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3 Answers

Straight line distance for CPL night xc

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Commercial Pilot

Hello there,

I'm looking for a solid definition of "total straight line distance". We can all agree in order to log xc your first airport of intended landing must be over 50NM. For commercial night xc I have to log a flight "total straight line distance" of more than 100NM that consists of at least 2 hrs. So could I depart my original point to my first airport at 79NM and then back to my original point and log that as my night xc? In total I would have flown over 100NM "total straight line distance" and over 2hrs flight time. Hope someone can shed some light on this. I can't wait to hear everybody's answers.


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3 Answers

  1. Russ Roslewski on Dec 08, 2017

    You have to fly to an airport a minimum of 100 nm away from where you start. You do not necessarily have to fly back.*

    Note that the requirement is the same for the day XC. Also note that both of these flights have to be with an instructor (it is under the “training” requirement).

    * I like to do these flights on one “trip” – fly somewhere 150-ish miles away in the day, eat dinner, then return at night. I think this is a little more “realistic”, real-world flight scenario, and it gets it knocked out in one afternoon, too.

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  2. Mark Kolber on Dec 09, 2017

    Sounds like you are talking about one of the two 2-hr, 100-mi dual cross country.flights, but perhaps reading a bunch of things into it that it doesn’t say. Here’s what the reg says:

    “One 2-hour cross country flight in a single engine airplane in daytime conditions that consists of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure”

    Pretty simple. At its simplest, you take a ruler and draw a line to an airport more than 100 miles away. That’s not going to take 2 hours in any but the slowest planes, so you have a lot of choices how to fill out the time. Make it longer, add a stop, do slow flight all the way, do some sightseeing.

    No, we cannot all agree your first point of intended landing must be more than 50NM. Where did you get that?

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  3. KDS on Dec 12, 2017

    I do not agree that “in order to log xc your first airport of intended landing must be over 50NM.

    A careful reading of FAR 61.1 will show that the logging of cross-country time is not dependent upon distance traveled. The confusion comes in regarding what can be counted towards a certificate or rating. It’s like the rule for logging night time versus the rule for night currency. It’s widely misunderstood.

    My recommendation to students is to only log cross-country when it can be credited towards a rating or certificate. A person could log all cross-country time, but it makes the record keeping difficult and the possible advantage of doing that is small. On the other hand, night should be logged as night because it is a “condition of flight” and if landings or takeoffs are done one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise, make a notation in the remarks section stating how many takeoffs and landings to a full stop were done during that time period.

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