Posts Tagged ‘cross country flight’

How Commercial Pilot License Flight Training Hours Are Built

How Commercial Pilot License Flight Training Hours Are BuiltWith Commercial Pilot License (CPL) you are able to fly and make a living, meaning transport customers for a fee. If that is your goal, outlined below are some steps you need in preparation for CPL training.
Before you start training for the CPL you need to hold at least a private pilot license (PPL) and an instrument rating (IR) is advised. In order to get your commercial pilot license, you must first have a private pilot license. You will also need your instrument rating. If you do not have this, your commercial license will be issued with a limitation on it. If you wish to fly multi-engine aircraft, you will also need your multi-engine rating.

CPL Minimum Requirements
  • Be 18 years old
  • Speak English
  • Hold a private pilot certificate
  • Pass the practical test on aeronautical knowledge
  • Log 250 hours of flight time for single or multi-engine airplane rating
  • Log 150 hours of flight time for a helicopter or gyroplane rating
  • Pass a practical test

CPL Privileges

  1. Exercise all the privileges of the holder of a PPL(A) / PPL(H);
  2. Act as co-pilot (First Officer) in commercial air transportation
  3. Act as pilot-in-command or co-pilot of any airplane (CPL(A) / helicopter (CPL(H)) engaged in operations other than commercial air transportation.
  4. Act as pilot-in-command in commercial air transportation of any single-pilot airplane / helicopter
Commercial Pilot License in the United States (FAA)

There are two ways of obtaining the commercial pilot license in the United States; through a certified instructor or through a certified flight school (part 141). If you choose to fly with a freelance instructor in a flight club you need at least 250 hours of total flight time. These are broken down in cross country hours, pilot in command time etc. Most commercial pilots in the United States have close to or over 250 hours when they get the CPL.

Flying with a part 141 flight school the hour requirements are a little less. However you have to do your flight training from scratch (private pilot license) in a part 141 program. This way you can obtain the CPL at a minimum of 190 hours total time. It is also a requirement that you have completed the instrument rating (IR), or currently enrolled in an instrument rating (IR) course.

Commercial Pilot License in Europe (JAA)

The training for the commercial pilot license in Europe is slightly different then in the United States. Many flight schools do your instrument rating (IR) and multi engine class (ME) combined with the commercial training. This way you only do one “check ride” (flight exam) and obtain the multi engine class and instrument rating (IR) on the commercial pilot license right away.

Depending on the flight school’s program you do a total of 130 hours flight time before you get the CPL. As most students aiming for a commercial license in Europe are career oriented they usually follow a scratch to CPL program and can therefore get away with less flight hours.

CPL Flight Training Broken Down
  • 100 hours as pilot-in-command
  • 20 hours of VFR cross-country flight time as pilot-in-command, including a cross-country flight totaling at least 540 km (300 NM) in the course of with full-stop landings at two aerodromes different from the aerodromes of departure
  • 10 hours of instrument training
  • 5 hours of night flying including one cross-country flight and 5 solo take-offs and 5 landings
  • 5 hours on a complex airplane

Does having my commercial pilot license mean I am able to fly jets?
Not exactly. A commercial pilot license allows you to fly for hire. There is no way to get a job flying jets or any of the airliners without having obtained a commercial pilot license. Just having the commercial license does not mean you can instantly get in the cockpit of a 737. Additional training and experience is required above just having a commercial license. However, there is no possibility of being hired for a flying job without a commercial pilot license on your resume. It is a legal requirement set forth by the FAA.

Do I have to have my instrument rating to be able to get my commercial pilot license?
No. You can take the test for becoming a commercial pilot without having already obtained your instrument rating. However, the commercial pilot license will have some restrictions on it. Since there is a requirement to log 250 hours of total time before you can test for your commercial license, most people work on their instrument rating while they are accumulating those hours in their logbook. This method makes the most sense financially for most people. However, it is not required to have your instrument rating before testing for your commercial pilot license.

What is the best way to build the 50 hours of required cross-country time that I need for a commercial pilot license?
There are many different ways to go about building your cross country time. If you are on a set budget, I recommend coming up with a plan before you get too far into your cross country time. This plan really should be formed before you start working on your instrument time since you need 50 hours of cross country time for your instrument rating.

Will we do very much instrument work while I work on my commercial license?
For a single-engine commercial pilot license, there is no instrument requirement to meet. If you are planning on adding on a multi-engine commercial license, you can plan on doing some instrument work during the multi-engine training.

Can I fly multi-engine airplanes after I get my commercial pilot license?
Having the privilege to fly a multi-engine airplane means that you need to have flight training specific to multi-engine airplanes. If you already have a single-engine commercial pilot license, it is just some additional training to add on a multi-engine license. It may be possible to take your single and multi-engine commercial pilot test in the same day!

Commercial Pilot License Cost

Flight training for CPL is a very serious commitment that requires both time and money. To estimate exactly how much money is needed depends on each student.

Most flight schools will quote you a cost associated with a certain flight package. And that’s great, if you stick to the package. However, many people find themselves slacking off, or not flying as much as they are suppose to each week. In addition, you may need to repeat certain classes in order to feel completely comfortable. In order to get your private pilot license, the FAA only requires 40 hours of flight time, but many people take 60 hours, or even as much as 80 hours. You can see how this easily can double the cost associated with getting just your private pilot license. In fact. the longer you take to get your license, the prices associated with the lessons and flight time needed increase too.

In general, you may say it takes between $6,000 to $12,000 to get your private pilot license. A commercial license requires 250 hours of flight time. So if it took you 50 hours of flight time to get your private pilot licenst, then you will need an additional 200 hours of flight time. Just for the required flight hours, you’d be looking at a minimum of $24,000 and upwards to $50,000, depending on how quickly you learn. You will also need to take your ground schooling classes.

So all in all, you might expect to pay around $30,000 to $50,000 total for your flight training, if you are very motivated and on track with your ground classes and flight time.

One of the ways you can moderate the cost of getting your commercial pilot license is to take an accelerated flight training program. This is essentially going to flight school full time to get in the required number of hours of class and flight time needed to attain your license. Source

Pro Pilot Program At Aviator Flight School

The programs at Aviator Flight School are designed to provide what the airline industry demands of future commercial pilots. The training you will receive at Aviator is one of the most intensive and challenging programs offered in aviation flight training today.

During your flight training you will fly a total of 259 hours, of which up to 200 hours will be in a multi-engine aircraft. The ground school portion is in a structured classroom environment. As the shortage of pilots continues to grow, Aviator College is consistently meeting with major air carriers to determine the flight training and education that they require.

You will receive a minimum of 643 instructional hours for the Professional Pilot Program.The instructional hours includes all ground and flight training. 6 months of housing is included in the price of the program. If you come with a Private Pilot License 5 months will be included in the price of the Program.

Contact Aviator
Schedule a Visit


Pilots Must Understand And Evaluate Bad Weather Conditions And Night Flying

Pilots Must Understand And Evaluate Bad Weather Conditions And Night FlyingMany pilots have had the experience of hearing about a weather-related accident and thinking themselves immune from a similar experience. Interviews with pilots who narrowly escaped aviation weather accidents indicate that many of the unfortunate pilots thought the same thing — that is, until they found themselves in weather conditions they did not expect and could not safely handle.

Given the broad availability of weather information, why do general aviation (GA) pilots continue to find themselves surprised and trapped by adverse weather conditions? Ironically, the very abundance of weather information might be part of the answer: with many weather providers and weather products, it can be very difficult for pilots to screen out non-essential data, focus on key facts, and then correctly evaluate the risk resulting from a given set of circumstances.
With improper equipment, ineptitude on the part of the pilot or bad weather, night flying can certainly be dangerous. However, with precautionary planning and with an understanding of night vision shortcomings, night flying can be one of the most pleasant experiences connected with aviation.

About one-tenth of all general aviation accidents occur at night, while fewer than 10 percent of the flying is done after dark. Presuming that night flying is more dangerous than day flying on the basis of statistics is a fallacy. The airplane does not discriminate between light and dark.

Conditions of night flight are different from daytime flying and it is the pilot’s knowledge, or lack of it, combined with a lack of visual clues that present an extra challenge.

A pilot may be subjected to times when the destination airplane lies beyond the rays of the setting sun. Perhaps an engagement becomes a compelling reason to venture out into the black of night.
Flying at night in the mountains is a matter of determining the weather condition to arrive at a personal go/no-go decision. For those who decide to fly at night, an understanding of night vision differences and adjusting the flight operation accordingly, will increase the margin of safety.

Perceive –Process –Perform Risk Management Framework

Perceive: weather hazards that could adversely affect your flight.
Process: this information to determine whether the hazards create risk, which is the potential impact of a hazard that is not controlled or eliminated.
Perform: by acting to eliminate the hazard or mitigate the risk

For many GA (general aviation) pilots, the FAA Flight Service Station (FSS) remains the single most widely used source of comprehensive weather information.

The specific weather information pack aged into a standard briefing includes a weather synopsis, sky conditions (clouds), and visibility and weather conditions at the departure, en route, and destination points. Also included are adverse conditions, altimeter settings, cloud tops, dew point, icing conditions, surface winds, winds aloft, temperature, thunderstorm activity, precipitation, precipitation intensity, visibility obscuration, pilot reports (PIREPs), AIRMETs, SIGMETs, Convective SIGMETS, and Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), including any temporary flight restrictions (TFRs).

A few guidelines for getting weather data from FSS:
  • DO: be sure to get the right FSS. When you dial the standard number, 1-800-WX-BRIEF from a cell phone, this number will connect you to the FSS associated with your cell phone’s area code – not necessarily to the FSS nearest to your present position. If you are using a cell phone outside your normal calling area, check the Airport/Facility Directory to find the specific telephone number for the FSS you need to reach.
  • DO: know what you need, so you can request the right briefing “package” (outlook, standard, or abbreviated).
  • DO: use the standard flight plan form to provide the background the briefer needs to obtain the right information for you. Review the form before you call, and develop an estimate for items such as altitude, route, and estimated time en route so you can be sure of getting what you need to know.
  • DO: be honest – with yourself and with the briefer – about any limitations in pilot skill or aircraft capability.
  • DO: let the FSS specialist know if you are new to the area or unfamiliar with the typical weather patterns, including seasonal characteristics. If you are unfamiliar with the area, have a VFR or IFR navigation chart available while you listen to help sharpen your mental picture of where the weather hazards may be in relation to your departure airport, proposed route of flight and destination.
  • Do: Ask questions, be assertive. Smart pilot ask questions to resolve ambiguities about weather.
The three basic elements of weather are:
  1. Temperature: (warm or cold);
  2. Wind: (a vector with speed and direction); and
  3. Moisture: (or humidity).

Temperature differences (e.g., uneven heating) support the development of low pressure systems, which can affect wide areas. Surface low pressure systems usually have fronts associated with them, with a “front” being the zone between two air masses that contain different combinations of the three basic elements (temperature, wind, and moisture).

What can weather do to you? Temperature, wind, and moisture combine to varying degrees to create conditions that affect pilots. The range of possible combinations is nearly infinite, but weather really affects pilots in just three ways. Specifically, the three basic weather elements can:

  • Reduce visibility
  • Create turbulence
  • Reduce aircraft performance
How do you evaluate weather data?

One approach to practical weather analysis is to review weather data in terms of how current and forecast conditions will affect visibility, turbulence, and aircraft performance for your specific flight.

Perform – Making a Weather Plan

The third step in practical preflight weather planning is to perform an honest evaluation of whether your skill and/or aircraft capability are up to the challenge posed by this particular set of weather conditions. It is very important to consider whether the combined “pilot-aircraft team” is sufficient. For example, you may be a very experienced, proficient, and current pilot, but your weather flying ability is still limited if you are flying a 1980s-model aircraft with no weather avoidance gear. On the other hand, you may have a new technically advanced aircraft with moving map GPS, weather datalink, and autopilot – but if you do not have much weather flying experience, you must not count on the airplane’s capability to fully compensate for your own lack of experience. You must also ensure that you are fully proficient in the use of onboard equipment, and that it is functioning properly.

One way to “self-check” your decision (regardless of your experience) is to ask yourself if the flight has any chance of appearing in the next day’s newspaper. If the result of the evaluation process leaves you in any doubt, then you need to develop safe alternatives. Think of the preflight weather plan as a strategic, “big picture” exercise. The goal is to ensure that you have identified all the weather-related hazards for this particular flight, and planned for ways to eliminate or mitigate each one. To this end, there are several items you should include in the weather flying plan:

Escape Options: Know where you can find good weather within your aircraft’s range and endurance capability. Where is it? Which direction do you turn to get there? How long will it take to get there? When the weather is IMC (ceiling 1,000 or less and visibility 3 nm or less), identify an acceptable alternative airport for each 25-30 nm segment of your route.
Reserve Fuel: Knowing where to find VFR weather does you no good unless you have enough fuel to reach it. Flight planning for only a legal fuel reserve could significantly limit your options if the weather deteriorates. More fuel means access to more alternatives. Having plenty of fuel also spares you the worry (and distraction) of fearing fuel exhaustion when weather has already increased your cockpit workload.
Terrain Avoidance: Know how low you can go without encountering terrain and/or obstacles. Consider a terrain avoidance plan for any flight that involves:

  • Weather at or below MVFR (ceiling 1,000 to 3,000; visibility 3 to 5 miles)
  • A temperature/dew point spread of 4° C. or less;
  • Any expected precipitation; or
  • Operating at night.

Know the minimum safe altitude for each segment of your flight. All VFR sectional charts include a maximum elevation figure (MEF) in each quadrangle. The MEF is determined by locating the highest obstacle (natural or man-made) in each quadrangle, and rounding up by 100 to 300 feet. Source


Even a competent attitude-instrument pilot will need to use his outside vision during a night flight, if only in the transition during takeoff and landing.
What you see, or don’t see, in the dark is dependent on the state of dark adaptation of your eyes.

If you enter a dark area, your vision improves slowly. After six to seven minutes the eyes are 100 times more sensitive than when you entered the dark. Full adaptation takes 30 minutes, at which time the rods of the eye are 100,000 time more sensitive. This is due to the buildup of a photosensitive chemical called visual purple, the key to night vision. Visual purple is dependent on vitamin A (carrots, eggs, milk, cheese and most vegetables). Vitamin A cannot be stored by the body; it is necessary to eat well-balanced meals before night flying.

Although it takes 30 minutes for dark adaptation to occur, it can be lost in a second or two of exposure to bright light. Minimize the use of white light in the cockpit and keep it as dim as possible.

Dark adaptation is an independent process in each eye. If you are exposed t light, close one eye to preserve half your dark adaptation.


The cones of the eye, used for day vision, provide peripheral vision. Night vision uses rods. This creates a blind spot in the center of the eye at night. If you detect something with peripheral vision, the natural tendency is to turn and look directly at it. Night vision is impossible at the center of the eye, so a technique called “off-center scanning” must be developed. Look six to 12 degrees away from the object you wish to see.


A visual illusion may occur at night if you stare at one light for a long period of time. Involuntary muscle twitches cause the light to be displayed on a different portion of the eye, creating false motion, where the light appears to move. Avoid autokinesis by the off-center scanning technique.


Before departing from a mountain airport at night, firmly fix in your mind the nature of the terrain and obstructions adjacent to the airport. Pilots have no intention of making an emergency landing shortly after takeoff, especially at night, but it does not hurt to survey the terrain during daylight conditions to form a plan of action.

With the interior lights adjusted to the minimum brightness that affords instrument readability, initiate a normal takeoff.
Acceleration error in the attitude indicator will cause an indication of a higher nose attitude than during a regular climb. As a consequence, some pilots have lowered the nose to the normal attitude and have flown into the ground.
The moment the airplane leaves the ground on a dark night, it is enveloped in black. Outside visual reference becomes impossible. Maintain a positive rate of climb based on the airspeed indication, regardless of the attitude indicator display.


If you become disoriented during the climb out, terrain clearance becomes a big concern. Fly toward the rotating beacon. At airstrips without lighting, fly toward any light on the ground.


Proper preflight planning includes studying charts and developing a plan of action. Still, at some time during a night flight, you are going to experience a moment of fear arising from your concern about terrain clearance.
If there are any light around, use them. Fly directly toward the light. As you approach this light, select another light. If the light flickers or disappears, there is something between you and the light. Immediately choose another light to fly toward.
If there is only one usable light in the area, a shuttle climb in a holding pattern may be the most prudent course of action.

To perform a shuttle climb, make a 90-degree turn (direction depends on obstructions) and immediately turn the opposite direction for 270 degrees. This is the same as a 180-degree turn, but keeps the airplane confined to a small geographical area.
Before passing beyond the ground light, perform a 180-degree turn back to the ground light. Continue this maneuvering while climbing to a safe en route altitude before proceeding on course.


It is difficult to see and avoid weather at night. The first indication of a cloud may be a glow emanating from the navigation lights, or a brilliant flash of the strobes being diffused throughout a cloud.

VFR pilots should do an immediate 180-degree turn.
Restricted visibility conditions become apparent with the gradual disappearance of lights on the ground or when they become fuzzy and flow.
Remember, the horizontal visibility through a restriction such as fog, haze or smoke is must less than when looking down through it from above.
Pilots get into trouble trying to land at an airport with fog because they fly over and can see the runway, but when on final approach they can’t see anything.


Distances at night are deceptive, due to lack of illumination and inability of the pilot to judge them by the usual method of comparing the size of different objects. At night, fly towards an airport light and make a standard pattern, rather than attempting a straight-in approach. The perception of distance can be dealt with by flying the downwind leg until the touchdown point is half-way between the wing tip and tail. They turn onto the base leg.
The only way to approach a runway in the mountains at night, with complete safety, is to incorporate the “spot method for landing” technique. The flare and landing is accomplished in the same manner as during the day. There may be a tendency to look too far down the runway, causing the flare to be too high.

  • Always carry a workable flashlight (You can recognize the pilot who has flown at night without a flashlight. He’s the one that has two or more flashlights in his bag).
  • Close one eye when exposed to bright light.
  • Force the eyes to view off-center.
  • Blink the eyes if they become blurred.
  • Do not attempt violent or abrupt maneuvers at night.
  • Watch for the disappearance of ground lights or an area of glow around the navigation lights. This indicates enteringinstrument conditions.
  • Remember the deceptiveness of altitude and speed at night.
  • A normal approach looks steeper at night, creating an illusion of overshooting.
  • Distance judgment at night is less accurate than by day. A simple visual assessment can lead to a premature descent. source Night Flying
Pilot Training Program With Aviator Flight Training Academy 259 Flight Hours

Contact Aviator
Schedule a Visit

Passing Your 1st Checkride in Flight School

Passing Your 1st Checkride in Flight SchoolIf you did your research right and chose a solid flight school with FAA approved flight training curriculum and expert flight instructors you are on the right track to getting your pilot license.

The Purpose of Mock Checkrides

You’ve been studying and training hard to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to reach your goal of becoming a private pilot, and your flight instructor just announced it’s time to schedule a mock checkride. Congratulations! This means you are approaching the finish line of your initial training. And by scheduling you for a mock checkride, your CFI is accomplishing two important things: validating his or her opinion that you are fully prepared for the checkride, while providing you with a realistic dress rehearsal in preparation for the official checkride /home/flight-training-programs/individual-flight-training-courses.aspx with a designated pilot examiner (DPE).

Some CFIs conduct mock checkrides with their students in order to get a first-hand glimpse of a student’s performance under a quasi-checkride atmosphere. This can be effective for both student and CFI if the CFI truly maintains a DPE-like role throughout the experience. However, it is often difficult to produce and maintain a realistic checkride environment once a student/CFI relationship becomes as comfortable and familiar as they typically do. But more important, an overly relaxed environment eliminates the benefit of having to perform for a different person—possibly for the first time—all of the checkride’s required tasks.

For a mock checkride to be really effective it must include an entire checkride experience as much as possible—not just a mock flight test. It is unfortunate that some CFIs will conduct a mock checkride that concentrates mainly on the flight maneuvers, spending little time on the oral portion of the exam. And on checkride day, before the practical test can even begin, the DPE’s first obligation is to confirm that the applicant is qualified for the checkride; all too often, that answer is no! So the person conducting the mock checkride should begin by reviewing the pilot’s logbook—including ground and flight training records, student pilot certificate, and any required endorsements—to confirm that all prerequisites for the checkride have been accomplished and properly recorded.

Next, the student should be prepared to confidently present and discuss all required aircraft documents, maintenance logs, and records, demonstrating the proposed aircraft is ready for a safe and legal flight. Students who arrive on checkride day confused about this detail demonstrate an unfortunate lack of attention to this important task.
Since DPEs present scenario-based questioning throughout a practical test, the most effective and helpful mock oral exams will provide the student with a wide variety of scenarios in each area of operation. Doing this more accurately tests the depth of the student’s knowledge, and demonstrates the more realistic testing environment the DPE will create. While a student might be able to quickly and accurately respond to rote questions about airspace rules, for example, a solid understanding of how various airspace and VFR minimums apply to each other (correlation) is quickly assessed by asking a few scenario-style questions. DPEs are well practiced at determining the level of correlative learning through scenario-based questions, so effective mock checkrides should, too.

As for the flight portion, be sure to cover all of the required tasks that will be expected during the real checkride—not just the areas you believe will be the toughest. All too often, an applicant who received an abbreviated mock checkride does fine on everything except the one or two areas that had been overlooked.  Source

Having a mock checkride allows you to discover whether you performed the minimum prescribed PTS tolerances. If you did not, the price of the mock checkride will be worth every penny because it will allow you to work on your performance, correct mistakes and improve your chances of passing the check ride.

Checkride Preparation With Practical Test Standards (PTS)

By the end of your pilot training you’re faced with a check ride. Now its performance time to evaluate what you have learned pertaining to the rating you’re attempting to achieve. You are expected to perform precision maneuvers under the watchful eye of an experienced pilot examiner. The only way you will pass is by studying the material and practicing the maneuvers.

While there is a little room for error, some components are absolutely essential to get right both in the oral portion of the exam and during the flight test. And you can maximize your chances of acing your check ride by carefully studying the Practical Test Standards (PTS), published for each FAA rating.

The PTS is the FAA examiner’s bible. He or she must comply with the rules within the book and cannot test anything that is not included in the publication. There are several sections of particular importance. The first is called “Special Emphasis Area” and it highlights several safety related components that you need to be aware of. For example, one component is collision avoidance. If the examiner notices that you are not scanning for traffic during your checkride, he or she could technically give you the dreaded pink slip.

Other sections to pay extra attention to are the ones titled “Satisfactory Performance” and “Unsatisfactory Performance.” They tell you very clearly what you should and shouldn’t do if you want to pass your test. The PTS also states that you are expected to use a checklist and that it is the examiner’s job to attempt to distract you during the exam to test your ability to divide your attention while maintaining control of the airplane.

If you are applying for an additional rating, there is a table in the PTS that shows which sections of the PTS will be tested. There is also a handy checklist of equipment and documents that you need to bring to the exam. And it doesn’t hurt to go over the examiner’s checklist, too.

By reading the PTS cover to cover, you can make sure that there won’t be any surprises during the checkride. You can download the Practical Test Standards for all ratings on the FAA website, but if you prefer to get the information in print there are several publishers, including ASA and Jeppesen. Source

Top Reasons For Not Passing Your Checkrides
  1. Weather. The most common weakness during the oral exam is an inability to effectively interpret aviation weather charts, reports, and forecasts.
  2. Airspace. Many unsuccessful applicants arrive on checkride day with only a vague, rote level of knowledge regarding the various airspace details.
  3. Emergency landing. The many variables that make each engine-failure scenario unique also make the task of demonstrated emergency approach and landing especially challenging to master. Successful applicants consider several variables—nature of the emergency; altitude available; potential landing sites; and wind and surface conditions—while taking positive and timely corrective actions necessary to maximize the safety of the flight, never placing the flight in any undue, additional risk.
  4. Landings. Much has been said and written about the various landing maneuvers required for the private pilot checkride: normal, crosswind, soft-field, short-field, forward slip, and go-around. But the most important advice is proper practice, and lots of it! Proper means practice it correctly—not sloppily—so you won’t be learning bad habits from the start.
  5. Stalls. Next in line are the dreaded power-on and power-off stalls and spin awareness. While spin demonstrations are not called for on the checkride, most applicants are not only aware of spins, they are terrified of them. Knowing spins are the result of poorly coordinated stalls and stall-recovery attempts, students are often loath to practice stalls.
  6. Navigation. The last problem area on our hit list is, ironically, the first task typically demonstrated after departing the traffic pattern: cross-country navigation using pilotage skills. The biggest problem with this task often comes as a result of selecting inappropriate visual checkpoints along the planned route of flight. Source
Florida Flight School and Flight Training Programs

For more than 31 years Aviator has been the leader in multi-engine flight training. We have provided over 5000 professional pilots to the airline industry, both nationally and worldwide, through our Professional Pilot Flight Training Programs. Our FAA-certified Part 141 approved flight programs provide students with the skills and experience demanded by today’s commercial aviation industry. Aviator is accredited by the ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges).

Our Professional Pilot Program is set in a flight training, structured environment to ensure the student receives the knowledge that is required to be a professional pilot. This program is from 0 hours to over 250 hours, of which 200 hours will be multi-engine time. The program includes Private Pilot Single Engine through the Multi-Engine Flight Instructor Certificate. Cross Country flying is coast-to-coast, if desired.

Schedule a Visit
Aviator CFI, call 772-672-8222.
Contact Aviator

Pilot Student Building and Logging Time in Cross Country Flight Training

Pilot Student Building and Logging Time in Cross Country Flight TrainingPer title 14 of the code of federal regulations (14 CFR)- (FARS) part 61, section 1.b.3[4]

Cross-country time means:
  1. Time acquired during a flight—
  2. Conducted by a person who holds a pilot certificate;
  3. Conducted in an aircraft;

1. That includes a landing at a point other than the point of departure; and
That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.
2. For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements (except for a rotorcraft category rating), for a private pilot certificate (except for a powered parachute category rating), a commercial pilot certificate, or an instrument rating, or for the purpose of exercising recreational pilot privileges (except in a rotorcraft) under Sec. 61.101(c), time acquired during a flight–
Conducted in an appropriate aircraft;
That includes a point of landing that was at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.

Cross-Country Flight Phase

When beginning the cross-country flight phase, student pilots often find it one of the most exciting parts of their training. Until reaching the cross-country phase, virtually all flights take place at or near the home airport. For the first time, students are able to fly well beyond the home airport to new and different airports, initially with the flight instructor and then solo. Planning the first cross-country flight, though, can seem overwhelming!

In cross-country flying, a number of basic skills assume added importance. For example,

  • When you stay near your home airport, you can land and refuel whenever you want, but during a cross-country flight you need to plan ahead.
  • When you stay near your home airport, you can land immediately if threatening weather moves in, but during a cross-country flight you need to do a lot more planning and a lot more en-route double-checking.
  • When you stay near your home airport, you presumably know the length of all the runways and the layout of the traffic pattern, but it can be highly embarrassing to show up at another airport and turn left base when everybody else is using a right-hand pattern. It is also embarrassing to land a little long and a little fast and then discover that the runway is very short.
  • And last but not least, you need good navigation. Navigation involves keeping track of where you are and finding your way to the destination. The three primary methods of navigation are pilotage (section 14.1), dead reckoning (section 14.2), and navigation by instruments (section 14.3).
14.1 Pilotage

The term pilotage refers to finding your way by reference to landmarks. This is a basic yet important pilot skill.

From the air, things look different than they do from the ground. It will take you a while to learn aeronautical pilotage skills. Airports Make Good Landmarks. When you are planning a cross-country trip, it is advantageous to plan a route that passes over airports along the way. They make great checkpoints.

There’s a lot to know before conducting a safe cross-country flight, and your flight instructor will review everything in detail prior to each take off.

Logging Flight Time For Student Pilots

While you’re a student pilot you will only log EITHER dual received OR PIC time. You can’t log both on the same flight. You’ll log PIC time when you are the SOLE occupant of the aircraft, and since you can’t carry passengers if you’re not the sole occupant at least one of the other occupants will be your instructor. When you log dual received time then your instructor will, at a minimum, need to sign your logbook. Most instructors will add information on the lesson(s) taught during the flight.

Your instructor should conduct pre and post flight briefings and technically that’s ground instruction and could be logged as such but most people don’t bother. However, if your instructor provides ground instruction that’s not part of a pre or post flight my advice is to log it and have the instructor sign it.

When May I Log Cross-Country Time?

This is one of those FAA definitions that change depending on what you’re using the time for. Cross-countries fall into four groups. The first three groups are all contained in 61.1(b)(3).

Group 1: General Definition: A cross country flight is one in which you land at another airport that you didn’t accidentally bump into. There are no distance requirements.

Group 2: In order to “Count” for Most Certificates or Ratings: Same as the general definition, except at least one of the places where you land has to be more than 50 NM from where you started the flight. This applies to the private and commercial certificates, and the instrument rating.

Group 3: In order to “Count” for ATP: Same as for Most Certificates or Ratings, except you don’t have to land anywhere.

Group 4: Apart from there are the “special cross countries” that are part of the experience requirement for certain certificates and ratings. One example is the private pilot certificate requirement for 150 total distance solo cross country with at least one 50 NM leg (61.109(a)(5)).

Summary. All four groups are cross country. And they all can be logged from the time that you are a student pilot. The problem is keeping track of them so you can total the ones that “count” in any given situation. Most new pilots tend to log only Group 2 since those are the ones that they will have to total up in the near future. Some set up two columns right away (Group 1 counts for 135 experience purposes). The lack of a landing in Group 3 is a well-deserved tip of the hat to military pilots who will often fly some distance without landing.

Aviator Flight Training Academy

Aviator Flight Training Academy offers professional pilot training programs with a minimum of 200 hours of multi-engine time. The flight school has a state of the art 37,000 square foot facility, featuring a CRJ Level 5 Flight Training Device (Simulator), large classrooms and individual briefing rooms.