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Thread: CFI Question Re. Cross Countries

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    Default CFI Question Re. Cross Countries

    Say a student pilot is on a cross country (destination 50+ nm). WX checks out fine, everything looks good. Off he goes into the wild blue yonder. Unfortunately, when he gets near his destination, the fog has rolled in. IFR only. He turns around and goes home.

    Does that count as cross country time or local only?

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    The way I read the reg it does not count as cross country unless the student lands somewhere that is 50+ miles from the departure airport.

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    I found that too after I posted. FAR 61.1(b)(3)

    $80 in avgas and I still have to do another long x country for my ticket. The flight was nice but this is getting expensive!

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    Jim;
    You exercised good judgement (you returned alive), you learned something (the whole point of "learning" to fly), you got to go flying (we do this for fun , do we not?).
    One of the biggest killers in GA is continued flight into IMC by VFR pilots (and instrument rated pilots too), you have just reenforced good judgement and thus makeing it easier to do the 180 turn back to safety later when it may be even more important to do so. I assure you , the $80 dollars is nothing compared to when you are about to smack the side of a mountain and would write a check for ANY amount to have not gotten into that situation. Also the $80 is nothing compared to the overall cost of getting your education. You will spend at least a thousand times that before you are really ready to fly in Alaska in a usefull way.

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    +1,,, What brother Tom said. Good judgment on your part.
    We are now getting the fall fog banks rolling into Homer.
    You can not rely on the darn ASOS down here because the fog could be 100 yards off shore and it only needs a little shove to roll over the airport. If you come down this way, give me a call 9070-226-2899
    I can try to give you a visual on what is happening.
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  6. #6

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    A timely post here about cross countries.. just got done flying 10 hours around southeast the past two days. Rented out of Juneau. So my question is: If I fly from Juneau, to Petersberg, to Wrangell, to Sitka, and back to Juneau, and land in each town, is the whole route considered cross country? Or just the long legs? IE: Petersberg to Wrangell is only about 30NM, does that count?

    Thanks!

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    Once you have a pilot certificate any flight in which you take off from one location and land at different location may be logged as cross country. The 50nm requirement is only for student pilots training for a pilot certificate. Log all 10 hours of your flight as cross country.

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    It depends on what you hold as a license at the time and what you are using those hours towards:

    Definitions of cross-country 14 CFR Part 61.1 (b)(3).
    A cross-country flight is any flight that involves a landing at another airport and involves navigation.
    This is good for building XC hours under Part 135 pilot requirements, since there this basic definition of cross-country is used.

    But please note: there is a difference in this basic definition and the requirements for cross-country flight to count as the appropriate aeronautical experience for a certificate or rating.

    A,
    To meet the requirements for a Private or Commercial certificate or for an Instrument rating ( ie student pilot cross country time as well) or to "exercise the privileges of a Recreational" certificate the flight must include a LANDING at a point MORE than 50NM from the point of original departure.
    So you need to log the entire trip as cross country, since at least one of those landings was more than 50 miles from Juneau.

    B.
    For an ATP certificate the requirement is for a FLIGHT (not a landing) more than 50NM straight line distance from the point of departure.

    C.
    Other than that, any landing at any other airport counts as cross-country time. This is generally important for people looking to meet the 14 CFR Part 135 PIC requirements.
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  9. #9

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    What if the landing is at a gravel, grass, sand-bar, or any other unofficial strip/field?

    Say, I leave from MRI and land at a gravel bar around Beluga lake. Over 50 NM but not an official designated strip.

    I have been logging this type of scenario in my log book as a XC cause its over 50 nm and a landing is involved. Can a CFI clarify this?

    When I go take a checkride for a commercial ticket, and an examiner is going over my book, will they want to see that each XC flight is over 50 NM if its not an official, designated airfield? I have MANY XC flights like said scenario. MRI --> Beluga Lake gravel...

    Thanks.
    Jason

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    You are correct in logging it as cross country.
    If it had to be an official airport, the none of us float-plane pilots would really be going anywhere.
    It says landing at a point. (ie place)
    The next time you land at the gravel bar, just jump out and say, "I claim this gravel bar for Queen Isabella of Spain and declare it to be an airport!" It helps if you are wearing armour at the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    You are correct in logging it as cross country.
    If it had to be an official airport, the none of us float-plane pilots would really be going anywhere.
    It says landing at a point. (ie place)
    The next time you land at the gravel bar, just jump out and say, "I claim this gravel bar for Queen Isabella of Spain and declare it to be an airport!" It helps if you are wearing armour at the time.
    You owe me a new computer monitor, I just spit beer all over it.

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    As long as the airport is on the chart you should be ok. Then again in Alaska the examiner might be a little more reasonable. In the the time I did my private pilot certificate, you needed to have somebody at the airport you landed at sign your logbook to the effect yep you landed there. As for the South East on the Islands down Juneau way, maybe you and use the same rules they use in Hawaii for your X-C talk to your examiner or the FSDO about it. As a flight instructor, I would have some problems with sending a student pilot on a X-C and he or she would have to fly several hundred miles just to make the 50 NM Rule. I think the Hawaiian Island Rule would apply here.

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    As long as the airport is on the chart you should be ok. Then again in Alaska the examiner might be a little more reasonable.
    The FAR-AIM says nothing about an airport in regards to logging Cross Country Flights. It only refers to " A Point ". IE a Place.

    Here in Alaska we have some odd FAR deviations regarding night flight due to our summer daylight. However we do not get the Hawaii exception to the cross country rules. Since our state is about 1/3 the size of the entire lower 48 states, some of us drive much more than 50 miles for a good pizza.
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    Done with my solo x countries. I wish I had a video of the wheel landing I made in Homer. It may not have looked good, but it felt good. I am REALLY liking my new Bose headset. Bluetooth and MP3 make those go slowly Cub flights much more bearable. Nothing like the sound of a smooth running O-320 with ZZ Top in the background.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BH206L3 View Post
    As long as the airport is on the chart you should be ok. Then again in Alaska the examiner might be a little more reasonable. In the the time I did my private pilot certificate, you needed to have somebody at the airport you landed at sign your logbook to the effect yep you landed there. As for the South East on the Islands down Juneau way, maybe you and use the same rules they use in Hawaii for your X-C talk to your examiner or the FSDO about it. As a flight instructor, I would have some problems with sending a student pilot on a X-C and he or she would have to fly several hundred miles just to make the 50 NM Rule. I think the Hawaiian Island Rule would apply here.
    I'm not sure that the signature at distant airports is required. I believe that was (and is) a requirement of the school where the student is learning to fly. If it was ever in the regs (either CAA or FAA), I've missed it . . . . .

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    Griz aka Mort is right.. It is not in the regs. Just a flight school or personal CFI requirement.
    You could do the same thing with a digital camera if your CFI does not trust you. Or just walk into a local FBO and grab a couple of ad cards from the local businesses.

    I checked up on one of my students doing a cross country from here down to Kodiak island and back, by having him call-in occasional position reports or pi-reps to flight following. I could then call the local flight service and they could give me his last few position reports.
    In his case it was not because I did not trust him.. He has a hot sweetie down on Kodiak... But the weather was getting ready to turn sour and I was a little worried that he had spent too much break time down in Kodiak getting his compass corrected.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Griz aka Mort is right.. It is not in the regs. Just a flight school or personal CFI requirement.
    You could do the same thing with a digital camera if your CFI does not trust you. Or just walk into a local FBO and grab a couple of ad cards from the local businesses.

    I checked up on one of my students doing a cross country from here down to Kodiak island and back, by having him call-in occasional position reports or pi-reps to flight following. I could then call the local flight service and they could give me his last few position reports.
    In his case it was not because I did not trust him.. He has a hot sweetie down on Kodiak... But the weather was getting ready to turn sour and I was a little worried that he had spent too much break time down in Kodiak getting his compass corrected.

    Yeah, and boxing his compass wouldn't be an easy thing, either . . . . . I guess his sweetie would help.

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    I hadn't thought of it before but student cross country flights are another good use for a SPOT tracker. It would improve safety, prevent cheating and would certainly demonstrate that the instructor was fulfilling the requirement to supervise the student during solo flight.

  19. #19

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    Ok it's been long enough I think I am safe in admitting I cheated on a X-C. It was MRI-Skwentna-Talkeetna. I landed at Skwentna fair and square [ in fact I remember yelling YAHOO when I got it down- good thing I didn't need anyone to sign anything-who would do it at Skwentna- the automated WX station?]. Now the plan was for me to follow the Vor to Talkeetna and land but this was the first time I had been turned loose on my own in a airplane outside the practice area so I decided to explore a bit. Flew up the Khiltna to peters creek, up peters creek to the forks roadhouse, then down Petersville road to Talkeetna.
    Well I dial up Talkeetna FSS on the radio and it is unbelievable. It seems every beaver/otter in the world is taking off or landing. Uh-Uh not this 20 hour SP, so I skipped it and headed straight South to MRI. Figured I had a little time to kill, so I wandered up to the headwaters of the Kashwitna.

    I know it doesn't sound like much, but it was the first time I had ever done anything like that [ flying in circles over goose bay gets old ].
    That trip was a absolute blast-I will never forget it.

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    You mean you did not walk over to the Skwentna Road House and buy a burger and soda?

    My first solo was Big Lake, to Talkeetna, to Skwentna and then back to Big Lake. In a Super Cub with no VOR head. Before GPS.

    I was so excited that I missed Skwentna (FORGOT THE MAG DEVIATION) and had to wander all over the place trying to figure out where it was hidding. As a result I had a very, VERY, long lunch at Skwenta before heading back home to Big lake. I seriously thought about having a beer instead of a Pepsi
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