Cross-country frustrations

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by mryan75, May 12, 2022.

  1. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    So at my home field, I have two fields that I swear to you are 49 NM away (no matter how I look it up). Which means of course I can’t use either of them for cross-country purposes for time used to apply for a rating.

    This is pretty frustrating.
     
  2. RyanB

    RyanB Super Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Find ones that are more than 50nm away? Seriously this is hardly a problem. Try to shoot for more than just the bare minimum requirement.
     
  3. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    It’s not that I’m just trying to meet the bare minimum, but rather that for want of less than one NM these would be an option. It’s actually kind of funny that there are two of them.
     
  4. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The opposite for me: I have several airports that are more than 50, but less than 53 nm away. I've checked before, for some reason...I no longer fly for ratings or any other aspirations.
     
  5. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    I was just visiting a friend in another state. The airport manager was telling the story of the DPE stopping a student check ride because the student's instructor had allowed the student to fly his cross countries to airports that were more than 50SM but did not meet the requirement of 50NM. Of course the student was livid. As I understand it the instructor was new to that airport location ... :dunno:
     
  6. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I just started a new log book, but in my old one I tracked what I considered cross-country time (landing at another airport) along with what was “legal” cross-country time (greater than 50 NM). When I did my instrument ride the DPE (who was both extremely thorough and extremely fair) actually busted out his protractor (or whatever the thing is called) and measured a few of my cross-country’s on the sectional. A few were to one of the 49-NM airports, and he told me “this doesn’t count”. I had well over the number of hours of strictly legal cross-country time than I needed, and I knew it, but I didn’t expect him to look as hard as he did.
     
  7. geezer

    geezer Line Up and Wait

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    mryan75 must live on an island!

    More seriously, as RyanB said, fly further. After all, the purpose of the limitations of log able cross country flight is to assure that you are actually going to new, unfamiliar places.

    3 months and 2 days after the PPL check ride, I flew 13 hours and 20 minutes, about 1600 NM, to Florida and return.
    One grass strip, 4 towered airports, and learned many new things, such as not all airports with a visible gas pump sell to the public, and it was Jet A to boot.

    There were 3 legs shorter than an hour, dealing with weather issues safely, and that fuel stop with Jet A only.

    The remark on one leg is "Black velvet night". Flying north on the east coast of Florida with a full sky of stars, and not a ripple in the air.

    Another "Double rainbow after cold front passage" at Ridgeland airport, Ga, as we finished our sandwiches in a hanger with a local guy that was building a 4/5 scale Zero fighter for movies. He was our host when we paused for that front to pass.

    None of these things happen on what are truly long local flights on days that are forecast to remain VFR all day. The cross country requirements are supposed to document actual unfamiliar conditions and coping with changing weather.
     
  8. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    To Florida and back from where? My instructor did the same thing (from NY) twice in a 150 for shoots and giggles many years ago when he got his PPL. I’m actually considering doing the same. In fact, now that I think about it, a flight like that would probably cover all the (day at least) cross-country requirements for the CPL.
     
  9. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    We have one that is 50nm away. I have lost count of how many checkrides I have seen terminated or postponed because someone tried to use it for their cross country. Or from people trying to work around the regulation and flying >25nm west and/or >25nm east or something similar to make a leg greater than 50nm, but never getting more then 50nm from the original point of departure. That can work, but you are playing odds about whether it will be acceptable or not.

    The 250nm Cross country is even tougher, we have a number of airports 240nm away and then the next ones are 290nm away.

    You probably want to build hours anyway, so why skimp and take a chance of not meeting the requirement.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
  10. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    The one I used a lot was 51.2NM.
     
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  11. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    50 NM on the nose is legal, no? It just can’t be 49.9. Or am I wrong on that? The two I’m referring to are both 49 NM
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2022
  12. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    > 50NM, isn’t it?
     
  13. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I trained at KBDR. The official distance to KBDL is 50.1!

    -Skip
     
  14. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Heh - I know the point is to get you out of your local area and navigated some place you aren’t familiar, but in these parts you can usually follow a nice straight highway.
     
  15. RyanB

    RyanB Super Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Nope, the reg says more than 50nm. It has to be at least 50.1.
     
  16. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I don't understand

    You need X hours flying trips over 50 nm. Why fly to the same stupid spot everyone else goes to that's 50.1 nm away 15 times when you can explore the area, actually learn a thing or two about cross country flying, and pick spots 200-300 nm away. Planes are built to go hundreds of miles. I find there to be virtually no value in flying 50.1 nm away. Try going 300 nm away and it will really teach you something about winds, fuel planning, **weather**, and introduces real accountability that you can't just Uber home

    It's not a cost thing, you're going to spend that money either way.
    If it's an "I'm scared to leave home turf" thing then find a CFI. Pick that spot 300 nm away and bring a CFI along
    If you're building "hood time" then that's great, bring your buddy and have him fly right seat. Might help with the "I'm scared" thing

    /walks away confused/
     
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  17. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think the commercial xc is one airport has to be > 250 NM from origin?

    I remember looking into a flight to visit my daughter and using that as a commercial XC. I’m pretty sure her local airport was just over 250. But the rules say >300NM total. My question was always: If I fly out one day, spend several days, then fly back, is that one flight or two? So I planned a dogleg to add an extra 50NM so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. Before I took that flight, she moved.


    From my PP training days, it wasn’t a problem with distance as much as with hours. My CFI sent me on an XC and pounded it into my head that even if I had to do s turns on final that I was to not land with less than xxx on the Hobbs.

    A few weeks later I saw a student head out in an XC because he was 0.1 hr short.
     
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  18. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Around here, the well-known short solo's are
    KCFO-KLIC 50.6 nm
    KAPA-KLIC 57.6 nm
    KCOS-KLIC 55.8 nm

    What baffles me is my long solo. The CFI sent me KCFO to KPUB which is only 90 nm. But that was more than 20 yrs, over 1000 hrs and XCs of hundreds of miles ago so I don't worry.
     
  19. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Before Airnav and (name your product of choice) I'm sure there was a lot of fudging on paper charts, rulers, and thick pencil and marker lines that made some 47 miler suddenly into 52 miles.....
     
  20. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you don’t shoot for minimum standards, you can’t complain about unfair examiners.:rolleyes:
     
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  21. geezer

    geezer Line Up and Wait

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    mryan75:
    Home base is College Park, MD, KCGS.

    The first 12 months that I had my PPL, I made 5 real cross country trips, mostly to visit relatives, plus First Flight, and a day at the beach there.

    The long ones were the flight to Florida, and central Missouri.

    Total TACH hours for those long trips was 39:27, which at the power setting I used, is approximately 4300 NM.

    Every one of those trips was worth every cent it cost as a vacation and visit with relatives or close friends. None of it was to get log book hours for a rating.

    As a side issue, my instructor insisted that all cross country should be flown to Instrument legal standards, I agreed with the reasons, and flew accordingly. I trained my wife to nag if I deviated, and soon, she was silent. The result, instrument training was a breeze.
     
  22. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    The airports around my home field are all in one of two categories: 20ish miles away or 70ish+ miles away. For airplanes it isn't a big deal, just send the student to one of the compliant airports. They need the flight time anyway and going farther from home provides some good challenges that will hopefully help the student grow. Helicopters are another matter, it sure would be nice if some of the airports that are 20 miles away were more like 30 miles away. Going 70 miles one way in a 70 knot machine to check a box that only requires a trip 25 miles from the starting point is a bit excessive in my book.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2022
  23. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    I am amazed at those that see the XC requirements as a chore and want to cut to the bare minimum. It’s as if you don’t enjoy flying? WTF?

    not saying the OP is that way, but that this isn’t an uncommon sentiment around here from students.
     
  24. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    I'm going to think outside the box here, so bear with me.....if those two airports are 49nm, I would recommend finding one that is greater than 50nm. I believe this will solve your issue. someone please check my work.
     
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  25. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    Please be more clear.
     
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  26. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hmm…let’s see…carry the one…

    Yep, it checks out.
     
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  27. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    That's what has me shaking my head. At least once a week it seems there is a thread of someone trying to find the way to fulfill some required cross country in the absolute shortest, cheapest, way possible. I get it, flying isn't cheap, but you would hopefully be enjoying the adventure instead of worrying about the .1 hour or 1 NM in the logbook. If it's even a question, just go fly!

    When I decided to get my commercial, despite having hundreds of hours of XC, I couldn't find a single one that clearly met all the requirements of the 250 NM XC. So I took the day off, and went flying. Even made a mission out of it by going A to B to C to D to complete the required XC, then picked up a friend needing a ride back home to A.
     
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  28. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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  29. Wagondriver

    Wagondriver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Is it the cost of airplane time? Or do just not like to fly?
     
  30. TomF

    TomF Filing Flight Plan

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    But don’t you get your license so that you have the ability to spend money on airplane time?
     
  31. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Line Up and Wait

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    @Wagondriver for me, it’s time! I’d love to fly from Chicago area down to the Gulf, the Rockies, HHI or something like that.

    I have a wife and 3 active kids as well as 70ish hour a week job. While we are co-teaming getting to school events and travel sports it’s hard to carve out time for a GA trip.

    It’s a dream of mine though! Aren’t many 6-seat rentals here where I could stay proficient to take everyone. Not really fair to split the family or stick the wife with the kids.

    I like @midwestpa24 ’s suggestion and have done that twice (planned a vaca day so as not to impact the family), only to be weathered out both times.

    IR would have helped on one, owning vs renting would help too.
    Someday soon!

    ETA: But I agree! Don’t shoot for the mins. I was 19 when I got my PPL and saving pennies. Penny wise and all that.

    Today I’d do it a bit differently!

    For me, 51 NM meant I could do 1 a week, back then, vs 1x every two-three weeks if I had to pay and schedule the longer xc. I wanted to get up more often.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2022
  32. L J Donelson

    L J Donelson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I remember the day I was taking off on my solo x-ctry and meeting with CFI to review. After everything was covered and we discussed the decent tail wind I would have on a leg he says "remember to lean 'way back'" so you don't end up going too fast. He had a student who did not lean and after landing ended up being 0.1 hour short total and had to do it again to get the full time requirement. It's not just distance that matters.

    I loved it so much I was flying circles just to be in the air!
     
  33. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I’m firmly in the fly more, longer camp.

    But, it does cost money and if your primary motivation is getting to the ratings so you can get your chosen career going, I get it. Check the boxes, get the ratings, get paid to build hours.

    I trained for PPL and IR primarily out of Orlando Executive (KORL). Lakeland (KLAL) is 49nm. We used Ocala (KOCF) for cross countries a lot. 60nm.
     
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  34. Rich Holt

    Rich Holt Line Up and Wait

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    I know that guy. I was down there not long ago and Chuck was working on a 3/4 Mustang and an RV-8 that somebody ran off the end of the runway and just abandoned. 3J1 is actually in SC, just barely.
     
  35. Rich Holt

    Rich Holt Line Up and Wait

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    Agreed, I didn't buy an airplane to go to places I can easily get to in the family sedan.
     
  36. Rich Holt

    Rich Holt Line Up and Wait

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    Agreed, I didn't buy an airplane to go to places I can easily get to in the family sedan.
     
  37. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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  38. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Since being pedantic is a requirement on POA, I think it only has to be 50.00000000001 (or less) to be considered greater than 50.
     
  39. PPC1052

    PPC1052 Final Approach

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    Might be better than the alternative. I had a client come to me after discovering that his commercial cross country wasn't long enough after his certificate was issued. He was worried it might be discovered when he went to apply for his ATP, and/or at some later inopportune time.
     
  40. Mxfarm

    Mxfarm Line Up and Wait

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    no reason not to relocate to an area that has an airport exactly 50.1 miles from two other airports. :confused:
     
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