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Logging Cross Country Time


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I was looking at my Cross Country PIC time the other day since I'm thinking of getting an instrument rating. I have both helicopter and fixed wing time and plan to the f/w with rotor add-on because of the expense, but my question to you is this, other than for the cross country flights specifially marked with distances in the requirements (i.e. 75 miles total distance with 3 points of landing etc.) , where does it say what constitutes a cross country flight. Is there a certain distance requirment between takeoff and landing or does it just have to be to another airport. I know this is a stupid question and I should know the answer, but I can't find it in the FAR's or the AIM. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

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I was looking at my Cross Country PIC time the other day since I'm thinking of getting an instrument rating. I have both helicopter and fixed wing time and plan to the f/w with rotor add-on because of the expense, but my question to you is this, other than for the cross country flights specifially marked with distances in the requirements (i.e. 75 miles total distance with 3 points of landing etc.) , where does it say what constitutes a cross country flight. Is there a certain distance requirment between takeoff and landing or does it just have to be to another airport. I know this is a stupid question and I should know the answer, but I can't find it in the FAR's or the AIM. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

 

Hey man, reference 61.1(3)(v). It tells you exactly what cross country time means. Basically if you want to use the time towards any rotorcraft pilot certificate, or an instrument rating, the flight must be done in the appropriate aircraft (helicopter), include a point of landing at least 25 NM from the point of departure, and involve the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic nav aids, radio nav aids, ot other navigation systems.

 

If you are a rated pilot and don't want to use the cross country for a certificate or instrument rating, then you can log cross country anytime you set skids down at a point other than the point of departure. 61.1(3)(i)

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61.1

(3) Cross-country time means—

(i) Except as provided in paragraphs (B)(3)(ii) through (B)(3)(vi) of this section, time acquired during flight

(A) Conducted by a person who holds a pilot certificate;

(B) Conducted in an aircraft;

( C) That includes a landing at a point other than the point of departure; and

(D) That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other

navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.

(ii) For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements (except for a rotorcraft

category rating), for a private pilot certificate (except for a powered parachute category rating), a

commercial pilot certificate, or an instrument rating, or for the purpose of exercising recreational pilot

privileges (except in a rotorcraft) under §61.101 ( c), time acquired during a flight—

(A) Conducted in an appropriate aircraft;

(B) That includes a point of landing that was at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical

miles from the original point of departure; and

( C) That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other

navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.

 

(v) For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements for any pilot certificate with a

rotorcraft category rating or an instrument-helicopter rating, or for the purpose of exercising recreational

pilot privileges, in a rotorcraft, under §61.101©, time acquired during a flight—

(A) Conducted in an appropriate aircraft;

(B) That includes a point of landing that was at least a straight-line distance of more than 25 nautical

miles from the original point of departure; and

( C) That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other

navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.

 

Fixed wing = 50 / Rotor wing = 25

 

Fly Safe

Clark

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If you are a rated pilot and don't want to use the cross country for a certificate or instrument rating, then you can log cross country anytime you set skids down at a point other than the point of departure. 61.1(3)(i)

 

Technically you are right, but why would you want to do this?

 

This is as close to 'padding' your logbook as I can think of. Someone who's log book is filled with 2 mile cross country flights just seems desparate to me.

 

It makes me wonder if people actually do this.

 

On the other hand the JAA qualify any flight that is more than 3nm as cross country. (I think.) So if moving to a JAA state, then it might be useful to log these flight.

 

Joker

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Technically you are right, but why would you want to do this?

 

This is as close to 'padding' your logbook as I can think of. Someone who's log book is filled with 2 mile cross country flights just seems desparate to me.

 

It makes me wonder if people actually do this.

 

On the other hand the JAA qualify any flight that is more than 3nm as cross country. (I think.) So if moving to a JAA state, then it might be useful to log these flight.

 

Joker

 

Padding? It reads right there in the 61. It's not padding, it's logging the flight time as permitted. Should there be 2 PIC's in an aircraft? No probably not, but as a CFI you log every hour of dual as PIC even though your student may be logging it as well. Padding has a nice negative connotation. Read the regs, if they apply to a given scenario, then follow them. Simple enough for me.

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I have a couple thoughts about cross-country flights...

 

 

Conducted in an appropriate aircraft...

 

What is the definition of an appropriate aircraft? My guess is that it is any "normal" certificated aircraft. If you were to fly 26 NM in a hang glider, I don't think that would qualify. Nor would any sort of flight simulator qualify. Airplane time that is more than 25 nm would count for the helicopter ratings. Any thoughts?

 

 

Another issue is the phrase in the FAR's where is says, "a straight-line distance of more than 25/50 nautical miles." Before the advent of GPS and computers, an East to West cross country of about 50.1 nautical miles would count as a cross country for certificating purposes. (And that's all I'm referring to here is for certificating purposes.) Nowadays, some folks, including people from the FSDO, are saying that it is not a valid cross-country. Their claim is that it is less that 50 nm. So let's analyze why.

 

A "straight-line distance" is determined by measuring the distance between two points on a map (flat piece of paper). You can do this by using a plotter like we usually do in aviation, or you can put the edge of a piece of paper at your starting point, then mark the paper with a pencil or whatever where it crosses your destionation. Look at the scale on the map and line up the edge of the paper and the pencil mark with the scale to measure the "straight-line distance."

 

A GPS determines the distance between two points by using an algorithm and calculating the "great circle distance" between two sets of lat/long coordinates. Computer programs do it in just the same way. In my example above, the distance between KAKR and KMFD (Detroit Sectional) varies between 49.3 nm and 49.8 nm depending on the algorithm used. If measured on the chart (taking care to measure from Airport Reference Point to Airport Reference Point), the straight-line distance is slightly less than 50.1 nm, but definitely more than 50 nm.

 

The FAR's specifically say "straight-line distance" and nothing else! I would like to hear the thoughts of others on this forum.

 

--Jeff

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I have a couple thoughts about cross-country flights...

Conducted in an appropriate aircraft...

 

What is the definition of an appropriate aircraft? My guess is that it is any "normal" certificated aircraft. If you were to fly 26 NM in a hang glider, I don't think that would qualify. Nor would any sort of flight simulator qualify. Airplane time that is more than 25 nm would count for the helicopter ratings. Any thoughts?

Another issue is the phrase in the FAR's where is says, "a straight-line distance of more than 25/50 nautical miles." Before the advent of GPS and computers, an East to West cross country of about 50.1 nautical miles would count as a cross country for certificating purposes. (And that's all I'm referring to here is for certificating purposes.) Nowadays, some folks, including people from the FSDO, are saying that it is not a valid cross-country. Their claim is that it is less that 50 nm. So let's analyze why.

 

A "straight-line distance" is determined by measuring the distance between two points on a map (flat piece of paper). You can do this by using a plotter like we usually do in aviation, or you can put the edge of a piece of paper at your starting point, then mark the paper with a pencil or whatever where it crosses your destionation. Look at the scale on the map and line up the edge of the paper and the pencil mark with the scale to measure the "straight-line distance."

 

A GPS determines the distance between two points by using an algorithm and calculating the "great circle distance" between two sets of lat/long coordinates. Computer programs do it in just the same way. In my example above, the distance between KAKR and KMFD (Detroit Sectional) varies between 49.3 nm and 49.8 nm depending on the algorithm used. If measured on the chart (taking care to measure from Airport Reference Point to Airport Reference Point), the straight-line distance is slightly less than 50.1 nm, but definitely more than 50 nm.

 

The FAR's specifically say "straight-line distance" and nothing else! I would like to hear the thoughts of others on this forum.

 

--Jeff

 

I would say appropriate aircraft would mean that a cross country flight in an airplane would NOT satisfy a cross country requirement for a helicopter rating or certificate, unless otherwise stated in the FARs.

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Padding? It reads right there in the 61. It's not padding, it's logging the flight time as permitted. Should there be 2 PIC's in an aircraft? No probably not, but as a CFI you log every hour of dual as PIC even though your student may be logging it as well. Padding has a nice negative connotation. Read the regs, if they apply to a given scenario, then follow them. Simple enough for me.

 

Where does it say in Part 61 that you can log cross country anytime you set skids down at a point other than the point of departure?

 

61.56 is purely for logging of time towards a rating or certificate. It says that at the beginning.

 

My point is that you know and I know that cross-country includes a certain set of skills 61.1(3)(d)

 

That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other

navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.

 

. Maybe even those ones as mentioned in the 'areas of operation' or in the PTS. You and I also know that logging a flight as cross-country when all you did was hopped over the fence of the airfield, probably does not include those skills.

 

As doing this is not admissable as cross-country time for a rating or certificate, and as doing this does NOT include the skills we would normally associate with cross-country flights, I think it is a bit of a stretch to log it as such.

 

Like I said, technically you can log that flight however you want, because it is not defined in Part 61. But why would you bother? To be able to say, "I have 600 cross-country hours"? An astute employer would surely see through that too.

 

As for the PIC issue, well that is defined in Part 61.

 

Joker

 

P.S. Still on holiday so just brief today.

Edited by joker
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What is the definition of an appropriate aircraft? My guess is that it is any "normal" certificated aircraft. If you were to fly 26 NM in a hang glider, I don't think that would qualify. Nor would any sort of flight simulator qualify. Airplane time that is more than 25 nm would count for the helicopter ratings. Any thoughts?

 

Extract from J Lynch's Part 61 FAQ

 

The phrase “in an appropriate aircraft” is intended to require that the cross country aeronautical experience be performed in an aircraft vs. performed in a flight simulator or ground training device.

 

Following with this logic, § 61.163(a)(1) also requires “500 hours of cross-country flight time.” It is unreasonable, however, to envision that initial applicants for the ATP certificate for the Powered lift rating would be able to acquire 500 hours of cross-country flight time in a powered-lift. Clearly, this rule would be less confusing if it stated cross country time be “conducted in an aircraft” instead of “conducted in an appropriate aircraft.” I have noted this as a needed change for future revisions to part 61.

 

Straight Line or Great Circle

 

The FAR's specifically say "straight-line distance" and nothing else! I would like to hear the thoughts of others on this forum.

 

I think on this, the FAR is quite specific in asking for 'Straight-Line' distances. Whether or not they need to change this to take account of new technology available in calculating distances is up to them. However, they ask for 'straight-line' and so that's what I'd give them. Thus, if you are going by GPS or computer calculated 'great-circles' then you must look for slightly more than the required distance. Just my opinion though.

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