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Old 08-22-2006, 07:43 PM   #14  
Chief Jeppesen Updater
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Joined APC: Oct 2005
Position: Executive Transport Driver
Posts: 3,047

Originally Posted by Joshrk22 View Post
Hmmm, this doesn't seem right. must have it wrong then. Check this out....

As a general rule I avoid that website, but I'll look at each option:

Get Your MEI And Fly Right Seat
You can fly right seat and log it as instruction given.
This is fine. Presumably you're also a commercial pilot (since that's a requirement of being a flight instructor) so logging of time and getting paid is okay. Time is logged as PIC and dual given.

Become An Instructor

One of the easiest ways and the quickest to build time is to become an instructor. That time is all loggable, and you will learn something at the same
Ditto. Same as above

Fly As A Safety Pilot
Many IFR students need to build time under the hood. Offer to be a safety pilot in turn for a little flight time. If you are an instructor, offer to fly that seat for free.
Yes and no. Logging of safetly pilot time is cool. However you can only log that time during which you actually act as either the pilot flying or the time you are actually the safety pilot (IE other guy is under the hood.) There's grey area over who pays for the flight... particularly if you are not a commercial pilot. If you are an instructor, unless you are offering the services to a friend (as opposed to a student), you should ALWAYS be paid. If acting in the capacity of a flight instructor you are a flight instructor (see first two notes.)

Find A Friend Who Owns An Airplane.
Don't abuse this friendship
Once again, you can only log the time during which you are actually the pilot manipulating the controls. The issue comes into play over who pays for the flight. There's some grey area there, but the costs work out differently than if you are renting an aircraft since one person is the owner. I would probably still offer to pay for some of the fuel costs.

Offer To Help With Annuals
A lot of the cost in an annual is the time it takes to open up the airplane.
Sure that's fine and dandy. You're paying for your share of flying.

Offer to help with opening and closing the airplane in turn for some flight time. This builds friendships.
Huh? Opening and closing the airplane? Presumably acting in a MX capacity? I don't get it. Either way, my thought is that unless I'm an A&P, I'm not going anywhere near a plane that I fly with a screwdriver.

Go Through The Hangers To Find Out Who Is Not Flying
Many times you can go through hangers and find airplanes that don't fly, only to find out that the owner doesn't want to fly alone and has trouble finding others to go along. Offer to ride along. This may lead to some PIC time.
Good idea. You can also get arrested for tresspassing. Once again, remember that "riding along" doesn't count towards loggable hours.

Tow Banners
Banner towing can be a lot of fun, and is a great way to build time.
Yup. Loggable time. But you must be a COMMERCIAL pilot to do this Regardless of whether or not you get paid cash. Like I said before, the FAA considers free flight time (while building hours) to be a form of compensation.

Fly For A Radio Station
Many local radio and TV stations are in need of a pilot for traffic reports.
Ditto. See above note. COMMERCIAL pilot activity.

Throughout your life you will find out that people get jobs because of who they know. Build a good network of people who can help you in your career. Make friends and have a good time.
Networking is always good. But it isn't free flight time.

Flight Cost
Split flight cost with another instructor to build flight time.
Does it have to be another instructor? What if you're only a private pilot? Can they split costs too? (Yes! But only one can log the flight time at any given moment!)

Establish A Breakfast Trip
Once a week at your local airport, gather as many pilots with airplanes as you can and offer to ride along .
Have I mentioned that "riding along" isn't legally loggable flight time?...

Work For Someone Who Owns An Airplane.
Can you say COMMERCIAL PILOT certificate? (Unless they just toss you the keys and say have fun... I've never had that happen though, but if you find somebody that does let you do it, lemme know... I'll come join you.)

Buy Your Own Airplane
This can be cost effective if you are able to do the maintenance yourself.
It can be cost effective if researched and utilized properly. It can also be very costly if done incorrectly. Maintencance isn't the only big expense item with a plane. Fuel and insurance cost money too.

Buy an airplane with another person. If you are an instructor, fly with them, and you can log the time.
Only if actual instruction is being given! (Flying in the right seat just to log time is questionable in the eyes of the feds)

Buy All Your Time
Very costly!!
Perhaps, but unquestionably the most legit way to build hours.

Practice Approaches
There are many IFR students who need safety pilots who will let you fly an approach or two for helping them out.
(See above post about acting/flying as the safety pilot)

Find VFR Pilots
Find VFR pilots that own their own planes and offer to fly trips with them to show them what IFR flying is about.
Hmmm. Are you flying? Or are you instructing? Better be careful! Especially when it comes to insurance!

IFR pilots need to keep current. Offer to fly with them to help keep them current.
If you're flying "with them" does that mean that you're "riding along"? Unless you're a CFII/properly rated safety pilot, it doesn't do much good for logging of time, does it?

Wash Airplanes
Trade washing an airplane for flight time.
Is that considered compensation or payment? If so which way? Very grey and different FSDOs will give you different answers.

Many corporations fly single pilot operations. Ask if you can ride along. Who knows, later down the road they may offer you the job. An instructor I know received three part-time twin jobs time this way.
Depending on the operation whether or not you can log the time is questionable. I certainly wouldn't log it if you didn't have a commercial pilot certificate. Don't forget about insurance/liability considerations too.


Simply put, there is no straight answer as to what is cool and what is not. There is a lot of grey area. As a general rule though, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, and if you and several other people have to ask (or justify) if it's legal, it probably is isn't.
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