Commercial cross country requirements

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

  1. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I’m not currently doing that level of training, but if the question came up regarding the specific flights the applicant was planning to use to meet solo requirements, I’d probably require them to make flights that comply.
     
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  2. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't do much GA instruction.

    I hate to say never about anything. This regulation is (IMO) extremely poorly written. "Solo" to me means I'm the only one that can keep the plane from crashing. That's true if I'm by myself or if I have a friend along for the ride that can't tell the difference between an aileron and a ham sandwich. We are required to "know" the intent of so many rules, yet follow others by the letter of the law. This is an excellent case for the "it's not worth my time" reply to me doing GA instruction.

    I think it comes down to whether you want to hold someone to the intent of the rule or the (poor) wording.

    If I was signing someone off on something, that's my livelihood on the line since I'm an airline pilot. So, I'd have to go with the letter of the law even though I disagree with it. I'm not sure if I consider this an integrity issue if the guy is the only pilot onboard; my personal feelings tend to agree that if he can do the flight with a 5 year old and some toddlers, he can DEFINITELY do it solo.
     
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  3. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I don’t think the intent is any different than the wording. The FAA wants you solo.

    They made an exception that I don’t agree with, but again, the letter and the intent match.
     
  4. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    What does that accomplish vs having non-pilots in the plane?
     
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  5. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I actually don't think it's poorly worded. "Solo", by definition: "done by one person alone; unaccompanied." and the 'not worth my time', well, it's gonna be worth a prospective commercial pilot's time, as DPE's WILL ask about it. I had three separate DPE's or instructors ask whether I did those XC's 100% solo or with ANYONE. one of them said "anything other than your dog would not be acceptable". so it WILL matter when it comes to fulfilling the requirement for the checkride.
     
  6. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Being alone in an airplane terrifies more pilots than you can probably imagine. But whatever the FAA’s reasoning is, it matches the wording.
     
  7. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I never utilized my IP/IE to get CFII privileges but yeah, military is very structured when it comes to logging. The IP fills out the logbook so there’s really no lying on the part of the student. They have to meet certain criteria for solo and check ride. Now, have I seen students pushed through the system to meet a quota, yep but that’s for another discussion.

    Since military and FAA log time differently, there could be discrepancies in the student’s civilian logbook if they chose to keep one. Not really an integrity issue but they might have more civilian time vs military.

    After graduation is where I observed some integrity issues. Everyone is trying to set themselves up for a civilian job so you’ll see some liberal interpretations of weather time (actual). Seen guys log weather just because they couldn’t see the horizon.
     
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  8. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    My comment on not worth my time I'm sure won't come across correctly. I choose to not do GA instruction because of these types of issues. I disagree with the way it's worded - actually being by yourself is no different in practice than having non-pilots with you IMO. I'm not saying that the FAA intent isn't for you to actually being alone; I'm saying that IMO is silly and could easily be changed to "only pilot onboard" and have no affect on the capabilities required to complete said flight.

    Just wondering - What does the FAA think is the difference between carrying a basket full of sleeping puppies or a sleeping 2 year old? One is "solo" and one isn't. In my book, that's silly. Thus.... I don't do much GA instruction.
     
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  9. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    There are any number of things the FAA does that are silly in somebody’s book. I’m required to do several things like that on every checkride I give. But whatever the FAA’s reasoning is, good or bad, it doesn’t change the facts of what is required.
     
  10. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The puppies know the difference between an aileron and a ham sandwich.
     
  11. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    lol oh I'm with you on "does it make any sense?" and the answer is 'not to me;. but as a requirement, as it's currently stated................

    I actually think sometimes it's much harder to have yapping wives/girlfriends/kids on board and it should almost be required to have other non-pilots on board for the XC requirement.
     
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  12. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    might be the best post of all time on PoA. you got my vote!
     
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  13. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    Don't doubt it a bit.

    I did stuff I think was silly for 20 years giving checkrides in the USAF. From now on out, the only silly stuff I'm cooperating with in aviation is for Delta money. I know the FAA doesn't care if I think it's silly; doesn't change my opinion. I have better things to do with my time. :D
     
  14. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    How should the FAA define who an acceptable passenger is outside of the term solo? As someone mentioned previously, a friend who happens to be an ATP rated pilot that is there for moral support?

    The whole point was to make pilots stretch their boundaries alone. An exception was made to allow a CFI, mainly for the puppy mill schools that skip the single engine commercial and go straight to commercial multi. How else may a PPL single engine fly solo in a multi?

    If you can't complete a 250 NM XC by yourself, you aren't ready to be a commercial rated pilot. I find it interesting how much time is spent by aspiring pilots trying to find excuses not to fly.
     
  15. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Is valuable to me. Thank you, because you were able to put words to things I hadn’t considered since my background is as a required crew member. In certain instances the jet could fly without me, but nit all CT events could be checked if somebody filling my seat wasn’t aboard.

    In the schoolhouse, it was assumed every upgrade there was qualified to be there because they were sponsored by a commander. That doesn’t happen in the outside, so perspective is worth everything to me.
     
  16. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    Unless I misunderstood the original question, the guy made a long XC with some kids -- which I would argue is functionally the same as being solo since they are only providing distractions, nothing to "helping" the pilot.

    Again, I'd go with "only pilot onboard" vs solo to get the same thing across.
     
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  17. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    But it wouldn’t necessarily be the same thing...what if the non-pilot was a spouse who’s better at navigating than the pilot, or any number of other people who could be advantageous rather than disadvantageous?
     
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  18. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sure, you can always "what if" and come up with some false positive or specific example that would invalidate it.

    I agree with the guys who've said if you can't do a 250 mile XC solo, why do you want to be a commercial pilot. Totally agree. I don't think this specific case was asking about not wanting to do it, rather logging something he's already done.

    I can also imagine being the guy with a young family trying to find time to knock out the XC requirements to get my aviation career started. Sitter all day plus rental all day = harder than it needs to be for this example.

    If the FAA is going to hang the IP that would endorse this flight (and they definitely would), they could also allow the IP to have some judgement (which all pilots are supposed to have) and be able to tell the difference between a flight with non-helper people (like a couple of kids) vs the ATP uncle along for the ride.
     
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  19. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    Exactly. At the end of the day it is an excuse to go fly and have an adventure! It's one flight! I had several hundreds of hours of XC time, including non stop legs of over 700 miles, but I didn't have anything solo that fit the bill for this requirement. The solution, find an airport 250 miles away that had somewhere tasty nearby. Make a landing at an intermediate airport along the way. Problem solved!
     
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  20. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Just submit a 500-word essay in the REMARKS section of the pilot’s logbook?
     
  21. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    What endorsement are you speaking of? There is no endorsement for the XC, unless you mean the endorsement for that the applicant meets the aeronautical experience requirements for the check ride.
     
  22. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    Totally missed that. I just re-read it and I guess I just assumed we were all talking about signing something supporting this as the IP.

    I guess the check ride recommendation would qualify.
     
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  23. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It needs to be logged as solo. I knew a pilot years ago who was pink slipped because he didn't log it as solo in his logbook. Would not accept the pilot's statement that it was.

    Som "getting away with it" might also means falsifying the logbook. Not the best way to start a commercial career.
     
  24. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    That would be worth my time :D

    I could knock out 500 words on why that counts as solo in way less time than it takes (in many cases) to get the IACRA website to work correctly.
     
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  25. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's to you. Here's what it means to the FAA.
    61.51(d) Logging of solo flight time. Except for a student pilot performing the duties of pilot in command of an airship requiring more than one pilot flight crewmember, a pilot may log as solo flight time only that flight time when the pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft.​
     
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  26. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Damn. Sorry I drug @EvilEagle into this, but it does highlight to me the differences in judgement and experience qualification we saw in our .mil days vs the outside world.
     
  27. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    Once again (because apparently it wasn't clear the first time).

    I copy all on what the FAA counts. IMO it's poorly written / silly rule. I realize that the FAA doesn't care that I think it's silly.
     
  28. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    No worries, I have pretty thick skin. I don't get upset about stuff on message boards. :)
     
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  29. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    The other required commercial cross countries, the two hour day/two hour night cross county, can also seem odd if you are approaching getting the commercial as an experienced pilot. The requirements are really written from the viewpoint of an up and coming pilot.

    I also had to do the dual day/night XC when I decided to get my commercial, despite hundreds of XC hours, day and night, many under IFR, both dual, solo, and everything in between, hundreds of miles and in all kinds of scenarios. My instructor showed up and asked where I was taking him for dinner. It was a flight to check the boxes. It was a cakewalk but had to be done.
     
  30. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Also highlights the differences in definitions between the two. My “solo” in the TH-67 was with another student. I guess the Army interpretation is that 2 stupid students equals one competent solo pilot. Oh how I wished I trained in TH-55 days.;)
     
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  31. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    Just occured to me that both of the XC I had to do for my commercial involved food. Might explain the W&B problems...:sosp:
     
  32. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    The food part, or the fact that it just occurred to you?:p
     
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  33. midwestpa24

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    Also explains the shirt in my closet that says "Will Fly for Food"
     
  34. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I think there’s a bit of denial going on here...two meals and a t-shirt do not add up to weight and balance problems. ;)
     
  35. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    Only when considered isolated events...
     
  36. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    I haven't experienced widespread integrity issues in the UPT/PIT environment. Even those seeking my advice (they know I dabble a lot on .civ aviation as a rec piston owner) for part 1/part 61 TPIC stuff are pretty genuine about their questions and not merely looking to pencil whip the logs. We got airline dudes from pretty much every upper tier pax and cargo 121 at the squadron, and those dudes are pretty frank in telling them upfront what flies and what doesn't fly when it comes to flight time mil/civ translations.

    As to my CFI/CFII privilege exercising, as a current .mil guy? Yeah, I let my mine expire on purpose. I may renew with mil-comp when I retire, but given my potential dabbling in 121 post retirement, it's likely I'll continue to stay away from civilian flight instruction even then. @EvilEagle remarks on his own reasons serve as a pretty close proxy for mine as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  37. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    To be fair, at some point the regulations agreed with @EvilEagle (and others). For instance, from the 1944 CAR:

    20.762
    Logging of pilot flight time.

    2. Pilots of private grade or higher.
    The holder of a pilot certificate, other than a student pilot certificate, may log as solo flight time that portion of any flight during which he is the sole manipulator of the controls

    Back then, it was either dual instruction or solo time. Solo just meaning you weren't receiving instruction. There was even this weird clause immediately following that one:

    Provided, That he may log as solo flight time only 50 percent of any flight time during which a certificated instructor or a certificated airline transport pilot is in the aircraft serving as an instructor for the purpose of reviewing or increasing such pilot's skill;

    I do not have the inclination right now to search and find out when it was changed, but it is STILL a very common misunderstanding that "solo" means "not instruction".
     
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  38. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I have no reason to get a commercial cert other than to have it; I have no desire to be a cfi and very little to be a pro pilot. I just find the requirement silly. I heard a DPE on a podcast explaining how he disqualified an applicant when he admitted to taking his non-pilot wife along on the xc. I was floored...I always assumed "solo" meant "solo pilot" not "sole occupant" (except for student pilots who can't carry pax), but there it is right in the FAR in black & white. It would make more sense for the requirement to be "must carry a non pilot passenger". After all....you want to be a commercial pilot, prove you can handle the distraction of a passenger jabbering at you.

    My CFII is a master of distraction. After flying with him, screaming kids in turbulent IMC is anti-climatic. If I ever do go after a commercial, the solo flight will be relaxing.
     
  39. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    But were the solo requirements for commercial similar at that time?

    it may be a very common misunderstanding, but the fact that the regs in question are unchanged for at least 40 years says something about the average pilot’s propensity to not learn the things he’s responsible for.
     
  40. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    True. you can go back to the 1929 Air Regulations and find this too.
    Sec. 61. Meaning of Solo Flying.
    As used in these regulations, a person is engaged in solo flying when he is the sole operator of the controls and is in command of aircraft in flight.​

    But figured since "solo" meaning "sole occupant" rather than "sole manipulator" showed up in the 1950s along with the FAR, it wasn't particularly relevant. I didn't realize @EvilEagle was that old. ;)
     
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