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I just did my solo long xc, over 150nm, from one airport, to another, to a third, and then back to home airport. My question is how to put all this in the entries section, do I put all three squeezed together in the "TO" block, which would be my preferred method, or do I split it into multiple lines. Which is the legal and correct way? Can't ask my instructor since he is on vacation this week. Thanks to anyone who can help.

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Each flight should go on its own separate line, if you fly from A to B then A is from and B is to. If you fly 4 legs, A->B, B->C, C->D and D->E, landing at each then you'd have 4 lines in your logbook. If you fly from A to E, but pass by B, C and D on the way without landing then you'd have only one entry in your logbook from A to E, and you could say via B, C and D in notes.

Note that there's no legal requirement to do it this way, at least in the regulatory frameworks I'm familiar with, however as you are in training you want to be completely clear on the details so you can demonstrate your flights and times to an examiner, the FAA or anyone else who needs to see it. They will expect to see a separate line for each flight, so it's best to give it to them.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've upvoted your answer, but I'm curious as to how you determined that "They will expect to see a separate line for each flight, so it's best to give it to them." ? (the last sentence in your answer) $\endgroup$
    – 757toga
    Jun 15 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ It's common among the instructors and examiners I've worked with @757toga. I imagine it's less of an issue once you have enough hours. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Jun 15 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD My CFIs always wrote one entry per lesson/flight regardless of how many legs, and I followed suit for my own logging; my DPEs never commented on it. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Jun 16 at 22:34
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I would recommend that you log them as 3 separate flights for simplicity and clarity.

For example, 14 CFR 61.51 (b)(3) - Conditions of Flight, requires that you record whether the flight was "Day or Night," "Actual Instrument," etc.,). If you squeezed all three separate flights/legs between the "FROM and TO" columns you would have to break this time down somehow, perhaps in the "Remarks" section of your logbook, showing on which flight/leg the Day, Night or IMC time took place. This could become a bit cumbersome and add unnecessary complexity to your logbook. But what ever method you use to record your flight time, I recommend that you do it consistently throughout your lifetime as a pilot.

However, as long as you entered the record of your flights containing all of the required information in accordance with 14 CFR 61.51 (note specifically 61.51 (b)(1)(iii)), you could use the logging method of your choice.

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The simplest approach is to log each leg as a separate flight, and that’s completely legal.

However, my personal opinion is that this wastes space for multi-leg flights. Instead, I use a single entry and write all the points of takeoff/landing across the FROM and TO columns, ignoring the divider between the columns.

The regulations arguably say that each time you stop the engine, that ends your “flight”. And that rule is nearly as simple to abide by yet still improves over an entry per leg.

If you do decide to combine legs, the key is to never get yourself into a position where you can forget to log one leg if the next leg gets delayed or canceled for some reason—and the odds of forgetting go up the longer you wait to log it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Just a point of clarification, flight time begins when the aircraft first moves under its owm power and ends when it comes to rest after landing-law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/1.1 Then a new flight would start after that. $\endgroup$
    – 757toga
    Jun 16 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ @757toga We can log all time that we’re “operating an aircraft for the purpose of flight”, e.g. Hobbs time. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Jun 16 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ Totally agree with you. What I'm pointing out is that your last paragraph appears to suggest that if you only needed to refuel for example, and then departed for some other destination, you could log the before fueling flight and the after fueling flight as a single "flight" for logging purposes. It's my view that this would be two separate flights. You could log them both on the same line in your logbook or two lines. So if one of the flights included night for example and the other did not, you would have to have this specifically logged because there were 2 flights. $\endgroup$
    – 757toga
    Jun 16 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ @757toga I’ve had legs that crossed into night while I was airborne, so I don’t see how anything changes if it coincidentally happened between legs, or whether I stopped the engine for a few minutes. It’s still all one flight in my mind; just get the times in each column right. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Jun 16 at 21:31
  • $\begingroup$ Well, 61.51 (b)(3) says that for each "flight" you have to log its "conditions" (day, night, imc, etc). So if you were on a 1 hour flight and .5 was day and .5 night you log that in the appropriate columns. But if you departed airport A and flew .5 day and stopped and refueled at B and then flew to C getting .5 night then that .5 night would have to be specifically associated with the flight from B to C. (according to 61.51 (b)(3)). $\endgroup$
    – 757toga
    Jun 16 at 21:42

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