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5 Answers

Solo vs pic time

Asked by: 5889 views FAA Regulations

I had the understanding that Solo and Pic time was two different things. A solo student logged solo time and then only after you got your ppl you could log Pic time. Is this correct? And if not will your solo/pic hours count toward your instrument and commercial? 

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5 Answers

  1. Best Answer


    Ron Klutts on Oct 01, 2012

    Yes they are 2 different things but as a student pilot flying solo they are also the PIC and log it as such. When a student goes for the flight test for PPL they also get to log PIC time as they are considered PIC with a DPE on board as they aren’t acting as a CFI.

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  2. Alex Clark on Oct 01, 2012

    The regulation changed a few years ago… It used to be the SOLO and PIC were two very different things… These days,,,not so much…

    These days, old geezers like me can dig out our first log books from the safe and add the previously logged SOLO hours to our PIC hours…

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  3. Bob Watson on Oct 02, 2012

    I fall in to the same category as Alex and have “solo, non-PIC” time in my log book, not that those 20-some hours make much difference anymore. In any case, I had to go back and read the fine print in http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgFar.nsf/FARSBySectLookup/61.51 to refresh.

    (b)(2) calls out solo time as one of the types of flight time to log (along with PIC, SIC, and dual)

    while (e)(4) says that a student pilot can log PIC time when they are flying solo.

    So, it looks like you would log solo flight as a student as both SOLO and PIC, but I think most just log it as PIC. That said, the Aeronautical Experience requirements for a CPL in 61.129 mention 10 hours of solo flight time, so that might still be a good category to keep.

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  4. Wes Beard on Oct 02, 2012

    Reference §61.51(d) for the definition of what solo time means. In your case, you can log SOLO time when you are the sole occupant of the aircraft.

    PIC time is answered in §61.51(e) and in your case §61.51(e)(4) answers your question. You need to be working towards a certificate or rating, have a valid solo endorsement and are the sole occupant of the aircraft. You will log both SOLO and PIC when you are a student on solo flights.

    These PIC hours will count towards the total PIC time needed for additional certificates and ratings. This includes the 50 hours of cross country PIC time needed for the instrument rating.

    Unfortunately, the commercial aeronautical experience listed in §61.129 requires additional solo time practicing commercial pilot maneuvers and such as it states “on the areas listed in §61.127(b)”. You student pilot solo hours will not count towards those amounts. Solo time is required to be placed onto the application for a pilot certificate or rating but there is no such thing as a minimum solo time as there are with other columns in the pilot logbook.

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  5. jacob conell on Oct 28, 2012

    Thanks for clearing it up. Can I also log the xc time did got while a student?

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