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Pilot Log Time

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FAA Regulations

After I get my private pilot license, lets say within 65 hours, will those 65 hours be applicable to my further training? For example: an instrument rating. Or to put it another way, when a pilot says he has 2000 flight hours, he means from hour zero, the discovery flight.

3 Answers

  1. Mark Kolber on Jun 27, 2013

    You can spend a long time answering this one. Here’s a quick clue. Try to apply it to your question and we can discuss some of the specifics.

    The answer is, it depends on the way the experience requirements for the new certificate or rating are worded. Some examples to guide the way:

    “…in the areas of operation in…” If you see this language, it means only certain time counts – that time performing certain tasks. The best example of this one is the solo cross country for the commercial certificate, which has to be “in the areas of operation” listed for that certificate. The FAA tells us the cross country tasks for the commercial and (at least qualitatively) different than the tasks for the private; therefore and extra long student solo cross country does not meet the requirements for the commercial certificate.

    “…training…” Whenever you see this language, it means with an authorized flight instructor.

    References to flight time that do not contain limiting language like the above count from day one. So, for example, the instrument rating requirement for cross country PIC time is general. Any PIC cross country time from Day 1 counts, including your student solo cross country time.

    That’s not a complete answer but should at least get you on your way to answering it in a specific situation.

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  2. ccwebb on Jun 28, 2013


    Mark is correct with how lengthy this can become. In short and simple:

    YES. All your time for Private can count towards time for Instrument-Commercial-ATP-so on and so forth…. (Insert Mark’s post here. You do need to be careful and only apply to general requirements.)

    As for Total Time… that is EVERY hour in the logbook including all Flight Simulation Training Devices (ie: Sim’s, FTD’s…) If someone asks your PIC hours or Total FLIGHT time, of course those are different answers.

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  3. Wes Beard on Jun 30, 2013

    Total time in a logbook may mean different things. Some may choose it to mean total pilot time like you stated above and others choose to make it mean total flight time as I have stated below. Both definitions below come out of the FARs.

    I chose the latter because the private and commercial aeronautical experience require total flight time. See 61.109 and 61.129.

    Choose one or the other but stay consistent is my advice.

    61.1(b)(15)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.

    Part 1.1
    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
    (2) For a glider without self-launch capability, pilot time that commences when the glider is towed for the purpose of flight and ends when the glider comes to rest after landing.

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