Commercial cross country requirements

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by 2nd505th, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. 2nd505th

    2nd505th Pre-Flight

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    Does this count for the commercial cross country?

    Aug 26 - KTKI KGNF 343nm
    Aug 26 KGNF KRYY 260nm
    Oct 18 KRYY KRMG 35nm

    §61.129 Aeronautical experience.
    (i) One cross-country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point.
     
  2. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Yes. There is no requirement to complete the flight in one day.
     
  3. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But I would expect the almost month delay between the second an the third to raise eyebrows even if there were no flights in the interim.OTHOT, the the required landings were done during the first or the first two, the third is irrelevant.
     
  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Yea. If there are no entries between the second and third leg, the OP should be ok though. There’s always going to be a ball buster and the examiner may not like it though:dunno:
     
  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Probably best to ask the examiner of choice ahead of time.

    also, was there a flight in the front end that might work as the third airport?
     
  6. 2nd505th

    2nd505th Pre-Flight

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    There wasn’t. The flight just a few days before this x-country was from KTKI to KTKI. It was a local flight to figure out if a rattling noise was gone. I didn’t fly between the second and third flight legs at all. So it is just as listed. The reason for the delay was I was re-positioning my aircraft when I moved. I have a trip to Florida coming up. So I may just extend it to meet the cross country qualifications but was curious if this one would count.
     
  7. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    My personal opinion is the two months in between would raise an eyebrow to most examiners. A case could probably be made for a day or two, but months is a stretch.
     
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  8. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    And you were solo on all legs?

    That's gonna be a tough one to argue being that far apart.
     
  9. penaltyvectors

    penaltyvectors Filing Flight Plan

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    A DPE once told me about a wild cross-country that his FSDO had to get involved on and briefed to all their DPEs. Requirements are 150nm total/one 50nm leg. It was something like:

    Aug 1 - AAA-BBB 51nm
    Aug 1 - BBB-AAA 51nm
    Aug 8 - AAA-CCC 8nm
    Aug 8 - CCC-AAA 8nm
    Aug 8 - AAA-CCC 8nm
    Aug 8 - CCC-AAA 8nm
    Aug 8 - AAA-CCC 8nm
    Aug 8 - CCC-AAA 8nm

    Any guesses as to whether they accepted this?
     
  10. elvisAteMySandwich

    elvisAteMySandwich Pre-Flight

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    I don't think they should accept this for a private cert as the requirement is 61.109(5)(ii) "One solo cross country flight of 150 ...". Multiple legs with a one week gap does not seem like a single cross country flight to me.
     
  11. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member

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    I wouldn’t bother trying to use this collection of legs as a single flight for the purpose of the experience requirements for the certificate. It’s not that hard to make a flight that definitely qualifies without worrying about whether the examiner will accept it. The only challenge for me was to take a trip that short with two stops along the way, because I normally fly a lot farther without stopping. For others, the challenge is making the trip solo since they often travel with a spouse or other passengers.
     
  12. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    It seems to technically qualify, given various Chief Counsel opinions on the issue of separate days still being considered one flight. But as a CFI, there is not a chance in heck I would have endorsed someone to do that as their XC. In fact, If they're that scared to go outside their local area, I wouldn't be signing them off for a XC yet anyway. The Private XC requirements are already ridiculously minimal and way less than appropriate. I'm much more impressed when I have people who want to do MORE than the requirement, not to skirt around the rules and effectively do less.

    I would be embarrassed to send this student up for a checkride with this in his logbook as his "long" XC.
     
  13. Kelvin

    Kelvin En-Route

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    Odd question of you ask me...I'd just land at KJFX, get a splash of gas and a cold drink and wrap it all up in one day...

     
  14. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Strictly personal opinion:

    My personal version is, "unless you are being ridiculous, what you consider to be a single cross country flight is pretty much up to you." What is "ridiculous"? I'm not aware of anything by way of example from the FAA. It's just a sense that, as in other areas, the FAA may look at a scenario and say, "that's a sham" (nice way of saying "that's BS"). So I guess you'll know it when you see it. I recall one thread on the subject where a pilot jokingly said, "I think of my entire logbook as one cross country flight."

    What is comes down to for me is the pilot's reasonable subjective mental state. My own commercial cross country was a back and forth flight over the course of three days, with a business meeting in the middle. I didn't have any problem with thinking of it from the very beginning as a single round robin flight. I was even beginning to do work for my commercial certificate at the time. Same thing for someone flying from coast to coast in in a slow airplane (maybe with weather delays) over the course of a week. But I would not be quite as comfortable flying to a vacation spot, leaving the airplane tied down for a week of fun and frolic and then treating it and the return trip as a single flight.

    I think the problem is, the longer the time between "legs," the less likely it is the pilot intended to treat it as one flight. Add to that, I suspect most questions in this area come down to, "I just started training for my commercial. Is there some set of flights I would never have thought of as a single flight I can go back and treat as one?

    Will a DPE look at one with a long break and reject it? Dunno. That's why I only said the almost 2-month delay might raise an DPE's eyebrows. All I'm suggesting is that "The 'original point of departure' for the purpose of a cross country does not change with a new day or delay" (the original Part 61 FAQ statement on the subject with my emphasis) is very different than 6 months later even with no flight activities in between, and that the length of the delay can reflect how the pilot really thought of those flights, as the same or separate.
     
  15. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I think you missed this is for a commercial, not a student pilot. No endorsement needed.
     
  16. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    I quoted the post by @penaltyvectors , which given the distance requirements stated, seems to be talking about the student XC. Not the original discussion.
     
  17. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    The endorsement says he meets the qualifications and training for the commercial checkride.
     
  18. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    Then there's the flip side, where the applicant has lots of flights that almost qualify, and would certainly meet the intent of the rules, but don't.

    I'm working with a Commercial applicant right now. He has owned two airplanes and has flown them all across the country. But never seemed to have flights that exactly met the various requirements. Like, he might have a flight to somewhere 800 nm away, solo, and then back the next day. But since he didn't touch the wheels to some intermediate location, it doesn't count for the solo XC. Or he had a flight across the country, hopscotching around to numerous airports, all kinds of weather, etc. But his wife was with him, so it doesn't count as solo.

    Both of these scenarios, to me, well meet the intent, assuming the intent of the rules is "to make sure the pilot has some "real-world" experience on longer flights without a CFI to bail them out, having to make weather decisions, divert, work with ATC, etc."

    But I guess you can't write rules that just require someone to meet the "intent" of the rules. So then you have people who meet the letter of the law, but not the intent.
     
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  19. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member

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    At that level, you have to write the rules so they will be applied consistently everywhere. This is a place where the recommending instructor's discretion would be a perfectly reasonable way to decide if a 300-mile cross-country resulted in the experience that the FAA is looking for a commercial pilot applicant to have, but giving that discretion to instructors would lead to 10,000 different standards across the country, as well as probably eroding the actual experience that commercial pilot applicants have because instructors would likely trend toward leniency.
     
  20. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I ran into that when I decided to get my commercial license. I needed the 250 NM cross country, and the 2 hr day/night with a CFI, despite having hundreds of hours of cross country time all over the country.
     
  21. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Always have to review the entire requirements with new commercial students, most are missing something (normally solo night or solo XC) before they get started. Now I try to mention it to my IFR students, that way they can at least know it exists and work it into their plans if they want to go commercial someday.
     
  22. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Reading the above entry and applying a reasonable standard, the entries look like 2 XC and a local flight. The time passage and no entry the plane returned to the original departure suggests the plane was repositioned and the 3rd entry is a local flight.
     
  23. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So, if I did KTKI-KGLS (250nm) in one night, then KGLS-KCXO-KTKI the next day, I can check the long XC and the 2-hour night XC, right?
     
  24. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member

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    The 2-hour night cross-country is under the heading "20 hours of training." That one is a dual cross-country. So is the 2-hour day cross-country. Both must go 100 nm. My instrument rating cross-country counted for the day commercial one, but I had to grab a CFI and do a quick 130-mile out-and-back at night to check the night XC box.
     
  25. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    No, because the long XC is solo and the 2-hour XC is dual.
     
  26. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Where is the definition that requires cross countries to be over 50 miles for certain certifications?
     
  27. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    61.1
     
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  28. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Yes, Or you can depart early morning under night conditions, land at least one hour prior to sun up, eat breakfast, and fly home under day conditions.
     
  29. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    No, because the long XC is solo and the 2-hour XC is dual.
     
  30. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks RussR, iamtheari and Clip4. I missed the fact that the 2-hr flights were dual.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  31. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There is theoretically a way to combine them all but it would be a really long day for both the student and the instructor because it's more serial than parallel.
     
  32. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    At least my long xc for the IR should count as the daytime, dual 2-hr flight.
     
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  33. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    As a note the long xc can be with an instructor now. But he's basically just supposed to be an observer.
     
  34. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    So how strict are examiners on the "solo" part? The return flight of our Texas trip meets the distance and stops required, but i wasn't solo.

    Apparently being near max gross and having 2 screaming toddlers and a 5 year old who "really has to go to the bathroom" makes it easier...
     
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  35. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    Well, yes, but I was trying to not be wordy. Regardless, it still has to be a separate flight since it is expressly NOT "dual".
     
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  36. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    It's pretty cut and dry. Unlike many things, there really isn't any room for DPE discretion or interpretation. If your logbook remarks say "great trip with the family", then no DPE should accept it.

    If your logbook says "great trip" and you are willing to lie about it and pretend it was solo, then the DPE would have no grounds to question it.

    This is one of those regulations that I and every other CFI gets asked about by every Commercial applicant. I don't necessarily agree with the regulation as written, but that's the way it's written. But of course allowing anything else is a slippery slope. Some people would be having their airline pilot parent along for the ride, coaching them the entire way, which at least in my opinion, is completely the opposite of the intent.
     
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  37. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If the flight doesn't qualify an examiner has no discretion to allow it.
     
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  38. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    remember - if you do the long XC with your instructor onboard, and you performing duties of PIC, then ALL of the solo requirements have to be done with an instructor on board with you performing duties of PIC.

    And yea if i have knowledge of or there is evidence that the flight wasn't solo...then it doesn't count towards the solo requirements.
     
  39. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    The entire intent of allowing a CFI to be onboard but still count as solo was to appease the insurance industry of the puppy mills that skip getting the commercial single engine and go straight to the multi engine commercial. Kind of hard to do solo flights in a multi, without a multi certificate. There is no good reason in my opinion, for bringing a CFI along during the "solo" cross country for a person pursuing a single engine commercial. You should be more than capable of completing those types of XC on your own if you desire to be a commercial pilot, without the moral support in the right seat.
     
  40. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    As a question to you and all the other CFIs (@midlife flyer, @AggieMike, etc.) out there, how do you deal with students you perceive have an integrity problem? Or do you even go down that path?

    My instructional time was in an USAF Programmed Flying Training unit or line squadron. Both are what I’d called highly regulated and integrity driven.

    For the current/former mil guys (@EvilEagle, @hindsight2020, @Velocity173) I’m interested in your perspective too, whether or not you exercise(d) FAA CFI privleges on your .mil IP privileges.