It depends on how many seats are installed in the aircraft, by STC, etc. It is certified for a minimum flight crew of one pilot. If it has 10 or more seats installed, it is a two pilot aircraft under Pt135.
The Metro III is certified with one required pilot. Typically when carrying passengers in 135/121 operations two pilots are required. Operated under Part 91 with passengers in either the Metro III or Merlin IV (same thing) insurance companies might require two pilots.
For cargo operations single pilot is all that is required.
Not to get too deep, but I believe if it doesn't have a functioning autopilot, their must be 2 pilots for Intl. Ops. I ran into that when we would fly to Canada, or through Canadian airspace enroute to Alaska. Basically check the ops specs.
Not into Mexico, I operated a Metro III, heavyweight (16,000 # MGTOW) single pilot with no autopilot cargo ops in/out of Mexico. Nice long nights 6 hours plus, close to 8 at times (total flight time w/stops for customs and fuel) all hand flown (duh!). Builds Character.
But take a look at the accident record for the 1900, Jetstream and the Metro. Compare. While the Metro is one of the most difficult aircraft to fly, after the MU2, it has one of the best accident records of the three.
Here's the low down skinney ... The Fairchild Metroliner/Merlin IVC (SA-227-AC/AT) is a normal category airplane and requires a minimum flight crew of one pilot for day, VFR flying. Operating rules require two pilots when operating FAR 135 with 10 or more passenger seats or operating FAR 121.
Because this airplane was primarily used in the U.S. as a commuter air carrier under FAR 135 and so many crews were trained and qualified by those carriers in two pilot operations, the FAA took to issuing type ratings with a "SIC Required" limitation on the certificate. That makes it a two pilot airplane for day, VFR flying when the captain's airman's certificate is limited.
Canada does require commercial operators conducting IFR operations to have an operable "three axis" autopilot (read to mean horizontal and vertical controlable axis, not a yaw damper) or a crew of two qualified pilots.
Mexico has no such requirement. I believe Europe's JAA has a requirement similar to Canada, but it might not allow an autopilot in lieu of a second pilot but I'm not certain.
Why does this airplane have such a bad rep? I loved flying the C-26 (mil version) in Europe. The 26 had a fairly nice EFIS kit, great legs, was pretty comfortable (& yes I've done the 14 turn 10 turn 14 ....) , and was pretty darn reliable. Although it was overly stable about the longitudinal axis because the ailerons were so far inboard, I never thought it was difficult to fly. Also thought the systems made a lot more sense than most of the other airplanes I've flown. Granted it had it's quirks, but just seems that the Metroliner has a bit of undeserved bad reputation. JMO, 265
Thanks for the link to the Sewer pipe. I have time in that plane 556UP
The UP stands for UPS. I used to work for Merlin Express who used to fly 12 Metroliners owned by UPS bought new from Sweringen. Word has it UPS did not want to pay the union rate for each type of aircraft the company flew thus the Manufacture formed Merlin Express to fly UPS sewer pipes. Back then UPS paid 747 drivers the same as 727, not sure now. It was a fun plane to fly and I had a great time.
From what I see they have rollers in them, so you mostly roll the boxes all the way from the door to the 1st bay or throw the bags to the first bay. i guess it can take its toll on the line service people.
it's not hard at all to put square boxes into a round metro. the steps are as follows:
3. cram that mutha in any way you can.
4. and never tell the pilot you've blown out a bay and are filling the next one. weight and balance is for sissies.
these actual instructions are posted on (insert large freight company name) 's main building in (xyz hub).
actually it loads just fine. it's not nearly as roomy as a 1900, but it gets the job done. also, i don't know what the big deal about flying it is. if you can fly a chieftain you can fly a metro. i like it alot, just don't bring your B game to a V1 cut.
Agree about needing to be on you game w/ a V1 cut, a bit of a handful, but nothing that one couldn't be taught to handle.
Our birds were configured w/ 13 seats (1 for the crewman), a toliet compartment and the baggage area. On one flight, our last leg back home, the terminal at Sigonella pulls up with 5 baggage carts of mail to take to Naples, 1700#! After an hour and a half, and the 3 of us working together, we managed to get all of it in the airplane and still had room for one SpaceA pax! It was pretty funny watching the expressions on the guys back home as the bags never seemed to stop coming out.