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2 Answers

250 nm instrument cross country

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Instrument Rating

How are examiners interpreting the 250 nm / 3 approach cross country? I know it is not point-to-point. But could one plan a flight that involves 240 miles along airways, as long as the total distance travelled ends up being 250? 

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2 Answers



  1. Russ Roslewski on Jan 29, 2018

    That’s how it’s supposed to be. Of course you’ve obviously read the appropriate regulation:

    (A) A flight of 250 nautical miles along airways or by directed routing from an air traffic control facility;

    Which pretty clearly says to me that the route does not have to be 250 nm point-to-point, as long as the actual distance is greater than 250 nm. This should not be a problem with the examiners, however, the one time I had a flight that was shorter than 250 nm point-to-point, I fairly exhaustively documented in the students logbook that it met the distance requirements of 61.65, and how.

    However, I directly know of one case where an examiner disallowed this, which of course caused quite a heated discussion between the examiner, the applicant, and the instructor. This examiner had many other of his own special “quirks” as well. Incidentally, he is no longer an examiner (I do not know whether or not, or to what extent, his “quirks” played into this).

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  2. Mark Kolber on Feb 19, 2018

    Russ, while I think you are correct, the problem with your answer is that the question says “plan a flight that involves 240 miles along airways” and the reg says 250.

    Practically speaking, especially these days, it will be rare that the actual distance on a cross country will be greater than an airway routing. More likely, with all the off-route shortcuts and “proceed direct” instructions, the actual distance flown will be substantially less than planned absent a diversion or a plan which crosses into the heart of Class B.

    Planning for a 250 airway routing solves most problems, but you might need to show an Examiner the plan (that sounds like your example). Planning point-to-point, albeit not a requirement, solves all problems.

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