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Can a flight-training flight be free ?

Old 28th Oct 2014, 18:08
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Can a flight-training flight be free ?

Hi,

This is my first post on this website so I apologize if this has already been talked about or if I'm in the wrong section. I did look over the topics though, and seems like it hasn't.

I'm a student-pilot in Dallas, and I had my check ride for the commercial last Saturday but we didn't go through with it because I had one cross country flight that might have been wrongly done.
It's a dual 2h flight with at least 100nm from the originating point of departure.
What we did with my instructor was that we flew two legs, and only the second leg was more than 100, the first one was 94nm.
So the examiner refused to go on with the check ride and said he would ask the FAA.
Now my question is this :

If it turns out that I need to go back up there and re-do my xc flight, am I allowed to ask the school to pay for the flight ? or to reimburse me for the past flight ? Or would this be considered a commercial operation ? Maybe then the pro-rated charge ?

Also if someone knows about this requirement specifically I would be very grateful to be enlightened.
Does it have to be the first leg that is 100nm or can any leg be ?
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 00:57
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I'm not familiar with FAA rules but it seems you may have answered your question within the statement you made. You said 2 hours with at least 100nm from the originating point of departure. It is like this is NZ where the CPL XC Syllabus states you must fly 100nm in a straight line including 2 landings.

Either way hope it works out for you.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 15:34
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Doing some guess work, but I'm guessing this is air experience for multi-engine CPL?
See FAR Part 61 Sec. 61.129 effective as of 10/20/2009

(iii) One 2-hour cross country flight in a multiengine airplane in daytime conditions that consists of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure;

(iv) One 2-hour cross country flight in a multiengine airplane in nighttime conditions that consists of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
Therefore the only issue I can see was if your journey was A -> B -> A. If so, if you can get back from B to A in less than 100nm, B must be less than 100nm from A so you don't meet the requirement?
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 16:21
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You have the FAR rule right, and what we did was that we flew from point A to B (94nm) and B to C (104nm) for a total of 2h, so the question is whether "the original point of departure" has to be the point A, or do they just mean the initial airport the leg starts at, therefore point B... But what I was really curious about was if I could have them (my school) pay for that one flight if I have to do it again.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 18:22
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I think the Regs are pretty clear.
A 2 hour flight that consists of a leg which is 100nm minimum in length.

Most people would fly 100nm from ORIG to destination as the first leg. Of course depending on where you located this could be difficult.

There is no mention that the 100nm leg has to originate from departure airport.

If the examiner proves this to be wrong, and the school knew of this, then the school should reimburse you of some sort. And I think a quiet word with your instructor as to why he's trying to pull a fast one on you to build hours.

I had a similar situation during my training where I needed to do another night X-country. I did no pay for it.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 18:31
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I don't think that this is a question about FAA flight validity, it's a question about American consumer law.

About which personally I know nothing, but finding a lawyer has never been difficult I he USA. Then again, their advice may be more expensive than just doing the flight again.

But my gut feeling is that if tbe OP did not take responsibility for ensuring that his flights met the requirements, that is probably his fault and his own problem, not the school's.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 19:45
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Thank you all this has been very helpful, I think I'm going to ask not to pay for it if I have to re-do it, and I'll post what happened. Now I'm just waiting on the examiner to call.
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Old 3rd Nov 2014, 19:21
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Thank you all again, I've graduated on saturday, but after I had to re-do that xc flight, the school did pay for it though and also they gave me a non-profit rate for the rental of the aircraft for the check ride.
So in the end, looks like the FAA considers the "original point of departure" to be the first airport you take-off from and not just the airport the leg starts at.
So all commercial-to-be pilots out-there be careful to have at least 100nm on the first leg of that cross country.
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