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4 Answers

Another question on logging PIC time…

Asked by: 1805 views FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Instrument Rating, Private Pilot

Hi Folks!

Great website. Thanks for all the great information! I am a Private Pilot working on my Instrument Rating at the moment. As per my instructor, I cannot log any time that I was under the hood while receiving instruction - even though I was the sole manipulator of the controls - as PIC time. Now, this I know to be wrong.

However, my question lies with the long cross country Instrument flight. I know this flight has to be conducted under a flight plan - and I was wondering if this flight can be logged as PIC time and count towards the 50 hour requirement?

I have asked many people; and I get different answers each time. Some people say it is ok to log the instrument lesson as PIC time - as long as you are not on a flight plan. If you are on a flight plan, then you are not rated to be PIC.

Clearly, am confused. Can I please get some clarification on this?



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4 Answers

  1. John D. Collins on Apr 21, 2013

    Logging pilot in command time does not require the pilot to be able to “act as pilot in command”. It requires that the pilot be rated in the aircraft and that they be the sole manipulator of the controls. So for your intended flight, you are not qualified to act as pilot in command, but assuming you are rated in the aircraft and are the sole manipulator of the controls, you may log the entire such time as PIC. You will have an authorized instructor with you who will have to “act as pilot in command” as you can’t and has to be the named pilot on the filed flightplan.

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  2. Best Answer

    Mark Kolber on Apr 22, 2013

    “Logging PIC” is a topic that still confuses too many people, including an unfortunate number of CFIs.

    Adding to John’s response, the =only= requirement for a private pilot to log PIC as “sole manipulator” under FAR 61.51 is the applicable =aircraft= rating, which is printed on the back of your pilot certificate. Currency, type of flight plan, medical certificates, condition (E.G., instrument) ratings, etc are 100% irrelevant to the discussion. If you say, “what about…” and think the answer changes, you’d be wrong.

    The oldest FAA Chief Counsel statement on this I have is more than 30 years old; it’s been consistently the official FAA position ever since. One of the more recent ones is the Walker opinion from 2011. Notice that in that one, the non-instrument-rated flying pilot is authorized to log PIC on an instrument flight on an instrument flight plan with only an instrument-rated pilot, not a CFI, taking the acting in command role: http://tinyurl.com/7zjy9jd

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  3. Chris Carlson on Apr 22, 2013

    Just adding my 6 cents here.

    1- I feel that the logging versus acting thing needs to be taught from day one, too many pilots and CFIs are unaware, and I can think of many times I have had to show older, more experienced pilots the regs, and they always feel that they were ripped off, and are unaware of what to do….’do I call my CFI who 12 months ago didnt let me log PIC during my complex training…”

    2- that interpretation is awesome! Tough a bit dangerous I would think, but very interesting, thanks for sharing.

    3- lastly, it may not be the most appropriate place for this, but I would suggest you get a new Cfi if he isn’t letting you log the PIC hours you know you deserve, especially if you are a career pilot and those hours might make or break a job application in your future. At the very least, confront him/her about it.

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  4. R.W Williams on Apr 22, 2013

    All good answers.


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