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X-C time for ATP

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Well-known member
Dec 17, 2001
Does anybody know how I can get the required 500 hours of X-C time to get my ATP? I'm stuck instructing and going back and forth to the practice area ain't cuttin it. I thought I heard that you could fly 50 NM without necessarily landing somewhere as long as the time is for your ATP. I currently have just over 100 X-C Thanks.
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X-C time building

Aren't you taking your primary students on cross-countries?

Taking your instrument students on their long cross-countries works, too. I worked at two 141 schools in which new Private students had to take long dual night cross-countries. Great for the night and the x-c logbook columns.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought if you are a commercial pilot and you land at an airport different from the one you departed (even if it is within 50 nm), it is considered a cross country flight. 61.1(3)(C)

It may not count as x-c time for your students but it should count as x-c time for you because you are obviously a commercial pilot.

references 61.1 (3)
(ii) says "For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements..,for a private pilot certificate, a commercial pilot certificate, or an instrument rating,..."
Since you are already a commercial pilot and not meeting the experience requirements of (ii), the definition of x-c time would fall under (3)(i) A,B,C, &D.
In regeards to logging XC time towards your ATP, you heard right about not needing a landing. Look up the definition of XC time given in 61.1(3)(iv). In a nut shell it says that if you flew to a point at least 50nm away from the point of departure and involves dead reckoning, pilotage, etc... (no mention of needing to actually land) you can count that time towards the 500 hour requirement. Go back and look in your logbook to see if you can count any of your previous time towards the 500, chances are you have quite a bit of this sort of time.

I instructed out of KDPA and routinely took instrument students up to KRFD to shoot approaches. Rockford airport is just under 50 nm from DuPage, but if you got vectored onto the ILS 7, that usually took you just over 50nm away from DuPage. It's not hard to wander at least 50nm from your home base with a student, just make sure that you use that time effectively for the student and not just flying straight and level for your benefit.

Viking -
The generic definition of XC time is given in 61.1 (3)(i) Basically if you hold a pilot certificate of any kind (ie PPL, COM, or ATP) the flight is in an aircraft, you land (or touch and go) somewhere other than where you departed even if it's just 5nm away, and you got there by dead reckoning, pilotage, etc. then it is considered XC time. This definition is handy when you are trying to meet the 500 hour XC requirement for 135 minimums.

The only time distance becomes an issue, is if you are going to apply that time to the requirements of a certificate or rating. XC time required for your PPL, COM, or instrument rating must be to a landing at least 50nm away from your departure. For your ATP it doesn't have to include a landing as long as you flew to a point at least 50 nm away.

Make sense???
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X-C time

Using Viking's cite to the regs, flight instructors can count flights to and from local airports with takeoffs and landings as cross-country time toward the 135 mins. You shouldn't count the time in the pattern practicing touch and goes as cross-country. There are people who do, incorrectly.

I agree with you that common sense says that you should not include that time spent in the pattern towards the XC time, but... by reading the definition of XC time given in 61.1 (3), it says that "time aquired during a flight", followed by four stipulations, may be counted as XC time. Wouldn't the time practicing touch and go's in the pattern be considered part of the flight? If not, at what point does the "flight" end? As soon as you enter the pattern? I'm not trying to start an argument here, just playing devils advocate because I know there are people that include the time spent in the pattern.

I have had this same discussion with other instructors and have heard good arguments either way. I thought it might be interesting to hear others perspectives on this issue.

By the way, does anyone have the link to the FAAs FAQ site for the regs? I can't seem to navigate my way through their site.
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