Cross-country flying

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Cross-Country flying (aka XC flying) is a type of distance flying which is performed in a powered aircraft on legs over a given distance and in operations between two points using navigational techniques; and an unpowered aircraft (paraglider, hang glider or sailplane) by using upcurrents to gain altitude for extended flying time. Cross country is distinct from purely aerial work in a small defined area requiring little navigation.

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Hang Gliding

Official definitions by country[edit]

Canada[edit]

Transport Canada does not provide a definition of "cross-country" flight in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs),[1] however, a general consensus among pilots is that, in order to log "cross-country time" in a Pilot's Logbook, the pilot must have demonstrated some kind of navigational ability during the logged period of time. This is substantiated by references to:

  • the requirement to file a flight plan beyond 25 nautical miles of the departure aerodrome for "cross-country flights,"
  • the requirement to carry an Emergency Locator Transmitter for "cross-country flights," and
  • the stipulations in the Commercial License Requirements for travel between two different airports.[2][3]

In many cases, however, there are conflicts of opinion as to the definition; if, for example, a pilot flew from Langley Airport (CYNJ) to Abbotsford Airport (CYXX), the distance would be only 12 NM. In this instance, calling the flight "cross-country" seems not to fit within the requirement to use "navigational ability" since the two airports are within sight of one another even from very low altitudes.

United States[edit]

Per title 14 of the code of federal regulations (14 CFR), aka the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), part 61, section 1.b.3[4] (3) Cross-country time means--

  1. Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(3)(ii) through (b)(3)(vi) of this section, time acquired during a flight—
    1. Conducted by a person who holds a pilot certificate;
    2. Conducted in an aircraft;
    3. That includes a landing at a point other than the point of departure; and
    4. That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.
  2. For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements (except for a rotorcraft category rating), for a private pilot certificate (except for a powered parachute category rating), a commercial pilot certificate, or an instrument rating, or for the purpose of exercising recreational pilot privileges (except in a rotorcraft) under Sec. 61.101(c), time acquired during a flight--
    1. Conducted in an appropriate aircraft;
    2. That includes a point of landing that was at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
    3. That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.
  3. For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements for a sport pilot certificate (except for powered parachute privileges), time acquired during a flight conducted in an appropriate aircraft that-
    1. Includes a point of landing at least a straight line distance of more than 25 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
    2. Involves, as applicable, the use of dead reckoning; pilotage; electronic navigation aids; radio aids; or other navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.
  4. For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements for a sport pilot certificate with powered parachute privileges or a private pilot certificate with a powered parachute category rating, time acquired during a flight conducted in an appropriate aircraft that -
    1. Includes a point of landing at least a straight line distance of more than 15 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
    2. Involves, as applicable, the use of dead reckoning; pilotage; electronic navigation aids; radio aids; or other navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.
  5. For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements for any pilot certificate with a rotorcraft category rating or an instrument-helicopter rating, or for the purpose of exercising recreational pilot privileges, in a rotorcraft, under Sec. 61.101(c), time acquired during a flight--
    1. Conducted in an appropriate aircraft;
    2. That includes a point of landing that was at least a straight-line distance of more than 25 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
    3. That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.
  6. For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements for an airline transport pilot certificate (except with a rotorcraft category rating), time acquired during a flight—
    1. Conducted in an appropriate aircraft;
    2. That is at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
    3. That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems.
  7. For a military pilot who qualifies for a commercial pilot certificate (except with a rotorcraft category rating) under Sec. 61.73 of this part, time acquired during a flight—
    1. Conducted in an appropriate aircraft;
    2. That is at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
    3. That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems.

References[edit]

External links[edit]