Commercial Long Cross Country Interpretation

The Gardener

Terrafirma Phobic
A bet came up at work today and I want to get my $5!

FAR 61.129 reads:

(i) One cross-country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point. However, if this requirement is being met in Hawaii, the longest segment need only have a straight-line distance of at least 150 nautical miles; and

Is there any requirement for the 250 mile leg to be flow non stop? I sure don't think so but to get my $5 I need to prove it to him. Any thoughts?
 

Douglas

Old School KSUX
I don't see why you would go to a fourth point.
I see your point but I would say good luck at the FSDO, depending on the FSDO.
I am pretty sure they would start the conversation with, "In the spirit of the regulation..." and end it with "...you are wrong."

I think to prove it you will need to make that phone call.
 

JustinA

Well-Known Member

one of which is a straight-line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point


From the sounds of this, you do not need to fly a straight line of 250 NM. You just have to land at an airport that is indeed 250 NM from the original departure point. Interesting.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
A bet came up at work today and I want to get my $5!

FAR 61.129 reads:

(i) One cross-country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point. However, if this requirement is being met in Hawaii, the longest segment need only have a straight-line distance of at least 150 nautical miles; and

Is there any requirement for the 250 mile leg to be flow non stop? I sure don't think so but to get my $5 I need to prove it to him. Any thoughts?
No there's no requirement that the leg length needs to be 250 NM. The proof is simply that's what the reg says - 3 points one of which needs to be at least 250 NM from the flight's original point of departure.

If the FAA wanted to specify a 250 NM leg, it would just say so, like in the 61.109(b)(ii) long student cross country:

==============================
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;
==============================
 

The Gardener

Terrafirma Phobic
The case I was arguing is one of the students was going to take a 172 instead of a 152 for this cross country since he didn't feel up to making a 250nm leg in a 152. I can't imagine why not:panic:. There could also be a case of a pilot using an aircraft that realistically isn't suited for 250nm legs. Sure a 152 could do it, but how about a J-2 Cub?

Lastly in the spirit of things I would think that a student would certainly learn a whole lot more if he stopped at a new airport every 50nm. Each new airport is a different experience and an new set of issues to deal with. Flying in a strait line for 250nm really doesn't take to much skill. GPS... direct... Droooool.

The idea that it has to be non-stop is bogus. I did give the examiner I use a call and he agreed with me as well, and I believe that would also be the opinion of our FSDO as well.
 

The Gardener

Terrafirma Phobic
No there's no requirement that the leg length needs to be 250 NM. The proof is simply that's what the reg says - 3 points one of which needs to be at least 250 NM from the flight's original point of departure.

Thanks, now I just need to collect on my $5!
 

TGatch

Well-Known Member
The case I was arguing is one of the students was going to take a 172 instead of a 152 for this cross country since he didn't feel up to making a 250nm leg in a 152. I can't imagine why not:panic:. There could also be a case of a pilot using an aircraft that realistically isn't suited for 250nm legs. Sure a 152 could do it, but how about a J-2 Cub?

Lastly in the spirit of things I would think that a student would certainly learn a whole lot more if he stopped at a new airport every 50nm. Each new airport is a different experience and an new set of issues to deal with. Flying in a strait line for 250nm really doesn't take to much skill. GPS... direct... Droooool.

The idea that it has to be non-stop is bogus. I did give the examiner I use a call and he agreed with me as well, and I believe that would also be the opinion of our FSDO as well.

except you could turn the GPS off and actually fly the plane...Then it might not be so boring..Think about commercial flying. Most of it is LONG legs. That's what you're trying to learn there, how to be a commercial pilot. If you do it your way there's no difference than just doing a bunch of small 50 nm trips put together, and that is boring.
 

b3181981

Well-Known Member
if their is no flight requirement that you have to fly a straight line segment of 250nm then why do they exclude Hawaii from that rule by saying that the segment must be 150nm straight line?
 

sundog

Well-Known Member
if their is no flight requirement that you have to fly a straight line segment of 250nm then why do they exclude Hawaii from that rule by saying that the segment must be 150nm straight line?
because you must land at least once at a point that is 250nm straight line distant from the departure, and there are islands in HI that don't have airports 250nm apart without crossing ocean.

so one segment does not have to be 250nm, just one landing must be 250NM from departure. for example, you could satisfy the requirement by flying a straight line 300nm landing every 100nm (without a return trip or with the return trip under other conditions that do not meet the requirement)
 

sharkey

kind of a big deal
if their is no flight requirement that you have to fly a straight line segment of 250nm then why do they exclude Hawaii from that rule by saying that the segment must be 150nm straight line?

Yup. If you take off from Oahu (80% of the population lives there) the farthest you can go is about 190 NM to Hilo. The next farthest is 1100+NM to Wake Island.
 

Brian Z

Well-Known Member
I agree. What if the student wanted to take the plane for the weekend on vacation 250 miles away. They then landed on two other airports on 100 mile legs. They get three landings and one 300 miles away. That satisfies the reg.
 

floridaCFII

Well-Known Member
Is there any requirement for the 250 mile leg to be flow non stop? I sure don't think so but to get my $5 I need to prove it to him. Any thoughts?
I agree with the others that your interpretation is correct. Consider that certain training aircraft don't have the range to fly 250nm non-stop (particularly if you have strong headwinds). The only requirement is that at least 1 airport you land at must be at least 250nm straight-line away from where you started.
 
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