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Nearly Retired

Ye Olde Flight Time Debate

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Ohhhhh Helonorth, PLEASE tell me that you are not this dense. PLEASE tell me that you understand that a helicopter rotor is a rotating WING. I refuse to believe that you don't understand this very simple concept! Yes, yes they are wings.

 

 

 

I see no relevance in what we term a rotor blade. You can call it an "anti-gravity device" if you want. Makes no difference. I allowed myself to get lured into more pedantic stupidity (a"vibrating" helicopter is a moving helicopter which equals flight time, etc.).

 

Anyhoo, I think I have a pretty clear understanding of the regulation. Rehashing details over and over again will not change the fact that until a helicopter moves away from it's parking spot under it's own power (taxiing, flying, whatever) it's not flight time. It matters not that you consider that if the "wings" are flying, you are, too...

 

There really is nothing left to say. The FAA has made it clear what they consider flight time in a helicopter. Feel free to disagree but the reg and the clarification make perfect sense to me. So until the next time you drag this up, I'm out. I hope I don't allow myself to get trolled into this again but I probably said that last time.

 

 

Moot -

subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty, and typically not admitting of a final decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You didn't read far enough. This seems to be the preferred definition in the US.

 

moot

(mo͞ot)

 

adj.
b. Of no practical importance; irrelevant
Edited by helonorth

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But the fact that you're not *flying* is actually beside the point. The reg about logging pilot flight time has nothing to do with *flying.* I'm surprised and disappointed that so many helicopter pilots are still having trouble with this. Airplane pilots, or pilots of any wheeled aircraft who are taxiing for takeoff are not flying either, are they? Of course not. But they're logging pilot flight time. How on earth can that be! It's because there is no requirement for the aircraft to be off the ground for the pilot to be logging time.

 

I know this is difficult for some of you. I know that some of you think that the FAA requires pilots to actually be flying for us to log pilot flight time. But that is just not the case.

 

 

No, we all understand this. No one has stated otherwise. It was discussed at length days ago. That this is a point of confusion or contention exists only in your mind. Now I'm out.

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Kania is really interesting Chris. Thanks for posting it.

 

It's fairly obvious reading it that the intent behind "pilot time" isn't to log 'flight time' but something along the lines of 'flight duty time.' The FAA interpretation of "purpose of flight" is extremely broad.

 

Compare/contrast:

 

Airliner taxis from parking to the taxiway, shuts down for 20 minutes to have deicing fluid applied. Logs pilot time.

 

Helicopter pilot runs up, performs power assurance check on the ground just below HIGE power, then has 10 minute wait for SVFR clearance. Doesn't log pilot time.

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Kania is really interesting Chris. Thanks for posting it.

 

It's fairly obvious reading it that the intent behind "pilot time" isn't to log 'flight time' but something along the lines of 'flight duty time.' The FAA interpretation of "purpose of flight" is extremely broad.

 

 

 

 

The intent of the letter is to address the specific questions asked by the submitter.

 

"The intention of flight" is very clear.

 

 

 

Airliner taxis from parking to the taxiway, shuts down for 20 minutes to have deicing fluid applied. Logs pilot time.

 

 

 

Logging time is the least concern. Flight and duty regulations are a concern in that case, and the time credited toward pay guarantees is a chief concern. In an airline environment, logging flight time isn't really a big deal, save to show currency (which is tracked with the company).

 

 

 

Helicopter pilot runs up, performs power assurance check on the ground just below HIGE power, then has 10 minute wait for SVFR clearance. Doesn't log pilot time.

 

 

Not if it doesn't move with the intent of flight, as already well defined in the regulation and legal interpretations.

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Some of you guys really can’t even keep your stories straight. Helonorth has bowed-out of this conversation, which is fine, but let’s go back and see what he wrote:


…helicopter is still in it's parking spot on the ground, you ain't flying and you ain't logging time.

 

This indicates to us that Helonorth still thinks that a pilot must be “flying” (I.E. in the air) to log pilot flight time. And we’ve already proven that this is definitely *not* the case. So when I called him on that, he said, THAT’S NOT WHAT I SAID! Which of course is what he said.
We know that the FAA defines aircraft flight time as “wheels-up to wheels-down” (or skids-up to skids-down). The *aircraft* is not flying if the landing gear is on the ground. But they allow pilots to log *MORE* than that as “pilot flight time” as long as certain parameters are met.
A fixed-wing pilot could taxi out for takeoff, find a maintenance problem and then taxi back in to have it fixed. *ALL* of that time would be considered “pilot flight time.” Even though he did not actually takeoff, he was taxiing with the intent of flight.
People have thrown in all sorts of irrelevant and complicating items to cloud the issue. The bottom-line is that you do not have to actually be in the air to log pilot flight time. But lots of helicopter pilots think it’s cheating.
The only “arguable” or “debatable” issue here is very simple: I believe that when a helicopter rotor is in motion (e.g. moving), the whole aircraft can be said to be moving. Yes, I know and understand that the FAA has issued an opinion letter to the opposite, and yes I know that the wording in the actual rule is vague (debatable?). I believe the current interpretation is wrong. Perhaps whoever the new head of the FAA’s Legal Department is might have a different opinion? Let’s find out! Remember, Becky and Viola’s “opinion” is not carved in stone. Nor does it constitute case law.
A helicopter rotor is *not* analogous to a propeller…or an aileron (Jesus, Avbug). The helicopter rotor is an airframe part and, when you consider the whole disk, the biggest airframe part! We have full aerodynamic control over the blades even at “ground idle” or whatever setting you use.
Words matter. I don’t know why the original writers of the Definitions section (FAR 1.1) didn’t use the phrase, “taxis under its own power.” I don’t know why they used the word, “moves.” Were they being clever? Or did they just not care? I suspect the former.

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Guest pokey

 

I don’t know why they used the word, “moves.” Were they being clever? Or did they just not care?

 

 

i suspect they left it open for debate. AKA: "job security"

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Logging time is the least concern. Flight and duty regulations are a concern in that case, and the time credited toward pay guarantees is a chief concern. In an airline environment, logging flight time isn't really a big deal, save to show currency (which is tracked with the company).

 

So helicopter pilots don't have to be concerned about flight and duty regulations before/after flight (proper flight) because... we don't have to taxi to/from a runway. Makes sense.

 

Pay guarantees... que?

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So helicopter pilots don't have to be concerned about flight and duty regulations before/after flight (proper flight) because... we don't have to taxi to/from a runway.

 

 

 

Is this so? The only person to say such a thing is you. Say more.

 

Fixed wing pilots in 121 and 135 operations have flight and duty limitations. Your taxi time is irrelevant to the duty limitations. Taxi time with the intent of flight is applicable to the logging of flight time. Focus.

 

The regulation applies equally to fixed wing and to rotor pilots. Same regulation. Same language.

 

If you move from your parking spot with the intent of flight, you may log the time.

 

If your'e concerned about flight and duty limits in a helicopter and are comparing it to fixed wing operations, you should know that the fixed wing pilots will have the greater accrual of time in some cases, due to the push and taxi and ground delays, and have more to "worry" about than you do. This is particularly true for long haul operations, especially those that have greater duty days than you may be accustomed to.

 

You're getting far afield, however, from the issue, which is the logging of time. Remember?

 

 

Pay guarantees... que?

 

 

It's an airline pay model. You wouldn't understand. If you're going to talk about pushback, taxi and lengthy ground time for airline operations, you should know what you're talking about and how it works.

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The answer is easy: log all your flight time, period. If starting the helicopter and turning up the rotors with the 'intent to fly' is all you need, and that ends when you shut down and exit the cockpit- good enough for me. You and I will have problems sharing a contract when you time out and I finish the job alone. You are betting your job. That has happened.

Me, I think flight time requires flying- collective up until collective down, I am operating the controls, I log it, and nothing else. No 'adjustments' no explanations: consistent, rational and completely unquestionable. If you have to excuse your actions with this, that and the other case... well, you know.

Engine time, air frame time, duty time, block time, N1 cycles, positive buoyancy, all are coincidental to pilot flight time.

Edited by Wally

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Wally sez:

Me, I think flight time requires flying

 

 

And the FAA disagrees with you, Wally. But don't feel bad, it's a mistake that a horribly large number of helicopter pilots make. Logging pilot flight time does not require that either the pilot or the aircraft be in the air.

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If your'e concerned about flight and duty limits in a helicopter and are comparing it to fixed wing operations, you should know that the fixed wing pilots will have the greater accrual of time in some cases, due to the push and taxi and ground delays, and have more to "worry" about than you do. This is particularly true for long haul operations, especially those that have greater duty days than you may be accustomed to.

 

You're getting far afield, however, from the issue, which is the logging of time. Remember?

 

It's an airline pay model. You wouldn't understand. If you're going to talk about pushback, taxi and lengthy ground time for airline operations, you should know what you're talking about and how it works.

 

I've had to shut down to refuel because we had to wait that long for an SVFR clearance. None of that time counted towards flight and duty limitations because we didn't taxi. Why would we? We didn't move to or from our parking spot, so that didn't trigger the conditions to log pilot time. Are you suddenly agreeing with me that that time should be pilot time?

 

We're still talking about the same issue, here. Pilot time is, unfortunately, both "flight duty time" and "total time." I am perfectly comfortable with airline pilots logging "flight duty time" when they are performing aircrew duties. It ought to be the same for a helicopter pilot; the requirement to taxi doesn't make operational sense. As long as the FAA isn't distinguishing between "flight duty time" and "total time," a helicopter pilot should be logging pilot time when performing analogous aircrew duties to an airline pilot.

 

Airline pay guarantees: why is this relevant to a discussion of the regulation and its intent?

 

I guess I'm just trying to understand why the FAA interprets "move" narrowly but "intention of flight" broadly. It doesn't really make sense given that the language defining pilot time reflects 'flight duty time' and not proper 'flight time.' I don't buy that stare decisis is entirely relevant. Stare decisis binds courts, and even there precedent can be overturned. Additionally, it's been fairly common for regulations to change which would completely change, with the stroke of a pen, one's pilot logbook (i.e.: creation of powered-lift category, changing definitions of NVGO). Personally, I think things will change, but it will only progress like science does: one funeral at a time.

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Man, and I thought my trucker logbook was complicated? You guys are giving me a headache!

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I've had to shut down to refuel because we had to wait that long for an SVFR clearance. None of that time counted towards flight and duty limitations because we didn't taxi. Why would we? We didn't move to or from our parking spot, so that didn't trigger the conditions to log pilot time. Are you suddenly agreeing with me that that time should be pilot time?

 

 

 

No, I am not. Nothing I have said would remotely suggest otherwise.

 

You had no claim to log the time.

 

If you wanted to log it, you should have moved. That's your problem.

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We're still talking about the same issue, here. Pilot time is, unfortunately, both "flight duty time" and "total time." I

 

There is no such thing as "flight duty time." Is this a term you've just invented?

 

The FAA defines flight time. The FAA does not define "pilot time." Total time is also not the same. Are you sure you're not a student pilot?

 

 

I am perfectly comfortable with airline pilots logging "flight duty time" when they are performing aircrew duties.

 

I'm not. If they're doing that, they're inventing a category of flight time which doesn't exist.

 

Do you understand the difference between duty and flight time? There are multiples of flight time that are calculated that begin and end with push back, begin and end with taxi, and begin and end with takeoff. Each are used for different purposes. Duty time begins when the crew reports at the hotel lobby for the flight, with some exceptions; typically the time begins one hour before departure on a domestic flight, and two hours for an international. It ends at release at the destination, or at arrival at the hotel for long trips (we did a lot of four hour trips to the hotel after, such as Brussels to Amsterdam...one doesn't begin rest because one is still acting under control of the company until arrival). Flight time and duty time are completely different. I've put in 14-30 hours of duty time on flights and logged no flight time. Completely different.

 

 

 

I've had to shut down to refuel because we had to wait that long for an SVFR clearance.

 

 

I've had to taxi back and refuel because we waited so long for departure, and twice notified the ground controller of minimum fuel. It happens. That's life.

 

 

 

It ought to be the same for a helicopter pilot; the requirement to taxi doesn't make operational sense. As long as the FAA isn't distinguishing between "flight duty time" and "total time," a helicopter pilot should be logging pilot time when performing analogous aircrew duties to an airline pilot.

 

 

 

It IS the same for a helicopter pilot. How do you fail to comprehend this? There is one regulation, and it applies to everyone; the same regulation that defines flight time for fixed wing defines it for rotor; it doesn't differentiate. The only differentiation made otherwise is for a glider. READ.

 

The regulation has nothing to do with performing duty. It has nothing to do with professional pilots. It applies to the student pilot the same as the ATP. You keep suggesting otherwise, but your misunderstanding of the regulation, the legal interpretation, and the definition doesn't change anything.

 

The FAA most certainly does distinguish between flight and duty time, and makes no reference to "flight duty time." This is something that you've invented.

 

Whether one is an airline pilot is irrelevant.

 

 

 

I guess I'm just trying to understand why the FAA interprets "move" narrowly but "intention of flight" broadly. It doesn't really make sense given that the language defining pilot time reflects 'flight duty time' and not proper 'flight time.'

 

 

You don't really need to understand why, but the bottom line is that the it's FAA regulation. The FAA wrote the regulation and enforces it. The FAA Administrator is the sole person charged by the United States Congress to fill the duties of the FAA, and everyone and everything else in the FAA acts under delegation of the FAA Administrator. It's the FAA regulation, and the legal interpretation is provided by the persons delegated by the Administrator to speak on the Administrator's behalf. The FAA wrote the regulation, created the regulation, enforces and applies the regulation, and has provided the legal interpretation to help you understand the regulation. It's very clear.

 

Move isn't interpreted narrowly. It's interpreted plainly. You've gotta move. It really is that simple.

 

The intention of flight isn't really that complicated, either. You've gotta intend to fly. In other words, you're going flying. The Administrator has addressed certain cases where the flight is delayed, where it turns back, where something interferes with the departure for one reason or another, in some cases, very specifically. The bottom line, however, is that the aircraft has got to move. It might be a half inch, but it's got to move. Not a little piece of it. Not the rotor. Not an aileron. Not a propeller. Not a transmission, not a turbine, not a piston, starter motor, or the pilot flapping his arms. The aircraft, the whole total unit, has got to move. Doesn't matter if it's a biplane, triplane, Bell 47, or Osprey. It's got to move. Doesn't matter if it's operating under Part 121, 137, 135, or even as a fractional or corporate or training flight or airshow demonstration. It just doesn't matter. It's got to move. Can you grasp that?

 

The FAA doesn't define "flight duty time." Again, you've invented this.

 

The FAA does define and address flight time. We've covered it ad nauseum. Did you miss it?

 

There really can be no conversation if you keep making terms up and introducing them. Try to focus. You say the FAA hasn't defined flight time, but the FAA really has. It's up to you to understand. You don't need to like it or agree. It's regulatory. Your ability to exercise your airman privileges is contingent on your ability to adhere to the regulation, and this really isn't that complicated. In fact, it's dirt-simple.

 

 

 

' I don't buy that stare decisis is entirely relevant. Stare decisis binds courts, and even there precedent can be overturned. Additionally, it's been fairly common for regulations to change which would completely change, with the stroke of a pen, one's pilot logbook (i.e.: creation of powered-lift category, changing definitions of NVGO). Personally, I think things will change, but it will only progress like science does: one funeral at a time.

 

 

This has been consistent for a long time, as have the interpretations that pertain. When regulations (or the interpretation thereof) does change, the new policy has an effective date and the new regulation will apply after that time, but will not impact what's been logged, earned, awarded or otherwise done under the previous regulation.

 

Again, if your'e attempting to refer to the Chief Legal Counsel interpretations with "stare decisis," you're barking at a blank wall. The FAA makes the regulation. The FAA may interpret it.

 

You may turn to three primary sources for understanding the regulation, as we've already discussed. You may go to the Federal Register preambles, you may look to the FAA Chief and Regional Legal Counsel legal opinions and interpretations, and you may look to the regulation itself. You may also look to the precedent and the cases that exist, and must always remember that this isn't civil law or criminal law. It's administrative law, and works differently than what you think you know from watching Law and Order.

 

It's possible that you could enter the appeal process and fight the FAA legal interpretation. It's been done. You're welcome to fight city hall, and good luck to you doing it. It may cost you a boat load and if you do eventually win you'll walk away with your pockets light, deeply in debt, and a sore head from pounding it against that wall, and nothing more to show for it than whatever personal satisfaction you hope to gain. Or you could simply seek to understand the regulation and comply with it from the outset, and save yourself the pain. Your call.

 

In the interim, by all means, lobby to see change in the regulation.

 

When was the last time you entered comments for a NPRM and actually lifted a finger to become part of the change process for the regulation?

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The FAA defines flight time. The FAA does not define "pilot time." Total time is also not the same. Are you sure you're not a student pilot?

 

 

Flight time means:

 

(1) Pilot time that commences when an aircraft moves under its own power for the purpose of flight and ends when the aircraft comes to rest after landing; or

Hmm, first 2 words of the FAA definition?

 

Are you sure YOU are not a student plot!

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Hmm, first 2 words of the FAA definition?

 

Are you sure YOU are not a student plot!

 

 

Quite sure.

 

The FAA defines flight time in 14 CFR 1.1

 

14 CFR 1.1 uses the words "pilot time" in defining FLIGHT TIME, but the regulation in 1.1 does not define "pilot time."

 

The definition you're looking for is found in 14 CFR 61.1:

 

§61.1 Applicability and definitions.

 

(a) Except as provided in part 107 of this chapter, this part prescribes:

( b ) For the purpose of this part:

Pilot time means that time in which a person—

(i) Serves as a required pilot flight crewmember;

(ii) Receives training from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, flight simulator, or flight training device; or

(iii) Gives training as an authorized instructor in an aircraft, flight simulator, or flight training device.

The problem for you is understanding the regulation, and apparently, accepting it. Simply serving as a required crew member isn't adequate to log the time, because just as with most regulations, an understanding of more than one reference is required. Thus far you've focused on the definition of flight time as found in 14 CFR 1.1, and didn't seem aware of the definitions in 61.1, which also pertain to the logging of flight time as outlined in 61.51.

14 CFR 61.51( c ), however, specifically refers to the logging of "pilot time," but then classifies each subsequent category of such time not as "pilot time," but as "flight time." Also used is "training time," which doesn't even require the use of an aircraft, as it may be conducted or received in a simulator. A simulator is not "flight time."

The flight time categorized in 61.51 specifically applies to meeting the requirements of application for a certificate or rating, or for meeting recency of experience requirements (currency). If you're not using your logged time for either of those things, then you can log whatever you want, as the regulation doesn't concern itself with any other logging of flight time. You can log all the rotor-turning time that floats your boat.

On the other hand, employers prefer employees who are bright enough to read and understand and follow the regulation. Those of you who prefer beating your head against the wall while you whine about the way you think the regulation ought to be might as well simply do that, instead.

When was it, again, that you last submitted comment to a notice of proposed rule making in order to have some input on the development of regulation? That will have an impact. Whining about the regulation here, not so much.

Edited by avbug

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Oh, God damn it.

 

Can you imagine knowing Avbug in person? Can you imagine being married to such a pedantic dope? I mean! This guy can overcomplicate EVERYTHING. And we know guys like him in our real lives, right? ...Guys for whom *nothing* is ever simple.

 

I don't know about you, but I avoid guys like that. Holy cow. I don't avoid complicated issues - I'm not a simpleton. But neither do I overthink and overcomplicate things just for the sake of doing it.

 

Oh, you want an example? Glad you axed!

 

First Avbug says that FAR 1.1 doesn't define "pilot time" but only uses that phrase in describing "flight time." Okay, so far so good.

​Then he says that FAR 61 is where we find the definition of "pilot time." He refers us to 61.51(c )... which refers us right back to the definition of "flight time" in 1.1! Pilot time = flight time = pilot time.

 

Soooooo....the definition of "pilot time" in 61.51 is...what was that word used before?....MOOT.

 

In other words, Avbug talks in big, big circles.

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I quoted the regulation and the legal language that defines it.

 

You've engaged in name calling and childish commentary, and displayed a gross ignorance of the regulation, the legal explanation of the regulation, and the business in general. Haven't you some cowering to do as you contemplate work?

 

Pilot time is not the same as flight time.

 

One may log pilot time and not be entitled to log flight time. Go figure.

Edited by avbug

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"

kona4breakfast, on 30 Sept 2016 - 15:50, said:snapback.png

 

I am perfectly comfortable with airline pilots logging "flight duty time" when they are performing aircrew duties."

 

 

I'm not. If they're doing that, they're inventing a category of flight time which doesn't exist."

Perhaps "flight duty time" is defined contractually?

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The reason I keep using quotation marks around "flight duty time" is because I am intentionally noting that I'm referring to a conceptual term that doesn't exist in the regulations. In hindsight I should have just used the phrase pilot time. The time is recorded in the flight and duty log is not merely time spent flying, what a normal human would call "flight time," but conceptually "flight duty time," or pilot time. I was not attempting to conflate it with duty time. I apologize for the confusion.

 

In any case, the FAA appears to recognize that a pilot performs pilot-specific duties while in an aircraft, even though that aircraft may not be in the air. They also appear to recognize that the flying hour limitations in the regulations ought to cover the times when a pilot is performing these duties, and not just the times when the aircraft is airborne. This is probably why the FAA defines flight time as pilot time.

 

 

 

The reference to stare decisis was to contest a point that Chris made earlier in the thread, when he said it was applicable. I didn't agree with that. You don't either, but you insulted me anyway.

 

 

 

You ask what have I done to lift a finger to change anything, but your only suggestions are to bankrupt myself in litigation, exhaust and possibly bankrupt myself in an effort to lobby the FAA, or comment on an NPRM that will never be posted. I'd like to get involved constructively, perhaps you could as well. If you have any positive suggestions I'd be interested in hearing them.

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