Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

4 Answers

Private Pilot Cross Country Requirements – distance of first leg

Asked by: 4028 views , , , ,
Private Pilot, Student Pilot

"Solo Cross Country Requirements  for private pilot certificate is 150NM total distance with full stop landings at 3 locations and one segment is at least 50NM straight line distance between the takeoff and landing airports."

For example, A - B = 40 NM,  B-C = 70 NM, C-A = 42 NM

I believe this satisfies the requirements, but other folks here seem to indicate that the first leg should be greater than 50NM and the confusion arises when defining the takeoff and landing airport


Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

4 Answers

  1. Kris Kortokrax on Jul 31, 2014

    When you say “other folks here”, are you implying that other people posting on this website have a different opinion, or is it “other folks here” in the room with you or at your airport?

    It depends on where A, B and C are in relation to each other

    The Keller legal interpretation contains the answer to your question.

    In that interpretation, it was posed to fly from A 40 miles north to B, then 80 miles south over A to C, then 40 miles north back to A. That would be disallowed because no landing was accomplished more than 50 miles from the original point of departure.

    Your example would not appear to work either. However, if you flew 40 miles from A-B, then 70 from B-C, then 42 from C-D and landed at some point more than 50 from A, that should work.


    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  2. John D Collins on Aug 01, 2014

    Had you begun the flight at B, you would have complied with the rule since B-C is more than 50 NM. Since you began at A, neither of the two airports B and C are more than 50 NM from A. So you have to select at least one airport that is more than 50 NM from your origin airport. For example, if A-B is 35 NM and B-C is 40 NM and C-A is 75 NM, this would qualify because the total distance is 150 NM and one airport (C) is at least 50 NM from A.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  3. Mark Kolber on Aug 01, 2014

    Kris is correct. The flight described doesn’t work because the geometry doesn’t. In order to be a “long” solo cross country, it must first be a “countable” cross country. That which means there must be at least one point of landing more than 50 NM from your point of origin. You just don’t have one in the hypothetical you set up. Your hypothetical starts from “A” and no point of landing in the flight is more than 50 NM from it.

    But that has nothing to do with the question you asked. You might have just made up some numbers without regard to their geometric relationship to each other, solely to illustrate your specific question, which I think is:

    Does the requirement in the student “long” solo cross country that “one segment” be at least 50 NM long mean that “segment one” (the first leg) needs to be the one that is at least 50 NM long?

    The answer to that one is “no.” Any leg can be the at least 50 NM one. So, modifying your example slightly,

    A – B = 40 NM, B-C = 42 NM, C-A = 70 NM

    works just fine.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  4. Mike Skapura on Jul 25, 2017

    Sorry guys but, …
    61.1 (b) Cross-country time [in italics] (ii) (B), is the defining answer.

    For aeronautical requirements, a cross country is defined as being 50 nautical miles in length.
    So each segment MUST be 50 nm in length.
    You can’t do anything else numbers wise. It’s 50 or it doesn’t count.


    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

The following terms have been auto-detected the question above and any answers or discussion provided. Click on a term to see its definition from the Dauntless Aviation JargonBuster Glossary.

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.