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 Back to Journey King Air C90GTx in flight

Benefits of earning a multi-engine rating in a turboprop

King Air allows pilot to expand skills, recreational missions

Even as a child, Peter Tinsman had loved airplanes and wanted to learn to fly, but it wasn’t until he spooled down his responsibilities at work in Dubuque, Iowa, that Tinsman finally had time to devote to his lifelong dream.

“At 46 years old, I started taking flying lessons. I chose a flight school in Davenport. They were wonderful, with great people and great instructors. The first airplane I bought after I earned my private pilot’s certificate was a Mooney Acclaim,” said Tinsman, who went on to earn his instrument rating the following year.

After three years with his Mooney, Tinsman decided he wanted a larger aircraft with two engines for redundancy and size. He was looking for something that was capable of shuttling his family of six on vacations and family visits. For him, a turboprop with range, speed and space made the most sense.

Advantages of a multi-engine rating

  • More speed and cabin space
  • Redundant equipment
  • Better insurance rates

Tinsman considered doing his multi-engine training in a turboprop and checked with his insurance broker, who confirmed insurance companies like to see the extra training. Earning a multi-engine rating in a complex turboprop versus a piston twin would likely reflect favorably in his future premiums. Tinsman says lessons cost him more in the turboprop over a piston-twin, but it was a short-term expense.

“For me, it was money well spent. I didn’t want to purchase the turboprop and realize that this is totally wrong for me. So I thought, I’ll learn in it, and it will be like test driving the turboprop. I’ll spend the extra money to find out if I like it,” said Tinsman.

Peter and Heather Tinsman were all smiles the day they picked up their new King Air C90GTx.

After deciding to learn in a turboprop over a piston-twin, Tinsman asked his instructor if he could earn his multi-engine rating in a KING AIR turboprop.

“No one had ever asked the instructor that before, but he didn’t see any reason why not. On my first flight in a King Air 90, I remember thinking ‘this is fantastic.’ Compared to my Mooney, it was so responsive, so stable. I loved it,” Tinsman said.

Tinsman earned his multi-engine rating in the summer, and he took delivery of his own brand new BEECHCRAFT King Air C90GTx turboprop the following winter.

Now a 1,500-hour pilot with plenty of turboprop time, Tinsman enjoys flying his King Air aircraft to see friends and family, take vacations, attend college football games and go on the occasional trip, just for smiles.

Some of the Tinsmans’ favorite destinations