I flew a cross-country with one stop on the way down: A -> B -> C

From A to C is over 250nm in a straight line and over 300nm total.

The next day I flew back: C -> A

That covers the 3 landings at intermediate (B), destination (C) and back at departure (A). But does the landing back at the departure location count as one of the three?

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    $\begingroup$ I assume you're asking about FAA regulations so I added that tag. If I got it wrong please edit your question to add the correct country; we always need to know the country for questions about regulations. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Aug 26 '20 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate -- or at least highly related-- aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/55825/… $\endgroup$ Aug 28 '20 at 3:45

It depends on how you classify the flight. More importantly, it depends on how the DPE classifies the flight. Most people consider any flight with a stop longer than a fuel break as the end of the flight at the fuel stop, and the beginning of a new flight at the subsequent start up. Some sticklers would consider anytime you shut down the engine on the ground, the end of that flight.

You can log it any way you want. I doubt any DPE will count a flight with an overnight stopover between legs as one flight.

Here is an alternative. Takeoff at Airport A. Fly a closed traffic pattern to a full-stop, taxi-back landing. Fly to Airport B where you perform a full-stop, taxi-back landing. Fly to Airport C where you perform a full-stop landing. As long as the straight line distance between A and C is more than 250 Nautical Miles, your total distance is over 300 Nautical Miles, and you are either solo or performing the duties of PIC with an instructor, you should be good for the FAA Title 14 CFR Part 61.129(a)(4)(i) requirements for a commercial pilot.

Note that the regs don’t stipulate a full stop, taxi-backs. If you are flying solo, it gives you time to set up for the next leg. Although it is hard to believe that there is not another suitable airport in 300 Nautical Miles. In what area are you flying?

  • $\begingroup$ I consider it part of the same flight even if I don't get back to the plane till two days later. Maybe someone else flies it in between; doesn't matter. Maybe I make a few circuits around the airport the next day and then make another cross-country flight the following day-- as far as I'm concerned all those hours including the hours in the local circuits get logged as part of the same cross-country flight. The FAA has provided no clear definition as to when a cross-country flight should be considered to have ended. $\endgroup$ Aug 28 '20 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ Basically, I've been on one long cross-country flight for the last 10 yrs or so. $\endgroup$ Aug 28 '20 at 3:40

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