FAR 61.129 (a)(3)(iii) & (iv) Cross Country Time?

February 27, 2009

Still trying to make heads or tails. About my cross country from KFFZ to KSDL to KTUS then waited till daylight then KTUS to KSDL to KFFZ one CFI say it conform on says it doesnt One DPE says its Good Another says its bad I have to do it over. Even those who say its bad for different reasons. The AOPA says because the end airport is less than 100nm from the aircraft base that its no good. The FISDO In Scottsdale says its bad because the 100nm staight line isn t 2 hours long. Here is the letter from the Author I got and give you his intentions when he wrote the Regulation. The way the rule reads is that a person would measure out a total straight line distance "of more than 100 miles from the original point of departure" Notice, the rule does not prevent landing(s) during this cross country flight, it just requires that ONE OF THE LANDINGS has to be a straight line distance "of more than 100 miles from the original point of departure" No place does the rule require the first landing has to be a total straight line distance "of more than 100 miles from the original point of departure"

The rule was specifically written by me this way, because I did not want to chance a pilot forcing on in a flight with decreasing weather conditions and then think the flight did not count if he landed under the 100 mile distance. Therefore, what this means is a pilot may take off at the original point of departure, land as many times as he desires, but ONE OF THE LANDINGS has to be a straight line distance "of more than 100 miles from the original point of departure" And the cross country flight has to be at least 2 hours in duration. Even a Piper Cub can travel a distance of more than 100 miles in less than 2 hours. However, both conditions have to me met. Meaning, a total straight line distance "of more than 100 miles from the original point of departure" and "at least 2 hours" duration.

John D. Lynch
AFS-810

Now who do I go if my local Fisdo ads its own spin. I beginning to think that there are FBO's who just want to keep selling uneeded flight training and have some FAA people who back them up.
If RUTAN and YEAGER leave Edwards airbase and go around the world and arrives back at the same airport this should count for a cross country of more than 100nm and at least two hours.
I posed this question to The author of the Regulation also
"I recently completed a flight for my commercial with an instructor. We went
2 miles north to one airport and landed then did 100nm staight line south
to our destinaton at night and landed. We then waited till civil twighlight
then departed 100 miles north direct to the same airport landed and flew 2
miles south to aircraft base station. 2 hours each way. Does this fulfill
the requirements of 61.129 (a) (3) (iii) and (iv)"
and his reply
"Per §61.129(a)(3)(iii) and (iv). the rule states:"
Therefore, the cross country that you and your instructor did meets the
requirements of §61.129(a)(3)(iii) and (iv).
John D. Lynch
AFS-810
Heres what AOPA Says

It sounds the same as what we were saying from what I can tell. My understanding had been you can stop numerous times but you must fly a distance of at least 100nm from your original point of departure. Often people will fly 75 miles west and land at an airport. Then turn around and fly back to the east over 100 miles. This would still put you within 100 miles of your original point of departure even though one leg was over 100nm.

At this point, I think finding the 'right' interpretation doesn't matter so much. Clearly different people read this regulation in different ways. What you need now is to find someone who agrees with your interpretation and has the authority to enforce it. Have you found anyone at the FAA that agrees with you? Have you asked the guy who wrote the regulation to explain his interpretation and intention to the local FSDO? Have you tried to do your checkride with the DPE that says it's good instead? You mentioned lawyers in your other question; have they been able to reach an understanding with the FAA? Have you tried contacting someone in Oklahoma City? In any event, no answer you get here will help because no one on Yahoo has the authority to do anything about it.

I will give you my interpretation for what it is worth (nothing).

You were trying to fulfill the requirements for both a day VFR cross country and a night VFR cross country. They both use basically the same language and require that you travel 100 NM from the "original point of departure" and also fly for at least 2 hours.

Whatever your "original point of departure", there is a 100NM radius circle around that airport. In order to meet the requirements, you have to land outside of that circle and your flight from that departure point must be at least 2 hours. If KFFZ was your original point of departure, then you never did land outside of a 100 NM radius around FFZ. If KSDL was your original point of departure, then your flight did not last two hours. However you define "original point of departure", the first flight did not count because you fail to meet one of the two requirements either way (by my interpretation).

Take a look at 62.109(a)(5)(ii):
"One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points, and *one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles* between the takeoff and landing locations"

This is the solo cross country requirement for your private. Notice how the language is different, it says that "one segment" must be 50NM. It does not have that "original point of departure" language. If the commercial regulation had similar language, then your trip would have counted.

Now let's talk about the trip during the day. In that case, your "original point of departure" was KTUS, and you DID in fact land more than 100 NM away from that point (KSDL), and your total flight WAS at least 2 hours by the time you got back to FFZ. Therefore, at least your day VFR should have counted by any interpretation.

As far as Rutan and Yeager are concerned, they were not attempting to meet the aeronautical experience requirements for a certificate or rating. Under 61.1 they distinguish between a general definition of logging cross country time, and a specific definition for meeting aeronautical experience requirements, such as the trips you were taking to meet 61.129.

Like I said, we have to acknowledge that there are different ways of reading it. In your situation, you have to find someone who can support your interpretation and prevent redoing the night cross country.

Good luck!

Comments

2 Responses to “FAR 61.129 (a)(3)(iii) & (iv) Cross Country Time?”

  1. Kimberly B on February 27th, 2009 1:18 am

    Indeed. It needs to be at least 2 hours long and at least 100 NM from the original point of departure. They don't want you in a fast plane and go 100 miles in 25 min. They want you to do the nav yourself, and that's why that 2 hour rule is in there. So, if the straight line distance from the original point of departure is at least 100 miles from the farthest point, and you're in the air for more than 2 hours, no matter how many landings, count it.

    For instance, I fly .5 hours, land and pick up the friends. I then fly 1.5 hours to another airport, which happens to be 110 miles from the original point of departure of there I left. That's before I picked the friends up. I then fly back to the airport of my friends, which is 110 miles. I then fly back home. This would count. Nothing says the straight line has to be two hours. The entire flying time has to be. The distance has to be 100+ miles.
    References :
    61.129

  2. Apollo on February 27th, 2009 1:41 am

    At this point, I think finding the 'right' interpretation doesn't matter so much. Clearly different people read this regulation in different ways. What you need now is to find someone who agrees with your interpretation and has the authority to enforce it. Have you found anyone at the FAA that agrees with you? Have you asked the guy who wrote the regulation to explain his interpretation and intention to the local FSDO? Have you tried to do your checkride with the DPE that says it's good instead? You mentioned lawyers in your other question; have they been able to reach an understanding with the FAA? Have you tried contacting someone in Oklahoma City? In any event, no answer you get here will help because no one on Yahoo has the authority to do anything about it.

    I will give you my interpretation for what it is worth (nothing).

    You were trying to fulfill the requirements for both a day VFR cross country and a night VFR cross country. They both use basically the same language and require that you travel 100 NM from the "original point of departure" and also fly for at least 2 hours.

    Whatever your "original point of departure", there is a 100NM radius circle around that airport. In order to meet the requirements, you have to land outside of that circle and your flight from that departure point must be at least 2 hours. If KFFZ was your original point of departure, then you never did land outside of a 100 NM radius around FFZ. If KSDL was your original point of departure, then your flight did not last two hours. However you define "original point of departure", the first flight did not count because you fail to meet one of the two requirements either way (by my interpretation).

    Take a look at 62.109(a)(5)(ii):
    "One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points, and *one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles* between the takeoff and landing locations"

    This is the solo cross country requirement for your private. Notice how the language is different, it says that "one segment" must be 50NM. It does not have that "original point of departure" language. If the commercial regulation had similar language, then your trip would have counted.

    Now let's talk about the trip during the day. In that case, your "original point of departure" was KTUS, and you DID in fact land more than 100 NM away from that point (KSDL), and your total flight WAS at least 2 hours by the time you got back to FFZ. Therefore, at least your day VFR should have counted by any interpretation.

    As far as Rutan and Yeager are concerned, they were not attempting to meet the aeronautical experience requirements for a certificate or rating. Under 61.1 they distinguish between a general definition of logging cross country time, and a specific definition for meeting aeronautical experience requirements, such as the trips you were taking to meet 61.129.

    Like I said, we have to acknowledge that there are different ways of reading it. In your situation, you have to find someone who can support your interpretation and prevent redoing the night cross country.

    Good luck!
    References :
    Helicopter Pilot/Instructor

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