Definition of Solo

Hubbs

Well-Known Member
I am trying to get the commercial license requirements out of the way, and I am looking at the 300nm solo cross country. I have had a number of cross countries that meet or exceed the requirements, however, they have all been with (non-flying) passengers. I was always under the distinct impression that solo meant the 'sole occupant' of the aircraft, however, my instructor and a FED at the Dallas FSDO believe otherwise. The say that the definition only applies to student pilots, and once you are privately rated any time flown that does not have and instructor or another pilot on board can be logged as solo. To me that sounds incorrect, what do you think?
 

granlistillo

Well-Known Member
I am trying to get the commercial license requirements out of the way, and I am looking at the 300nm solo cross country. I have had a number of cross countries that meet or exceed the requirements, however, they have all been with (non-flying) passengers. I was always under the distinct impression that solo meant the 'sole occupant' of the aircraft, however, my instructor and a FED at the Dallas FSDO believe otherwise. The say that the definition only applies to student pilots, and once you are privately rated any time flown that does not have and instructor or another pilot on board can be logged as solo. To me that sounds incorrect, what do you think?
Sole Solo Alone Only
PIC is a different matter
 

Berkut

Well-Known Member
Hubbs said:
The say that the definition only applies to student pilots, and once you are privately rated any time flown that does not have and instructor or another pilot on board can be logged as solo. To me that sounds incorrect, what do you think?
I think you are right and they are wrong. Solo means sole occupant of the aircraft.
 

meyers9163

Well-Known Member
I've never heard any FSDO saying SOLE manipulator. It means you are the single SOUL on board. Thus SOLO!
 

Kmaceri

Well-Known Member
Thank god im done with my 141 commercial program should i don't have to follow that bull #### king syllabus and all the #### it requires you to do.
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
61.51(d) Logging of solo flight time. Except for a student pilot performing the duties of pilot in command of an airship requiring more than one pilot flight crewmember, a pilot may log as solo flight time only that flight time when the pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft.
 

gtpilot

Well-Known Member
I would just listen to your buddy at the FSDO, unless you want to give the flight school/fbo more money.
Except if another FSDO catches wind that he didn't meet the requirements of the commercial certificate, they will revoke it (along with the examiner who allowed him to pass). For once the regs are quite clear - solo means alone!
 

joliet

New Member
Except if another FSDO catches wind that he didn't meet the requirements of the commercial certificate, they will revoke it (along with the examiner who allowed him to pass). For once the regs are quite clear - solo means alone!

Who says he didn't meet the requirements? The FAA doesn't go revoking certificates like the Gestapo.
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
Who says he didn't meet the requirements? The FAA doesn't go revoking certificates like the Gestapo.
He doesn't meet the requirement because he hasn't completed the requsite solo aeronautical experience. It's as simple as that. An FAA inspector doesn't have the authority to override the regulation I posted above, which addresses how pilots (not just students) will credit solo time. Also, this inspector's view does not constitute a legal interpretation that will stand up in court. The FAA general counsel can provide you with a legal interpretation, but really I'd just fly the solo time and forget about it.
 

gtpilot

Well-Known Member
Who says he didn't meet the requirements? The FAA doesn't go revoking certificates like the Gestapo.
I'm guessing you haven't had a 'friendly' encounter with the FAA. When I was instructing full time, the DPE I generally used was under investigation because he passed an instrument pilot who went on to do his commercial test with another DPE who decided the commercial applicants log book wasn't valid because details like 'cross-wind taxi' and 'radio work' were not explicitly stated in the guy's pre-solo training entries. The commercial applicant had his pilot certificate revoked, the guy's pre-solo instructor had his suspended and the DPE spent 2+ years in court to keep his.

Sadly, the FAA is the Gestapo. Sounds like Hubbs has the right of the matter, though his instructor does not.
 

Hubbs

Well-Known Member
It doesn't bother me too much whether or not I need to fly the XC as I am still trying to log hours for my CPL, it would just save me a little time which I could concentrate on flying approaches or practicing maneuvers, but it certainly isn't a big deal and I definitely want to do everything by the book.

Thanks again
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Who says he didn't meet the requirements? The FAA doesn't go revoking certificates like the Gestapo.
No they don't. But if they do have a reason to look, and they find that there are requirements missing, the certificate goes bye-bye. The pilot doesn't even have to do anything wrong. It's just that the certificate was improperly issued. 14 years old and have your ATP? Sorry it's not valid.

There have been cases where a DPE have been investigated for skimping and the pilots who passed his checkride investigated for whether they passed a legit checkride.

Probably one of the worst examples of this is a case a few years ago (sorry, I don't have the cite handy) where the FAA revoked a pilot's certificate because the FAA Inspector with whom he took his checkride wasn't authorized to do checkrides:
 

CoffeeIcePapers

Well-Hung Member
No they don't. But if they do have a reason to look, and they find that there are requirements missing, the certificate goes bye-bye. The pilot doesn't even have to do anything wrong. It's just that the certificate was improperly issued. 14 years old and have your ATP? Sorry it's not valid.

There have been cases where a DPE have been investigated for skimping and the pilots who passed his checkride investigated for whether they passed a legit checkride.

Probably one of the worst examples of this is a case a few years ago (sorry, I don't have the cite handy) where the FAA revoked a pilot's certificate because the FAA Inspector with whom he took his checkride wasn't authorized to do checkrides:
I have seen this twice. One time, the DPE and instructor somehow overlooked that the private student only had 2.9 night. It made it through the FSDO, and was caught in OKC. Not a big deal, but the guy had to re-do the checkride.

Secondly, a student pilot went on the long solo X-C, and un-forcasted winds picked up (over 30 knots) and the student crashed the plane. While the FAA was investigating, he had sent them a letter saying he didn't land at the airports on the cross country, and then finally crashed the airplane at the home base, 3 hours later. When the FAA finally finished investigating, he had his license and had logged that flight towards the long X-C requirement.

Well, they suspended all flight privileges for 6 months (including student pilot) and he has to re-do a private checkride after he gets the cross country done.
 

granlistillo

Well-Known Member
Who says he didn't meet the requirements? The FAA doesn't go revoking certificates like the Gestapo.
61.51 says so specifically and then there is the clause about certificates issued in error. BTW, the FAA can be like the Gestapo.
Ok maybe beating a dead horse, but I gotta add another FAA horror story. The guy I worked for before coming to PSA approached the FSDO with a problem. He got written confirmation from the FSDO and did exactly what they told him to do. FSDO made an error, admitted they made an error and then fined him. No joke. He paid it cause the Admin law judge would have just wasted time and money, and who knows the outcome?

I think the OP has a clear view by now.
 

joliet

New Member
Newsflash, you have the certificate, someone signed you off. Where does it say one must prove they have the requirements twice, for another examiner or inspector to "inspect" twice?

What cause does an inspector have, or right to see your logbook other than to verify an endorsement, or currency, and proficiency. The regulations, as far as I know, do not say anywhere once you have completed the training you need to provide record of said training to keep your commercial, instrument, or private certificates.

If a FSDO wants to interpret it in such a way, then you should be good to go if that is where you are doing your training.

This is not a suggestion to do something that is less than legal, or dishonest. Just because you get an answer on the internet, doesn't mean it is 100% accurate. The examples you cited about, were out right lies, and falsely logged experience requirements. The one guy incriminated himself.

At this point though if I was the OP, I would not just go ahead and consider it "sole occupant that was a pilot." I would however suggest to someone that asked me to interpret the regulation that it did mean "sole occupant that was not a pilot." That is how I understand it. Since I am no authority, I wouldn't bet my career on *THIS GUYS* opinion, unless of course an FAA inspect, his FSDO, and your DPE all agreed.

Me personally, I did my initial commercial in a multi, so this does not apply. Giggity, giggity, goo.
 

danielhv

New Member
The regulations, as far as I know, do not say anywhere once you have completed the training you need to provide record of said training to keep your commercial, instrument, or private certificates.
You are correct... however, You also posted a statement to back up what they are saying:


The regulations, as far as I know, do not say anywhere once you have completed the training you need to provide record of said training to keep your commercial, instrument, or private certificates.
THE TRAINING YOU NEED is clearly identified in the FAR's. If you didn't, and you just "slipped through the cracks" it should be revoked when/if discovered, no exceptions. If that weren't the case, I'd go find the oldest DPE I could, and distract him with golf and WWII questions while he looks at my logbook, go take my commerical checkride, and be done! :D
 
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