If your simply logging cross country time, it can be to any airport. However, if you're logging time to meet the requirements of a rating, it must be more than 50 miles from the departure airport. Still, does anyone know if over 25 miles is cross country time for a student pilot???
You said you're going for your Comm, so you need 50 hrs XC, right? I'm assuming you're doing this before the Instr, otherwise you would already have it out of the way.
61.129 has the Aerionautical reqs for Comm pilots, but no definition for XC, just "50 hours of cross-country, of which 10 must be in airplanes." The only cross-country reqs listed for Comm in the FARs are your day and night VFR of 2 hours and at least 100 nm straight line distance. So, for the rest I would use the PPL definition of XC (50 nm straight line distance according to 61.109) just to be safe.
The 25 nm thingy is coming from this I think: 61.93 lists the requirements for being signed off for your solo XC. According to 61.93(a)(i) this also includes conducting any flights greater than 25 nautical miles from the airport where the flight originated. So, I guess technically you could call 25 nm a cross country, but I would use 50 to be safe.
Now 135, says it can be anywhere away from the airport of origin, but that's a whole 'nother can o' worms.
No; the only reason it may be confused with the 50nm requirement is because you need the extra endorsement to go to another airport more than 25nm away. But you can't count it towards the private cert unless it's >50
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There has been some debate as to whether cross country time for student pilots is 25 miles beyond the aiport of origin (61.93) or 50 miles. Which is it? Does anyone know for sure?
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Very good question, and you're the first person I've ever heard mention that!!! It's a multi-pronged answer.
The first step to answering that question is to determine the purpose for which you wish toy use the XC time. If it's for meeting the aeronautical experience requirements for a private cert, commercial cert or an Instrument rating, we use Part 61.1 (3) (ii) [assuming we're talking airplanes here]. This basically states that the cross country flight must include a landing at an airport at least 50 NM from the departure point.
I think that this regulation is pretty cut and dry, and reading too far into it is rather pointless.
If we're not using this XC time to meet the aeronautical experience requirements of any of the above listed three ratings, then we simply use Part 61.1 (3) (i). We stop there, and we see that the regulations simply state that the flight must include a landing at a point other than the departure. It can be 2 miles away, and it's considered a XC flight.
When might we use this? Any time other than any of the above listed situations. These can include meeting the aeronautical requirements for an ATP cert, meeting Part 135 Minimums, etc. Nothing shady about it, and the person that wants to get a job will log every single bit of XC time that they legally logged.
As for the "25 NM" reference, this is from Part 61.93 (a) (1). This is the section the regulates the actions that must be taken before a student flies on a solo XC flight of any type, OR makes any solo flight of more than 25 miles from the point of origin. This does not qualify a XC flight as one of more than 25 miles, it's just saying that if a student pilot wants to fly that far away, (s)he has to meet the same requirements as a student that wants to fly on a solo cross country flight.
Note that according to Part 61.93 (b), a flight instructor can authorize a student to fly solo to an airport that is within 25 miles from the departure airport. This may be useful if a student wants to practive at an uncontrolled airport (or controlled - whatever the case may be), wants to leave congested airspace, or any number of other situations. Can this be logged as cross country time? Absolutely!! Will it count towards the cross country requirements of the PPL, IR or Comm Cert? Nope - doesn't mean it's not useful though.
Interestingly enough, the definition of cross-country that applies to ATP aeronautical experience requirements does not require a landing, just a flight that is at least a straight line distance of more than 50 nm from the point of departure.
So in essence, for airplanes, there are 3 different types of cross-country definition.