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Long xc flight, two commercial rated pilots – question regarding logging time

Asked by: 1950 views FAA Regulations

A friend of mine is offering to ferry his newly purchased c172 coast to coast, and we plan to do this under strictly VFR conditions as there is no set time table to arrive back home. We both have commercial certificates and I need to log time more than he does, so here are some questions regarding what I can log in the plane. My understanding is that, when i'm the sole manipulator of the controls, I can log PIC time. 1. What about when he's got the controls? Does any of those time count towards total time but not PIC time? 2. What about when he does the take off/landings, but I fly the leg? I can log a bunch of hours without a single take off and landing? Thanks in advance!

3 Answers

  1. Atlantaheli on Aug 08, 2013

    The way I understand the regs, you would have to be a CFI to log PIC if you are not actually flying as the PIC.

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  2. Mark Kolber on Aug 08, 2013

    Whether sport, recreational, private, commercial or ATP, with the exception of situations in which one is acting as safety pilot while the other does the flying, there is nothing in the “Universal Rule of Logging Flight Time” (61.51) that permits either one of them to log flight time other than while the “sole manipulator of the controls.”

    Read the reg: it creates “boxes” for logging certain types of flight time. You fit into a box, you may log the time; you don’t fit into a box, you can’t. So, look at the reg and tell us which box in your scenario you think would allow non-flying Pilot B to log anything while flying Pilot A is the sole manipulator.

    Your logging of PIC flight time as sole manipulator does not depend on who does the takeoff and the landing. Pilot B spends 0.2 on the takeoff and 0.2 on the landing. Pilot A flies 1.0 en route. Pilot A logs his hour and Pilot B logs his 0.4. It really is just that simple.

    The big exception in all this is cross country time. In a series of interpretations, the FAA Chief Counsel has made clear that only the pilot who does the takeoff and the landing may log countable cross country time. It crystal clear that Pilot B in the preceding paragraph cannot log any cross country time. And while the FAA has not addresses Pilot B’s 0.4, my bets guess is that he would not be able to log any countable cross country time either.

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  3. Kris Kortokrax on Aug 08, 2013

    Actually the FAA has addressed the cross country issue as it relates to 61.65, 61.109 and 61.129. See the Glenn interpretation.


    At the top of page 4, they state that in the scenario where two pilots trade off manipulating on a single cross country flight, neither may log cross country time.

    As regards your first scenario, unless you are a CFI providing instruction, you may not log time when the other pilot is manipulating unless he is simulating instrument conditions.

    14 CFR 1 defines flight time as:

    “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”

    14 CFR 61.1(b)(15) defines pilot time as:

    :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.”

    If neither of you is an instructor and one of you is not conducting simulated instrument flight, then you may not both log any flight time while one of you is manipulating.

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