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Old 12-25-2008, 10:07 AM   #1  
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Default Logging vs. Acting as PIC

This is one subject that really steams me and thinking about it made me think about why we even discuss the subject.

I know that for the most part, the FAR's are very clear on how and when to LOG PIC. Since this is the case, why do we even care about who is "acting as PIC". The reason why I ask this is because as long as two equally rated pilots decide prior to the flight who is PIC, why would we fight over the boards about who is PIC? The FAR's say who LOGS PIC.

I know that before any flight with an equally rated pilot, I quickly discuss who is gonna be PIC and how each of us are going to log it (ie, two CFI's going to fly around, who IS going to make the final decision, and who is gonna log dual given/recieved).

Beyond that is the "is" up in the air? If pilots are equally rated for the plane, does anyone care who the PIC is unless there is an accident? Is there any guidance about whos certificates are going to be turned in? This is the only example of the only time the "is" is important.
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Old 12-25-2008, 12:29 PM   #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 250 or point 65 View Post
Beyond that is the "is" up in the air? If pilots are equally rated for the plane, does anyone care who the PIC is unless there is an accident?
Sometimes making it clear who is ultimately in charge of the flight =is= the difference between a smooth flight and an accident.

A flight with both control seats occupied by pilots, no matter what their relative experience, levels is in fact a 2-pilot crew and you won't have to look too hard in the NTSB and probably the ASRS database to find examples of what can happen when roles are not understood.

Forget FAA logging rules completely - they are an artificial construct created and interpreted by the FAA to accomplish only one thing - count hours and other items toward the acquisition of FAA certificates, ratings and qualifications.

And forget enforcement for a moment also. When the airplane hits a ridge because the pilot flying the approach to that golf destination read the chart wrong and his buddy wasn't told to cross-check and maybe call out all altitudes, who is to blame hardly matters, except for the NTSB, the pilots trying to learn from forums like this one, and the friends and family of the deceased..

It's almost a pure safety of flight issue. There are professional pilots here (not me) who fly in 2-pilot crews. I'd guess that some of them will probably tell you that a lot of the PIC's role is is about management - the clear delineation of roles. That what a lot of CRM is about.

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Is there any guidance about whos certificates are going to be turned in?
Not really.

The person who the FAA figures out was the PIC will almost always be held responsible for a violation because he is in charge. First Officer misses a checklist item on preflight? Captain is looking at a suspension.

But don't make the mistake that some do of thinking that the PIC's ultimate responsibility for the flight means that the PIC is the only one who can or will be held responsible. In that preflight example, both the Captain and the FO will likely be looking at an enforcement action and suspensions.
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:26 AM   #3  
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Also employers care about this distinction...they may not always credit certain kinds of loggable PIC towards hiring mins.
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:43 AM   #4  
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As Noy mentioned above, it all boils down to safety and I don't think I could have said it any better than he did.

Lets say you're flying a multi-engine airplane with someone in the right seat that is just as current and qualified as you are and have an engine failure right after takeoff. Knowing who does what is very essential. Are you going to fly the airplane while the other guy works the radios or are you both going to fight for control of the airplane as you Vmc roll it into the ground?

To expand on Rickair's comment, as far as future employers are concerned, it seems that the Part 1 definition of PIC is usually what they are looking for. For example, some don't consider logged PIC time as a safety pilot towards meeting the PIC qualifications they are looking for. I knew a guy that was sent home from an interview because 1.5 hrs of his 100.0 hrs of multi was done as a safety pilot. He came back and bought the time he needed to meet the mins and then later got the same job he was interviewing for.

Last edited by multipilot; 12-26-2008 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:22 AM   #5  
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To expand on Rickair's comment, as far as future employers are concerned, it seems that the Part 1 definition of PIC is usually what they are looking for. For example, some don't consider logged PIC time as a safety pilot towards meeting the PIC qualifications they are looking for.
Just a point of information. Logged PIC time a safety pilot is Part 1 PIC. Being the Part 1 PIC is a requireemnt for logging PIC safety pilot time.

That technicality aside, you are absolutely right. Employers are looking for what they think of as valuable experience. They understand what the FAA rules are designed for and what its limits are. So they design criteria to meet their needs.
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:00 PM   #6  
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Thanks for pointing that out. I should have organized my statement a little better to where it didn't sound like PIC-safety pilot wasn't Part 1 PIC.
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