Should I log flight time as a passenger?

  • Should I log flight time as a passenger? Joe

    With only a private pilot license, if not the pilot in command, should I log my flight time?

    If so, what are the limits of this? i.e. is that as true in the backseat as it is in the front seat? Must I have that type rating?

  • No, you should not*.

    In my opinion, you should limit your logbook to records of your own flight experience. This would include any time spent training, as PIC, or as required crew.

    The time you can log as PIC is that which you spend as the sole manipulator of the controls, the sole occupant, or as the pilot in command when the required crew is >1. Here's an article from an FAA FSDO describing the logging of PIC time in more detail. Rod Machado has some good coverage of this as well.

    If you're just hanging out in the airplane, it doesn't matter if you're in the front seat or the back seat. If you're receiving instruction, you should get an entry and a logbook endorsement from the instructor you're flying with. Most General Aviation aircraft don't require a type rating, so I'm unsure what the context of your final question is.


    * It's worth noting that you can technically put whatever you want in your logbook, though it's not a great idea; when it comes time to fill out an FAA 8710 form for later ratings, it can get confusing. In my opinion, you still shouldn't log any time, but if you're just wanting to record flights that you took with friends, that's fine. As an instructor who's had to slog through some weird logbooks, I'd really, really encourage you to track that elsewhere, though. Your logbook is exactly that - it's your logbook, for the logging of your flight time, and a record of your flight experience and training.

  • Adding to what egid said, you can only log flight time as a crew member if you're filling a role as a required crew member.

    There was an enforcement action many years ago against a pilot who was flying right seat in a small cargo plane because his employer's rules required two people in the cockpit. He figured that since his employer required him to be there, it made him a required crew member and so he logged the time.

    However, the FAA regs did not require him to be there, so in their view, he was not a required crew member and they took action against him for falsifying his logs.

  • Yes, log it.

    Your logbook is your record of your flight experience. Use a line in your logbook to remember a flight with a friend or a warbird flight you took at an air show. If I'm a passenger in the right seat of a small aircraft and I'm paying attention I am probably learning something. If I'm currently working towards my instrument rating and I'm sitting in the backseat of a friend's instrument rating lesson then I'm almost certainly learning things that I wouldn't get while actually flying the plane. Record those experiences for yourself.

    However, the numbers columns for that entry are going to be empty. No landings, no flight time, none of that. You wouldn't want to accidentally use those flights for currency or ratings. AOPA has a good article interpreting the FARs rules on logging time.

    But you can use an empty column for passenger numbers or just use your comments section.

Related questions and answers
  • In a full motion Level C or D simulator like those used by the airlines and for jet type ratings: How should a pilot log the simulator time in their logbook? I.e. Can you log: Total Time Instrument Time Time in Type Cross Country Time Night Time Landings (including night landings) Dual given/received Anything else?

  • With only a private pilot license, if not the pilot in command, should I log my flight time? If so, what are the limits of this? i.e. is that as true in the backseat as it is in the front seat? Must I have that type rating?

  • The Federal Flight Deck Officer page on Wikipedia says this: Under the FFDO program, flight crew members are authorized to use firearms. A flight crew member may be a pilot, flight engineer or navigator assigned to the flight. To me, it seems like this would be crucial information for the PIC to know, if their flight engineer (for example) was armed; but on the flip-side of this, the engineer might want to keep that to himself if he's with a crew he hasn't flown with before. Is there a guideline on whether an FFDO should inform the crew that he's armed?

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  • EASA requires pilots to log night time and night landings seperate in the personal logbook. Now I'm not sure in which period of time a landing is a night landing and flight time is night flight time. I would appreciate your answer, mabe also with a trustworthy source.

  • Reading various reports including number of flight hours of the pilots I always wonder how it relates to years of service. In most professions, people work 40 hours a week, which gives around 1900 hours a year (assuming 4-5 weeks vacation as is usual in Europe). But pilots seem to have much fewer flight hours. I even read that in certain military operation the norm was 750 hours in a year. But that was difficult military operation and I haven't seen any number for common airline operations. So how many flight hours is usual for full-time airline pilot to log in a year? And what does he do

  • I was looking at potential experimental projects when I read this fascinating website about a tiny aerobatic-capable twin-engine airplane. It's light enough to be an ultralight, but much too fast: Aside from the obvious fun of flying this little plane, I wondered whether: I'd be able to log time in the Cri-Cri as multi-time? My guess is yes. Assuming I'm MEL-IFR, could I log multi-IFR with a two-way radio, altimeter, Dynon-type AI, HI and at least one cert. VOR & glide slope? An approach cert. GPS setup would be too heavy I assume. My guess is this is wishful thinking...

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  • What should a pilot of any large commercial passenger airplane do if they feel sleepy? What is the maximum time per day during which the pilot may control the airplane ?

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