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What does the 2 hours mean for the 2 dual cross country commercial requirements

Asked by: 3698 views
Commercial Pilot, General Aviation

FAR 61.129(a)(3)(iii) and (iv) say "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". Does this mean the entire flight can be 2.0 hours, OR does this mean the 100nm from point A to B needs to be 2 hours? I had a DPE that said from point A to point B needs to be > 100nm AND that must also be >= 2 hours. In other words if you did A to B and back home to A, it would be like 4 hours. He suggested doing the 2 hours out day, then wait and do the 2 hours back night to cover both. Seemed odd to me.

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5 Answers



  1. Kris Kortokrax on Dec 16, 2011

    The time for the entire flight is a minimum of 2 hours.  The 100 NM minimum distance is just that, a minimum. 
     
    The DPE is making up his own interpretation.  Call the local FSDO and have them deal with the examiner.
     
    The suggestion to do 2 hours out in the day and 2 hours back at night is not a bad suggestion, if you want to go that way.  I would allow a bit of time to rest between flights.  2 hours out and turning around and doing 2 hours back might be too much for some people.  Your instructor would also need to agree to this.

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  2. Bill Trussell on Dec 16, 2011

    The two hour requirement has its roots in the desire to see that a pilot granted commercial privaleges has the experience at conducting longer cross countries, in various conditions including day and night operations across multiple “weather zones”.  Longer trips is covered by the 2 hour total time requirement, while the “weather zones” issue is covered by the 100NM requirement.  It is important to note that you may have already satisfied this requirement with some flights you may have taken for pleasure rather than strictly for training for your commercial certificate.  Those flights would still count townard this goal. 
    There is no requirement that the flights occur on the same day, or for that matter in the same year.  The point is that you have experience in longer trips.  Make the trips for fun as well as for the experience!

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  3. Kris Kortokrax on Dec 16, 2011

    It is doubtful that the requirement might have been satisfied by previous pleasure flights, unless he did a post private pilot dual cross country training flight for pleasure (could have happend, but doubtful).  61.129(a)(3) deals with training on the areas of 61.127(b )(1).
     
    Begin opinion.
    With regard to experience,  the FAA keeps dumbing down the requirements to the point that 61.129(a)(4) no longer requires solo flight, but allows a flight instructor to babysit the trainee through the requirements.  Hardly produces pilots with seasoning/experience.  They are depending on the experience of the instructor.
    End opinion.

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  4. n on Dec 16, 2011

    At least 100nm
    At least 2hrs

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  5. Richard on Jan 09, 2016

    can this requirement be done solo or does a CFI need to accompany the flight?

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