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4 Answers

Cross Country time instrument training

Asked by: 751 views FAA Regulations, Flight Instructor, Instrument Rating

Need some clarification. I am working on my instrument rating. I am getting conflicting guidance from two CFII’s on XC time. One says you must at least perform a touch and go the other says an instrument low approach to a missed hold under the hood also counts. All are over 50 NM. In the string of another question (XC Nuanced -Wes Beard portion states it is not a requirement to actually land for and ATP certificate).

Can my low approaches to missed count as XC time?


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4 Answers

  1. Russ Roslewski on Feb 27, 2017

    “the other says an instrument low approach to a missed hold under the hood also counts. ”

    That’s an interesting interpretation, I’d be curious to know how that CFI arrived at that conclusion, since 61.1 is pretty clear and unambiguous on this topic.

    Cross-country time means—

    (i) Except as provided in paragraphs (ii) through (vi) of this definition, time acquired during flight—

    (C) That includes a landing at a point other than the point of departure

    (ii) For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements … for … an instrument rating, … time acquired during a flight—

    (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


    Sure, “landing” is not actually defined in 61.1 or even 1.1, but I think the common dictionary usage as well as any reasonable definition would require the wheels to touch the ground.

    So yes, at least a touch-and-go more than 50 nm miles away is required to meet both the aeronautical experience requirements of the instrument rating as well as the training requirement for the 250-nm IFR XC.

    Side note, yes, it is true that the XC requirement for the ATP does not require a landing greater than 50 nm away. But that is by specific exception in item (vi) under the Cross Country definition and is usually considered to be a nod to those military pilots who routinely fly thousands of miles, perform their mission, and then return to their base, never having landed anywhere else.

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  2. Gary Moore on Feb 27, 2017

    I agree with Ross – remember that Voyager – nonstop flight around the globe….they couldn’t have logged it as cross country 🙂 they landed at the same airport they departed!

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  3. Dave Ballard on Feb 27, 2017

    Thanks for the quick response.

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  4. Wes Beard on Mar 01, 2017

    The question is what are you going to use the cross country time for? In this specific case, you are working on your instrument rating. You are not working on your ATP certificate. As a result, the instrument cross country must include a landing 50NM straight line distance from the original point of departure using the definition of cross country quoted by Russ.

    Excerpt from FAR §61.65.
    §61.65(d)(2)(ii) Instrument flight training on cross country flight procedures, including …

    It is that regulation you are satisfying and you cannot log cross country time without landing at least once at an airport greater than 50NM.

    I agree with Gary that Voyager could not count that around the world flight as cross country for their commercial certification. However, they could for their ATP certification. I agree that the ATP rule is mainly used for military pilots but it doesn’t stop civilians from following the same rules.

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