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Logging left-seat military time?


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Hey guys and gals,

I just returned from Robby school and I'm psyched about finishing my CPL and CFI as soon as possible. To whit, I need 150 hrs TT, (200 Heli hrs to teach in the Robinson) and of course, must pass the required check rides. I currently have 60+ hrs in R-22s with a handful in the R-44 and 269/300.


I was an Aeroscout Observer (93B) in the Army and just located my flight records from 14 years ago.

According to the paperwork that I found, I had 108.6 hours in OH-58 A's and C's when I got out. Much of that was NVG time. Hell, I've even done running landings, slope landings and confined areas under NVG's, but I digress...


Officially, I was the copilot but we always flew a two-man crew so I was a required crew member. For anyone not familiar with the (now defunct) AO program, we did a lot more than stare at the ground. All my time was spent either flying the aircraft, navigating, working three different radios and performing tactical misson duties as necessary such as calling for artillery, target handovers to gun ships, joint air coordination, etc. We had our own training program at Ft. Rucker that lasted about 4 months.


Obviously, I can't count it as PIC but can I count it toward my TT?

Does this time count for anything? What will I need to do to document the time if it counts for something?

If there is a god, I'll be able to work out the proficiency training that I need in another 30-40 hrs and wind up with 200+ TT, all of which is in helicopters and all of which counts toward SFAR 73.

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Personally, I don't know how to count the time... ...but...

I would call your local FSDO office. They usually have someone there that can validate your military logbook time. I would call first though. I have found a lack of standardization between how various FSDOs approve military time. Call one... If you don't like what they say...call another. I have found mileage varies. Not sure if you can count it as piloting time, even if you have the logs.

I think you have to be a designated pilot or pilot in training, not just any required crew member, but I would ask them. If the person you ask interprets that you may carry your time over to your civilian logbook according to FAR 61, stamps and signs it, it should count... The problem is that I don't see how they can make that interpretation, but that is my opinion...

Under 14 CFR 61.41, you can count training if it was received from a flight instructor of an Armed Force in a program for training military pilots of the United States. The issue is, does your training count cause you were coincidentally trained by those instructors, cause you were not a military "pilot" in the strict sense of the word...

I would ask a FSDO.

Maybe someone else here can provide a more definitive opinion...

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I think that you are going to have problems with getting the FSDO to give you much credit for your time. First, you were not a rated pilot, or being trained to be a rated pilot, so the FAA isn't going to want to give you credit just based on your Army records. If the pilot that you were flying with when you were manipulaing the controls was an IP and made entries into a log book, then you may have a leg to stand on. If the pilot you were flying with while manipulating the controls had his FAA CFI and made entries into a log book, then that time should count. If you already had your FAA rating at the time, then you could log it and I don't think that anyone would question the time. Prior to going to helos, I was a F-4 Weapons Systems Officer, and for those of us that already had our fixed wing ratings, there were a couple of FSDO/GATO's that were allowing WSO's 1/2 credit of F-4 time to be placed in their logbook as pilot time as we actually did a fair amount of flying.


The other part of your question is what will potential employers say about the time if you try to slip it in and more importantly, what will their insurance companies say about the time. I think that the insurance companies won't accept the time as you were neither a pilot, or in training to be one.


Of course all of this is just my humble opinion.



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I don't think I'll get anywhere either, I just wanted to throw it all the wall to see if it would stick.


I'm glad that I have the experience from the Army as I think I learned a lot and I'm a much more mature and better pilot than most would be at 70 hrs. I just would like to be able to get credit for some of that hard work.


A typical flight at my line unit went like this:


IP starts the ship and runs it up to 100% and says "you have the controls" at which point he lights a cigarette (I'm not joking) and says "the smoking lamp is lit".


I pick up the ship, hover-taxi out of the box and hold short of the active. I say, "Sir, you mind gettin' the radio call for me?"

"not a problem" comes his reply. After he gets us clearance to hot POL, I air-taxi to the other side of the airfield and hover taxi into position, following the signals from the ground guide. After pinching the cherry off his cigarette and putting the butt in the zippered pocket on his arm, he takes the controls and sets the ship down. I get out and man the fire bottle while we get fuel. After this is done, I get back in and he picks us up, backs out and says, "OK, it's all yours". I take the controls and fly takeoffs, approaches, running landings and NOE routes for the next hour and a half. We get back to the base and I taxi to the ramp, into the box and do a 180 degree pedal turn at which point he says "I've got the controls". He sets the ship down and begins the shutdown as I read from the checklist. He logs all of the time as PIC.


Don't get me wrong, I loved flying with this guy and would do it again in a heartbeat. I just don't see how it is right or appropriate that I can't count any of that time.

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