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Flight Training Hours Requirements and Pilot In Command Log Time

Flight Training Hours Requirements and Pilot In Command Log Time

FAA New Pilot Hours Requirements

On July 10, 2013 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it is increasing the qualification requirements for first officers who fly for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines.

The rule requires first officers — also known as co-pilots — to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, requiring 1,500 hours total time as a pilot. Previously, first officers were required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires 250 hours of flight time.
The rule also requires first officers to have an aircraft type rating, which involves additional training and testing specific to the airplanes they fly.

“Safety will be my overriding priority as Secretary, so I am especially pleased to mark my first week by announcing a rule that will help us maintain our unparalleled safety record,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We owe it to the traveling public to have only the most qualified and best trained pilots.”

Other highlights of the rule include:

  • A requirement for a pilot to have a minimum of 1,000 flight hours as a co-pilot in air carrier operations prior to serving as a captain for a U.S. airline.
  • Enhanced training requirements for an ATP certificate, including 50 hours of multi-engine flight experience and completion of a new FAA-approved training program.
  • An allowance for pilots with fewer than 1,500 hours of flight time or who have not reached the minimum age of 23 to obtain a “restricted privileges” ATP certificate. A restricted privileges ATP certificate allows a pilot to serve as a co-pilot until he or she obtains the necessary 1,500 hours. The options are:
  • Military pilots with 750 hours total time as a pilot;
  • Graduates holding a Bachelor’s degree with an aviation major with 1,000 hours total time as a pilot;
  • Graduates holding an Associate’s degree with an aviation major with 1,250 hours;
  • Pilots who are at least 21 years old with 1,500 flight hours.

The rule is consistent with the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010. The rule addresses recommendations from an Aviation Rulemaking Committee, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the FAA’s Call to Action to improve airline safety. Source

Logging Your Flight Hours

Florida is the most popular state for flight training due to its weather and its availability for the most flight hours throughout the year. In addition to flight school location, a prospective commercial pilot in the US should choose a flight school that either offers a commercial preparation program or instruction in instrumental flight. All commercial pilots must be able to fly a craft through instrumentation alone, regardless of the category of commerce or the type of aircraft that the pilot intends to fly commercially. The prospective pilot should also ensure that the flight school offers tailored instruction for the class of aircraft that he or she wishes to pilot. He will need to prove proficiency with that specific class of craft during an FAA examination.

All training received must be accurately logged, whether in the air or on the ground. A logbook is an official record book which is used to keep information about a journey. Most pilots keep a logbook in addition to relying on the black boxes installed in aircraft.

A specific number of hours of ground training are required to qualify for the FAA exams. The number of ground training hours varies by the type of craft and the class of commerce that the candidate tests for. The student pilot’s log book must be signed by any instructors and verified wherever necessary.

Pilot In Command (PIC) Time

The PIC is, by Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), responsible for the safe operation of the flight (FAR 1.1, 91.3). At any given time, there can only be one acting PIC on a flight, no matter how many pilots are on board the aircraft. To legally act as PIC, a private, commercial, and airline transport pilot must have a current medical certificate and have all required endorsements, ratings, and recency of experience for the type of aircraft being flown and the flight conditions under which the flight is conducted (FAR 61.3, 61.31, 61.56, 61.57). Sport pilots can act as PIC with a valid and current driver’s license in lieu of the FAA medical (FAR 61.23). Before a flight is initiated, an agreement should be made to determine who is to be acting as PIC.

Unlike driving cars, the PIC may allow anyone, including a non-pilot, a pilot who may not legally act as pilot in command, or another fully qualified pilot fly the airplane, or be “sole manipulator of the controls” during the flight. The PIC is not required to sit in the left pilot seat. Regardless of where the PIC is sitting in the airplane or who is manipulating the controls, the PIC is ultimately responsible and accountable for the safety and operation of the flight.
A pilot may log PIC time when he/she is the sole occupant of the aircraft; is the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which the pilot is rated or has privileges; or is acting as PIC where more than one pilot is required (FAR 1.1, 61.51 [e]). An airline transport pilot may log PIC time when he/she is acting as PIC of an operation requiring an ATP certificate. An authorized instructor may log PIC time while acting as an authorized instructor in flight. A student pilot may log PIC time only when he/she is the sole occupant of the aircraft (exception for airship category) while training for a pilot certificate and has a current solo flight endorsement. The FARs provide several situations (see scenarios listed below) where two or more pilots may log PIC time, even though there can only be one pilot acting as PIC.

Why do the FARs allow more than one pilot to log PIC time when there can only be one PIC on a given flight? To help pilots build PIC time toward the furtherance of other certificates and ratings. This is also helpful in fulfilling insurance requirements for PIC time.

A pilot, whether acting as PIC or not, may log PIC time anytime in which he/she is sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which he/she is rated (FAR 61.51). This is true regardless of weather conditions, whether VFR or IFR, simulated or actual.

SOURCE. The much-coveted PIC time has been a controversial subject and can be very confusing. Read this article from AOPA, the covers scenarios and additional info about PIC time.

Distributed by Viestly

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