. Finally, there’s an old saying that losing an engine in a twin means it takes longer to get to the scene of the accident. Once off the ground, they climb better, but as far as I can tell, that’s their main advantage.
     
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  6. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Money. If I had more, I’d a got a twin.
     
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  7. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    LOL. Blanket statements, most of which can be refuted if you actually talk to someone who owns and flies one.

    But then again, there might be some truth to this. My take off and landing speeds, and my ground rolls, in the twin are definitely higher than my Husky. ;)
     
  8. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I got a single that identifies as a Twin Turbofan A10 Warthog Bonanza Heavy BBRRRRRRRTTTTTTTT.
     
  9. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    I chose single, but that's because it's the best fit for my budget and flying. Here's what I think is a fair summary of the case against and for a twin.

    The case against a twin
    • cost of ownership — from friends who've owned a twin, count on 4x the yearly ownership cost of a single, not 2x (one paid $15K just to replace the little heated square on the windshield). Even if you paid only $100K for it, it would be a $1m–$2m plane factory new, and parts/maintenance are priced accordingly
    • 2x the chance of downtime away from home (if either of the engines develops a problem)
    • minimal extra speed from two engines, but 2x the fuel consumption
    • much-higher landing and ramp fees at many airports
    • no real safety benefit — if anything, twins have a slightly-higher fatal accident rate than singles (you're more likely to die from VMC rollover in a twin than from a forced landing in a single)
    • big commitment to recurrent training (you need a much-higher level of proficiency to fly a twin safely, including annual sessions at FlightSafety or similar)
    The case for a twin
    • higher ceilings to get above weather or terrain
    • bigger useful load (and often, more cabin space)
    • better support for pressurisation (pressurised piston singles like the C210P don't have great reliability or safety records)
    • better support for FIKI (though no piston plane can safely handle more than light rime for any sustained period, FIKI or no FIKI)
    • dual generators/alternators, etc (possible in a single, but standard in a twin)
    • room for radar
    • more confidence for long flights over water or inhospitable terrain (where I'd choose to take the long way around in a single)
    • significant reduction in CO risk (the engines are out on the wings, and there's often independent combustion heating rather than a muffler shroud that can crack)
    • stats aside, passengers usually feel safer in a twin
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  10. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    single because I wasn't multi rated when I got the airplane
     
  11. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nice breakdown. This is the type of thing that should be on a readme_first sticky.
     
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  12. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Couldn't afford a Bo. Bought an Arrow. No ragrets whatsoever.

    Single.

    Didn't (and still don't) have multi.
    Insurance would be really high. Like really really high.
    Don't need one to fly 3 hour legs.
    Couldn't even afford a Bo, much less run a twin.

    I'm just a hater. I wish I had a twin... :(
     
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  13. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have a Bo and don't plan on a twin anytime soon but several of my friends have them and most of my flying time is in twin engine aircraft. I can tell that either you don't fly twins or had a bad experience with them.

    The first two points are a wash IMO.

    The third - if you burn 2x the fuel you are going to get a BIG increase in speed. For just a little more fuel you get the same or slightly better speed. (but way less wear and tear on each engine). Obviously this is comparing like aircraft (Bonanza vs Baron for instance)

    Ramp fees are for real.

    No real safety benefit? How many multi engine airplanes have an engine failure or partial failure then continue to a divert field and we never hear about them? Yes, the fatality rate in an reported accident is higher but I really enjoy knowing that I have MANY options from cruise if I have a problem in a twin. A lot of it depends on the pilot of course which brings it to the last point.

    Recurrent training should be part of your normal flying habits; annual at a minimum but either way it needs to be done. IMO you only need to go somewhere like FlightSafety if you are a low time twin guy.

    All in all a good attempt to explain but your viewpoints are definitely coming from a single engine guy. There's a lot of great stuff about flying twins. I don't own one because I think my Bo is good for my family right now. That will change before long.
     
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  14. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    I am having a little trouble with your math.
    How is it that replacing the windshield plate on a FIKI twin makes the plane cost 4X more annually compared to replacing the windshield plate on a FIKI single?

    BTW, after 9 years of owning a twin Piper that is much more capable than any of the prior 4 Piper singles I have owned, the incremental cost of maintaining and operating the twin is materially higher...but no where near 4X. Not even close.
     
  15. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Single. I enjoy the the anxiety of wondering when the engine will quit and what my actions will be as a result.

    Same thing with work. I pray for an engine failure and relish in the thought of pulling off an auto to a small field or tight parking lot.

    Redundancy takes away the excitement in flying.
     
  16. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    You used to fly a twin for work, right? Maybe two?
     
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  17. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Twin owners face the threat of VMC rollover with every takeoff (almost always fatal, while most forced landings aren't), so they still have some excitement of their own to look forward to. We wouldn't want to monopolize all the fun for the singles. :)
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  18. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    He must be calculating the Canadian exchange rate into his cost for twins.
     
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  19. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Only if you're doing it wrong.
     
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  20. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I was actively flying for a living, twins, because the boss wanted it that way....:lol:

    I have only totally lost 1 engine in flight. I turned around and made my way back to the airport and landed. It was not a single engine airplane and it wasn't day VFR at the time, and the med crew was really thankful that the other engine kept running.

    So, twin or single, for private ownership.

    For night IFR in winter I would want a twin. But since I am pretty much finished with night IFR in winter and just transporting myself and my wife in day VFR conditions and light day IFR I would probably go with a single.

    But because I can, or at least once could afford a twin, I would do that. I appreciate the redundancy.

    Last thought, I may just buy a good Class A diesel pusher and call it good. And then drive 10MPH under the posted speed limit, in the hammer lane, with the left turn signal going, totally oblivious to other traffic around me....then start thread here about rude drivers that pass me on the right at high speed while honking their horns....
     
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  21. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Oh for crying out loud.... twins are safer IF you continue to train in the twin procedures. If you get the rating and choose to not continually train in twin procedures, it will be less safe than a single.

    Plain & simple.
     
  22. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    There are many threats that face every airplane on takeoff and climb out. The Snowbirds lost both a jet and one of their members on takeoff/climbout last year from Kamloops. No one is immune.

    Lots of single engine pilots have screwed up the response to a engine failure during the initial phases of a flight, with equally poor outcomes to the "dreaded" Vmc roll. That's why, single or twin piston, one needs to know what one is going to do in each particular circumstance...before it happens. There should probably be a placard in every airplane that says "Keep the nose down". ;)

    I've posted this before. Most people here commenting about twin piston airplanes have never owned or flown one extensively...or at all. And most people here that have owned and flown twin piston airplanes have a lot of time in singles.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  23. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Except that it’s inaccurate/highly exaggerated.

    Every time this topic comes up you inevitably get the twin haters who throw our anecdotal info and make blanket statements.

    You have to compare apples to apples. A Baron might cost 4 times more per year to maintain than a Piper Cub, but it sure as heck shouldn’t cost 4 times more than a Bonanza. Nor does a Cessna 340 cost 4 times more than a Malibu.

    I’ve seen plenty of horror story posts here on POA about single engine annuals that cost more than any Beech 18 annual I’ve had. Not saying a Beech 18 is cheap, but simply that the oft quoted blanket statements are misleading at best.
     
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  24. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    20 years ago, there were a lot more reasons to buy a twin. With engine redundancy, comes vacuum, electrical and in some cases hydraulic redundancy.

    Nowadays, a lot of those redundant mitigation’s can be more cheaply achieved in singles.

    Two reasons to choose a twin over a single:

    Useful load
    Because you just want a twin

    You simply won’t achieve the useful load of a Baron with a Bonanza. Some people need the useful load. If you can get by on the useful load of a single, then by all means, go for the cheaper, simpler route.

    Some of us fly twins because we just flat out want a twin. Yes, they cost more to maintain, fuel and insure (although not as much as alluded to by some others in this thread), but if you want a twin and can afford it, then go for it. Just please get training and maintain proficiency.
     
  25. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did put the caviat of "type". Maybe correct it as someone that owns a twin? Not my department either way.
     
  26. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    I posted about the same number of advantages for singles and twins, and many of the twin advantages are strongly compelling (like pressurisation, FIKI, ability to fly over weather or high terrain, etc). It's hard to see that as an attack, unless you want us to believe that twins are 100% advantage and 0% disadvantage compared to singles, and any other suggestion is sacrilege.

    Statistically, there's no safety advantage for a twin over a single — we can all agree on that if we have basic numeracy skills — but that's partly because there are lots of thing many twins can do that most singles simply can't (or at least, usually shouldn't), like overflying wide stretches of water, flying in light icing conditions, or flying IFR over the Rockies, all of which are riskier even with two engines, but.

    Those extra mission options come at a huge jump in operating cost and pilot-proficiency demands, but if they're critical/important to you — and you have the necessary financial resources — then a twin will clearly be the best choice. You won't find many pilots in the forum disputing that.

    But we can drop the old pilot's tale that twins have a safety advantage over singles, because 70+ years of fatal-accident stats don't bear that out. The reality isn't that twins are safer per se, but that many twins let you do certain types of flying that are too dangerous to attempt in most singles (and thus, singles simply tend to avoid). Flying over Upstate NY at 8,000 ft between SC layers is at least as safe in a single as it is in a twin.

    But flying across the middle of Lake Superior, or trying to top out a winter blizzard along the route are things most of us simply can't or won't attenpt in a single — they don't show up in the accident stats because the single pilot takes a long detour, or books a hotel room and flies the next day, while the twin pilot has more options.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
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  27. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Where are those single engine landings in your data? Oh yeah, they aren't, because they don't show up, and you get to ignore them. Theres a reason 121 has 2 engines.
     
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  28. JuggyJet

    JuggyJet Pre-Flight

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    If a pilot is too bothered to maintain his proficiency flying twins, but still takes a gamble and goes up, that pilot most likely sucks at flying singles, too (that type exists in all levels of flying). It’s all about the mindset and character of an aviator.

    For me, one reason only...
    I want to fly back, not glide back when one fails (based on 3 engine outs. You don’t wanna fly with me now, do you? :frown2: ).
     
  29. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Engine failures never happened in twins cording to the Canadian.
     
  30. JuggyJet

    JuggyJet Pre-Flight

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    A86D6E95-2A63-408A-A84F-59E9B33736C3.jpeg
     
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  31. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Is that based on stats or gut feeling?

    I wonder if it's more a case of risk compensation, too. Let's assume a twin were slightly safer than a single for the kinds of flying singles do (no stats specifically for that, and lots of arguments pro/con, but let's assume that for now).

    So a proficient twin pilot has two choices: continue to fly only the way they'd fly in a single, and have a lower risk of fatal accident, or cash in that hypothetical extra safety margin to be able do more things they wouldn't have been comfortable doing in a single.

    Based on the stats, most twin pilots choose door #2 (like anyone would: why spend all that extra money if it doesn't let you do more things?), so there's no decrease — and possibly a slight increase — in the fatal accident rate for twins.

    I think the danger comes from thinking you can have your cake and eat it too — keep your (hypothetical) safety benefit AND take flights you wouldn't have attempted in a single. It's either-or.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_compensation
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
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  32. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I fly a single 'cause that's all my Light Sport Certificate will allow ... :dunno:
     
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  33. Notrub

    Notrub Pre-Flight

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    Its hard to go back. Twins are simply so choice. I have loved every minute of my time behind two throttles. Wish i could do more but its hard without a great deal, tremendous luck, or getting paid to do it....
     
  34. Eldorado

    Eldorado Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Love both. Owned Twin Comanche and Bonanza for 20 yrs each, both used for mainly trips. Maintenance was the same. Twin Comanche i felt was more relaxing flying at night, over water/mountains, required more proficiency. Bonanza more relaxing landing and taking off. Flying over 150 hrs a year, I’d take the twinco, under 150 hrs, I’d take the Bonanza, every thing else being equal.
     
  35. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I'm not as cool as the other posters here and don't own a plane.. but when it comes time to buy, hopefully in the next 2 to 3 years, it will without a doubt be a twin..

    Money: who cares, flying is expensive

    Famous engine loss scenario at 300' agl on departure: all the places around me you are pretty much guaranteed to die in a single, with or without a parachute... in a twin there's at least the potential of surviving

    Every other scenario I can't imagine why you would not want that second engine next to you.. over cities, water, mountains, night, etc

    Disclaimer: I have about 500 Cirrus hrs and 50 multi.. plus a bunch of time from before that in various PA28 and (shudder) 172. so not a ton of time compared to some folks here but not a total n00b either
     
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  36. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    I couldn't afford the one with a parachute without financing it.
     
  37. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    J Mac McClellan wrote this up nice https://www.flyingmag.com/wrong-worry-twins-versus-singles/

    "
    Nobody believes twin-engine jets, or twin turboprops, are unsafe, even though pilots need skill and training to fly those airplanes after an engine failure. The same is true of the piston twins. And many competent pilots land twins uneventfully every year after an engine failure, but those incidents are never reported because they are not tracked by the FAA, NTSB or anybody else. A piston twin can't continue safely to a runway under every circumstance, but except for the moment or two during some takeoff conditions, a safe landing on a runway should almost always be possible.
    "
     
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  38. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Take time to estimate the cost of 2 engine, 2 prop, and 2 Governor overhauls and things will come into focus.
     
  39. Rockymountain

    Rockymountain Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Outside of twin turbofans, all of which require a dedication to training and competence in the way of a type rating and yearly 61.58 check ride, there is no evidence under any conditions that twins are safer. So remove safety and you will be wiser. Choose the plane that has the range, payload, features, and cost efficiency that you desire and just go with that. Even turboprops. The pilatus PC12 single has a better engine fatality rate and equal or better overall safety rate as the King Air 200. The Piper Meridian has a better engine fatal rate than the Piper Cheyenne and similar overall safety rate. Saratoga vs. Seneca, bonanza vs. baron, DA40 vs DA42. The engines make little difference. The twin complexity, higher stall speeds, and fact that you are at least twice as likely to experience an engine failure offsets any theoretical advantage of a second engine. Now when both engines are working, a little extra carrying capacity and sometimes better climb rate are legit reasons to have a twin. But increased safety is just not a valid reason in propellor driven aircraft.
     
  40. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    And I am one that had an engine failure in a light twin (on a 135 charter). Landed uneventfully. Never made the news, and the Feds never contacted me.
     
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