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6 Answers

Logging Hours

Asked by: 6425 views ,
FAA Regulations

I'am a Private Pilot, and work at an FBO.  I have the oppertunity to fly with a lot of people that i know here.  Can i log that time i fly in the right seat?  For example i have flown in a L-39 and others. 

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6 Answers

  1. Kent Shook on Jan 14, 2011

    (Note: I’m assuming for the purposes of this answer that you are a Private Pilot with an Airplane Single-Engine Land rating, and no instrument or other category/class ratings.)
    Take a look at FAR 61.51(e)(1)(i):

    “(e) Logging pilot-in-command flight time. (1) A sport, recreational, private, commercial, or airline transport pilot may log pilot in command flight time for flights-
    (i) When the pilot is the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which the pilot is rated, or has sport pilot privileges for that category and class of aircraft, if the aircraft class rating is appropriate;”

    The part after the “or” isn’t important in your case, it only applies to Sport pilots. Basically, what this tells you is that *if* you are “rated” in the aircraft, you can not only log any time you spend as the sole manipulator of the flight controls, you can log it as Pilot In Command!
    Without going through the other regs and interpretations that make this so, the FAA defines “rated” for this purpose as Category, Class, and Type if applicable. So, even if you’re not tailwheel-endorsed, you can log any time you spend as the sole manipulator of the controls in somebody’s Super Cub, and log it as PIC as well as flight time because you are rated in that category and class.
    Now, if someone throws you in their Baron, you can’t log it as you don’t have the Airplane Multiengine Land rating. Likewise, if Cirrus gives you a demo ride in their jet, you can’t log that either because even though it’s airplane single-engine land, jets require a type rating. Note that you can log time in these airplanes if the other pilot is a CFI and willing to sign your logbook as dual received.
    The L-39 is an interesting case – Jets normally require a type rating (61.31(a)(2)) but some of the experimental/warbird types can use a Letter of Authorization instead. Whether the LoA is a “rating” in the FAA’s eyes, I’m not sure. However, since the airplane would otherwise require a type rating, I think it would be safer to assume that you cannot log the L-39 time until you have an official FAA interpretation from the Chief Counsel’s office allowing it.
    Finally, if you are not actually manipulating the controls of the airplane or acting as a *required* flight crewmember, or getting dual instruction signed off in your logbook, you can’t log it at all.
    Read through FAR 61.51, it should answer many of your questions – And take a look at the definition of a “rating” in FAR 1.1 for more on this specific answer, too. Hope this helps!

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  2. MaggotCFII on Jan 14, 2011

    Logging Tailwheel PIC? Doesn’t look like it without the 61.31 (i) endorsement.
    61-31 (i) follows:
    (i) Additional training required for operating tailwheel airplanes. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (i)(2) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of a tailwheel airplane unless that person has received and logged flight training from an authorized instructor in a tailwheel airplane and received an endorsement in the person’s logbook from an authorized instructor who found the person proficient in the operation of a tailwheel airplane. The flight training must include at least the following maneuvers and procedures: (i) Normal and crosswind takeoffs and landings; (ii) Wheel landings (unless the manufacturer has recommended against such landings); and (iii) Go-around procedures. (2) The training and endorsement required by paragraph (i)(1) of this section is not required if the person logged pilot-in-command time in a tailwheel airplane before April 15, 1991.
    The language is specific – “no person may act as PIC of a tailwheel airplane unless–“.

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  3. Matthew Waugh on Jan 14, 2011

    MaggotCFII – you are confusng LOGGING PIC with ACTING as PIC – they are not the same thing. So you can log PIC time in a taildragger even if you are not endorsed to act as PIC.

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  4. Wesley Beard on Jan 14, 2011

    Kent’s answer is correct!  There is an absolute difference between acting as pilot in command and logging PIC time.  61.31 deals with acting as pilot in command where 61.51 deals with logging PIC time.  I wish the FAA designers had called logging PIC time somthing different to differientate the two.
    You can log PIC time is a tailwheel, high performance, high altitude, complex airplane without any of the endorsements.  The only thing you cannot do is fly it without a pilot capable of acting as pilot in command.  
    There are other discussions on this forum and many others that clearly spell out the regulations that support this difference.  Please note that when I talk about acting as pilot in command I spell out the words and when I talk about logging PIC time I abbreviate it.  Hopefully this helps to distinguish the two terms.

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  5. Matthew Hammer on Jan 15, 2011

    Here is a link to the FAA’s official letter of interpretation on the acting vs. logging PIC issue: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/data/interps/2009/Herman.pdf
    Hope that helps clarify things.

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  6. MaggotCFII on Jan 15, 2011

    Matthew:  Thanks for posting the link!  Certainly provides the “Official Gouge”.  A thumbs-up!  I stand corrected.

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