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Cross Country Time

Asked by: 2876 views FAA Regulations, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

While going through my log book entries for my fixed wing PPl (1991), I noticed that my flight instructor entered XC time for all landings away from the airport where the airplane was based (KFUL). 

Some of these flights were not more that 50nm from Fullerton.  Is this a mistake that I need to correct or were the FAR's different for logging XC time in 1991?

Thanks for your help

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2 Answers



  1. John D Collins on Jan 10, 2014

    A cross country flight is one that you take off at one airport and land at another. You can log them as cross country. However, FAR 61.1 (b) says the following:

    “61.1 b) For the purpose of this part:

    Cross-country time means–

    (i) Except as provided in paragraphs (ii) through (vi) of this definition, 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.”

    In each of the referenced paragraphs (ii) thru (Vi) additional requirements are added, for example, I have quoted the additional requirements for a cross country that would be applicable if the cross country was to be used to satisfy the experience requirements for a commercial or instrument rating for an airplane:

    “(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”:

    So a 5 mile cross country can be logged as such, but it won’t count towards the total needed to meet the experience requirements for an instrument airplane rating.

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  2. Mark Kolber on Jan 11, 2014

    As John points out, with the quote from the regs what is countable as cross country time depends on what you want to use the time for. (See my FAQ, When May I Log Cross country Time at http://www.midlifeflight.com/faq/faq.php?s=1#7

    I’d guess that, by far, most of us who are not heading toward a career as a professional pilot, at least start with limiting ourselves to logging >50NM cross countries with a landings since that’s the only type that counts for our private certificate, instrument rating and commercial certificate.

    Many with career aspirations also log the “point-to-point” ones your CFI logs since they count for Part 135 pilot cross country requirements, but they usually keep them in a separate column so they don’t have to go back to the book with a calculator and separate them out.

    It’s really just about bookkeeping. And why your CFI left you with a bookkeeping mess I have no idea.

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