I have about 2500 hour Total Time, about 200 Multi, and currently fly a single engine airplane. Its not always about single versus multi though. Turbine versus piston is another factor. I feel tremendously more comfortable flying the PC-12 than I ever did flying a piston twin, like a seneca, or seminole, or cessna 310, or 402. The PT-6 is one of the most reliable engines around. As for “a single driver cant afford any better,” tell that to F-16 drivers. or Steve Fossett (the globalflyer)
A lot of you who think that 2 is always better than 1 are living in the past. Thats exactly how we all used to think. If 2 is better than 1, then 3 must be better than 2, and 4 must be better than 3 and so on. If more engines is safer, why the hell would anyone want to fly in a death trap like the 757, 767, 777, 320 series etc with ONLY 2 engines?
In a perfect world, every multi-engine pilot would always be at the top of their game, and handle an engine failure textbook perfect. But it is not a perfect world, and many pilots lose proficiency in engine-out procedures soon after passing their checkrides.
Ignoring safe landings following an engine failure of either a single or a multi (because if if it was landed safely, theres no record of it), If a multi engine airplane were to crash following an engine failure, it almost always results in fatalities. Why? In a single you really have no choice in the matter. Engine fails, pitch for best glide, attempt re-start, aim for flat spot. When a multi crashes it is usually due to improper procedures, namely, getting too slow and flipping over. I have read countless reports of a twin with an engine failure, but in flyable condition, crashing on short final, or after attemping to go around, or immediately after takeoff. This usually is the result of getting below Vmc and flipping over. (i can somewhat understand how this happens, as the correct procedure for correcting this is to REDUCE power, and NOSE DOWN, which is exactly opposite what the other side of your brain is telling you, which is go up, go up, go up, go up.) Given the choice of going in nearly inverted and nose down; or gliding into the trees in a controllable fashion, I would choose the latter.
I know we’re talking about “which is safer” but you also have to consider the fuel efficiency, performance, and maintenance of a single engine also.