Quote:I think that because the definition of cross country depends so much on what the time is going to be used for and people may opt to keep multiple cross country logbook columns, the FAA left it out of 61.51 and decided to go with definitions instead.
In terms of the date issue, I have a 1975 FAA Legal opinion that talks in terms of the 50 nm requirement for cross country flights, suggesting that the change took place in a 1973 FAR revision:
July 1, 1975
Ms. Mary Lynne Curtis
Dear Ms. Curtis:
This is in response to your letter of April 18, 1975, and Mr. Bornarthe's note to the Chief Counsel dated June 16, 1975, concerning the term "cross-country" as used in Sections 61.65 and 61.155 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (in your letter you inadvertently cited Section 61.55).
Under Part 61 in effect prior to November 1, 1973, cross-country flying was used in the aeronautical experience requirements applicable to private and commercial pilot certificates to provide that a cross-country flight requires a landing more than 25 nautical miles from the place of departure, unless otherwise specifically stated. Revised Part 61, effective November 1, 1973, adopted a minimum cross-country distance provision requiring a landing more than 50 nautical miles from the point of departure under the solo flight time requirements for a private pilot certificate with an airplane rating (see Section 61.109(b)(2)). Also, as part of the revision of Part 61, the cross-country distance for an applicant for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane rating was changed from a landing more than 25 nautical miles from the point of departure to 50 nautical miles in the case of pilot in command flight time (see Section 61.129(b)(3)(ii)).
In view of the general upgrading of requirements intended by the revision of Part 61, and in light of the above changes, it is our opinion that the terms "cross-country flying" and "cross-country flight time" require flights involving a landing at a point more than 50 miles from the point of departure, unless otherwise specifically stated. Consequently, the provision in Section 61.65(e)(1) for 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, requires those hours to be obtained during flights involving a landing more than 50 nautical miles from the point of departure. In addition, Section 61.65(c)(4) requires that the applicant for the flight test for an instrument rating must have had instruction in cross-country flying including one trip of 250 nautical miles.
With respect to Section 61.155, paragraph (b)(1) thereof requires 100 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command by an applicant for an airline transport pilot certificate. Paragraph (b)(2)(i) requires that of the 1500 hours total flight time as a pilot required therein, 500 hours must be cross-country flight time. Again, these hours must have been obtained during flights involving a landing more than 50 nautical miles from the point of departure.
I trust that this satisfactorily responds to your inquiry. If we can be of further assistance, please let us know.
ORIGINAL SIGNED BY
for DEWEY R. ROARK, JR.
Assistant Chief Counsel
Regulations and Codification Division
Office of the Chief Counsel
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