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Old 11-18-2009, 04:48 PM   #1  
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Default New Private - question on logging PIC

As a new Private pilot, I've been trying to figure out the regulations on logging time, and it's a bit confusing. I've done some research and went though FARs, but just wanted to clarify some things for a peace of mind.. So,

1. When flying on an IFR flight plan with a CFII in VFR conditions - do I log PIC, or do act as PIC? ? Do I log dual received as well?
2. When I'm under the hood - do I log PIC time?
3.When flying actual IMC - can I log PIC if I'm not yet instrument rated? (I assume I can't but just to make sure)

4. Difference between acting PIC and logging PIC is not quite clear to me. Who has the final responsibility for the safety of the flight? If it happens that we bust Class B or something like that, who gets in trouble - me or CFI?

5. Then, when it comes to sim.time - I know there is only a certain amount you can log. BUT does it count toward total time? Can you log sim time as PIC time?

6. and finally, is there a better way to correct errors in logbook other than crossing out or white out? I used to get Liquid paper in green color but apparently it's been discontinued..

I'd appreciate any feedback on this.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:14 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by Agentessa View Post
As a new Private pilot, I've been trying to figure out the regulations on logging time, and it's a bit confusing. I've done some research and went though FARs, but just wanted to clarify some things for a peace of mind.. So,

1. When flying on an IFR flight plan with a CFII in VFR conditions - do I log PIC, or do act as PIC? ? Do I log dual received as well?
First off, logging PIC and acting as PIC are two unrelated concepts. In may cases you can log PIC even if you are not acting as PIC, and apply that time towards the aeronautical experience requirements for FAA ratings.

On an IFR flight plan, you cannot act as PIC unless you have an IR, so the CFII is acting as PIC. But you can log it, since you are the sole manipulator and rated in the airplane.

Generally, a condition of flight (day, night, VMC, IMC) does not inhibit your ability to log PIC as long as the flight is conducted legally.

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2. When I'm under the hood - do I log PIC time?
Yes.

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Originally Posted by Agentessa View Post
3.When flying actual IMC - can I log PIC if I'm not yet instrument rated? (I assume I can't but just to make sure)
Yes, you can as long as you are fully rated in the airplane.

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4. Difference between acting PIC and logging PIC is not quite clear to me. Who has the final responsibility for the safety of the flight? If it happens that we bust Class B or something like that, who gets in trouble - me or CFI?
The acting PIC is more likely to get in more trouble, but you are both on the hook since you are both crewmembers on the flight. Exception would be a violatio of IFR rules..since you don't have an IR, the CFII would be solely responsible.

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5. Then, when it comes to sim.time - I know there is only a certain amount you can log. BUT does it count toward total time? Can you log sim time as PIC time?
NO! NO! NO!

DO NOT LISTEN TO FLIGHT SCHOOL CROOKS WHO TRY TO TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN LOG SIM TIME AS ANYTHING OTHER THAN SIM!

Sim time can be logged as sim time (and only as sim time) and can APPLIED TOWARDS some FAA ratings. This does not mean it IS flight time, it only means it can be used INSTEAD of flight time towards a rating.

Sim is ONLY sim...never log it in any other column (possible exception for level D sim, but that is not a concern now)

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6. and finally, is there a better way to correct errors in logbook other than crossing out or white out? I used to get Liquid paper in green color but apparently it's been discontinued..
Both are fine. Some folks will tell you to only correct with a single line-out (so you can still read the erroneous entry) but that is actually a military, not an FAA requirement. Just make sure you make an explanatory note for "after-the-fact" corrections to avoid questions later.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:22 PM   #3  
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You can log PIC time any time you are the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which you are appropriately rated. It doesn't really get into any more detail than that. So:

You can log PIC in all of the examples above.

You are not acting as PIC during an IFR flight with an instructor, as the instructor is the instrument rated pilot. Also, if you are wanting to be an airline pilot, chances are time such as this wouldn't be considered as part of your PIC time for the sake of the airline's needs. In fact, I remember only adding up time that was PIC and NOT dual received to get my PIC number for airline applications.

During simulated instrument, it could be argued that you are still acting as PIC, with the instructor providing safety pilot services (as well as instruction, but that's not terribly relevant for the logging discussion.)

I'll leave the sim question for someone else, as I have an idea, but don't know for sure.

Corrections would be best made via a single line, an initial, and possibly even a note below indicating why it was deleted. Official type people don't like white-out.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:17 PM   #4  
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Great, rickair7777 and plasticpi, thank you for clarifying this for me, appreciate it.

There is one thing that comes as a bit of surprise though
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NO! NO! NO!

DO NOT LISTEN TO FLIGHT SCHOOL CROOKS WHO TRY TO TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN LOG SIM TIME AS ANYTHING OTHER THAN SIM!

Sim time can be logged as sim time (and only as sim time) and can APPLIED TOWARDS some FAA ratings. This does not mean it IS flight time, it only means it can be used INSTEAD of flight time towards a rating.

Sim is ONLY sim...never log it in any other column (possible exception for level D sim, but that is not a concern now)
That's interesting, since my school actually includes 50 hrs in ME FTD in the "total logged time" that students will have after graduation..
Any chance you remember the FAR reference?
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:29 PM   #5  
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That's interesting, since my school actually includes 50 hrs in ME FTD in the "total logged time" that students will have after graduation..
Any chance you remember the FAR reference?
They log that time in your 141 records to satisfy parts of your syllabus that can be done in a simulator. But you won't log it as anything other than sim in YOUR logbook. Rick is spot on about logging sim time elsewhere. Just say no!
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:24 PM   #6  
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Great, rickair7777 and plasticpi, thank you for clarifying this for me, appreciate it.

There is one thing that comes as a bit of surprise though


That's interesting, since my school actually includes 50 hrs in ME FTD in the "total logged time" that students will have after graduation..
Any chance you remember the FAR reference?
There's no FAR reference, the FAA doesn't care what you log or don't log as long as you meet all of their requirements when you apply for a certificate or rating.

The reference is all of the potential aviation employers who will show you the door if you try to claim sim as flight time/total time to meet their minimums. Sim is sim, and that's it. Err on the conservative side when logging time, because if an interviewer doesn't like the way you do it you are not going to win an argument with him/her.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:21 PM   #7  
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Congratulations on getting your PPL. Welcome to the club! With regards to sim time, I wouldn't even bother to log it. In fact, I only have 3 sim entries in my logbook. The only time I'd log sim time in the future is if I need it to show IFR currency, but as was emphatically stated before, do NOT add it to your total time because it doesn't count for squat.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:28 AM   #8  
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There's no FAR reference, the FAA doesn't care what you log or don't log as long as you meet all of their requirements when you apply for a certificate or rating.
Actually they do. There's that little reg - 61.59 - that deals with false entries in logbooks and other FAA documents. And it has been used to revoke pilot certificates even when the entries were above and beyond those needed to meet requirements.

Agentessa, on that sim issue, if you look at FAR 1.1, you'll see that "flight time" is something that takes place in an "aircraft" and and "aircraft" is "a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air." Even the best sims are firmly anchored to the ground.

The regs dealing with the requirements for various pilot certificates and ratings allow certain types of sim time to be used in place of flight time. But it still isn't "flight time." So any logbook column that is recording some kind of "flight" time should only have "flight" time in it, and not sim time.

"Total time" is a funny concept. It's not really defined anywhere in the FAR. There's total "flight time" - which only takes place in an aircraft; then there's total "pilot time" (definition in 61.1) which includes instruction in certain devices - that may be where your flight school is including it. What you put in the totals column of your logbook is pretty much up to you, although many logbook columns are already labeled for total "flight" time and most pilots probably use their total column for flight time only.

Bottom line with all your questions is that, as others have pointed out, "acting as PIC" refers to who has authority and responsibility for a flight. It is the subject of a bunch of different regulations about having medical certificates, endorsements for certain types of aircraft, currency for carrying passengers, etc.

OTOH, "logging PIC time" although it sounds the same, is not the same thing at all. If you look at 61.51, the reg that deals with logging time, you'll see that it sets up a bunch of "boxes." For example, one box is
Logging PIC - sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft the pilot is rated for
another is
Logging PIC - acting as PIC in an aircraft or operation that requires more than one pilot

Each of those boxes stands on its own. If what you are and what you are doing fits in any "logging PIC" box, you log PIC. If you don't you don't.

Two last things to watch out for:

1. The FAA's separation of "acting as pilot in command" and "logging pilot in command time" takes a bit getting used to and, if you raise the question in some places, you can expect to get some very negative reaction from time to time from very mile, "I know it but I don't like it" through those who simply don't understand or haven't been exposed to it, all the way up to a rejection of its existence as vehement as any religious or political argument, despite more than 25 years of consistent FAA official interpretations on the subject.

2. If you're looking at a career, be aware that a company that wants to hire you may have different standards of what it wants to count as qualified experience and may define "PIC" for it's hiring practices differently than the FAA does. Makes sense and not a big deal, so long as you understand it.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:29 AM   #9  
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Congratulations on getting your PPL. Welcome to the club! With regards to sim time, I wouldn't even bother to log it. In fact, I only have 3 sim entries in my logbook. The only time I'd log sim time in the future is if I need it to show IFR currency, but as was emphatically stated before, do NOT add it to your total time because it doesn't count for squat.
Does "squat" include minimum ATP "pilot time" requirements?
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:40 AM   #10  
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I assumed that the OP will eventually be seeking employment as a pilot, and so is concerned with gaining enough experience to get a job.

There are specific instances where sim time can be used to get a rating, but the general consensus seems to be that your potential employer doesn't care for your sim time, so don't start adding that to the total time as you fill out your apps.

That said, one thing I've learned here is that your logbook is your to log anything you please. Just be ready to explain any entry if asked.
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