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5 Answers

Cross Country Definitions

Asked by: 2884 views , ,
FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Instrument Rating, Private Pilot

My question is about building cross-country time that will count as x-ctry toward the IFR rating. As a private pilot, if I fly (SEL) from airport A and land at airport B (60nm) in 30 min, I can log 30 min of cross country time. If I fly from A to B (again 60 nm and 30 min) do a 'touch and go' at B, fly to airport C (30 nm, 15 min) do a touch and go at C and then fly back to land at airport A (30 nm, 15 min) - can I log 1 hr of cross country time - even though B to C and C to A is less than 50nm?

If yes, if I do a touch and go at B, then fly to C and stop for gas, and then fly back to land at A, how much x-ctry time can I log now?

I've read the definitions, but they are written so obscurely that I can't answer the above question for myself. Thanks for any help.

 

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5 Answers



  1. Wes Beard on Jan 17, 2013

    Anytime you fly more than 50nm from the airport (25nm for helicopters) and land that is a cross country. The wording “original point of departure” is hey here. If you stop just to fill up, grab a bite to eat and continue I would count all your scenarios as XC time.

    If you are at the destination airport and plan on stopping for awhile with no timeframe to go back to Airport A it may not be a XC on the return trip. It really depends on the details.

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  2. Ryan Konrath on Jan 17, 2013

    Wes is correct that Original Point of Departure is key. As long as you land 50NM from your point of departure and land you can count it towards a certificate or rating. You don’t even have to shut down and go inside/get fuel.

    As far as his scenario if you were planned to spend extended time there….You can still log your return flight as XC. Now your “Original Point of Departure” is that airport and not your “home” airport.

    Basically as long as you fly 50NM from your 1st point of departure and land you can log it as XC time towards a certificate or rating.

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  3. Mark Kolber on Jan 17, 2013

    >>As far as his scenario if you were planned to spend extended time there….You can still log your return flight as XC. Now your “Original Point of Departure” is that airport and not your “home” airport.

    You don’t even have to do that analysis. The FAA is on record that even a full day delay might not terminate what is counted as a single cross country flight. Until you get into the patently ridiculous in terms of a stay-over (like a 2-week vacation at the destination), what is a single “cross country flight” is mostly a matter of what you decided at the beginning.

    IOW, consider the following scenario:

    You set out to do a round-robin cross country. When you get to your last point outbound (>50 NM) you stop and have lunch. An hour later you start heading back. It’s now late afternoon and some unforecast weather rolls in so you decide to divert to an airport 20 NM short of home. You stay in a motel overnight and finish the trip the next day.

    You may, for cross country experience purposes countable for a certificate or rating, count the entire trip as a single cross country flight.

    John, to answer your specific questions:

    >>If I fly from A to B (again 60 nm and 30 min) do a ‘touch and go’ at B, fly to airport C (30 nm, 15 min) do a touch and go at C and then fly back to land at airport A (30 nm, 15 min) – can I log 1 hr of cross country time – even though B to C and C to A is less than 50nm?<>If yes, if I do a touch and go at B, then fly to C and stop for gas, and then fly back to land at A, how much x-ctry time can I log now?<<

    All of the A – B – C- A "flight time," which FAR 1.1 defines as the time "that commences when an aircraft moves under its own power for the purpose of flight and ends when the aircraft comes to rest after landing."

    If you're asking whether you can also count the time on the ground getting gas, no.

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  4. Bill Trussell on Jan 17, 2013

    A little context here would help. The original intent of the cross country requirement is to have pilots experience navigating away from their home airports. This would include judgement of weather conditions and use of navigation techniques and participating in the National Airspace System to some degree.

    It is best to measure on a direct line from your point of origin, to your destination. If it is more than 50NM then you are good to log it as cross country. Note that the measurement is a direct line. No extra credit for s turns along the route to make it longer. If you fly a lot but it is not more than 50NM from your point of origin, you have not met the intent.

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  5. David Enloe on Oct 28, 2015

    OK I live on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Due to customs/immigrations considerations I’m faced with this situation a bunch — but actually the reverse.

    Picture a triangle. Point A to B is 40NM. B to C is 60NM. C back to A is 30NM. Starting at B, without a doubt, it’s cross country. But what about that first leg? If it was tacked onto the back end it would certainly be included, but since neither B or C is 50NM from A, I’m left feeling a bit lost in the haze….Do I have to wait to start the CC clock at C for the sake of making it my “original point of departure?”

    Thanks for any help!

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