Your responsibilities as PIC starts long before the blades ever start moving and stop long after they come to rest. Winnie had said that he can't understand why TC can't get there head wrapped around this. I respectfully disagree. I think they do have there head wrapped around it. Its the rest of us that don't. The definitions do need some clarification but no matter how you write it, they will never cover all situations and they have probably been left a little vague in true TC fashion on purpose.
"air time" - means, with respect to keeping technical records, the time from the moment an aircraft leaves the surface until it comes into contact with the surface at the next point of landing; (temps dans les airs)
"flight time" - means the time from the moment an aircraft (the whole aircraft. It doesn't say blades) first moves under its own power for the purpose of taking off until the moment it(the aircraft. Not blades) comes to rest at the end of the flight; (temps de vol)
Thus air time and flight time are the same for skid equipped aircraft. It does not matter how the ICAO or the FAA or how any anybody else does it. This is how it is written in CARS and this is how it should be logged. My only beef is when the skids are on the ground but you are still holding power IE during a tow in. IMHO I believe this should also be considered air time. And this is how I would log it. If you are dropping off passengers on the skag on the rocks or werever, you should be holding power. (think 206 when the front passenger hops out) If your holding power you are still flying and the meters still ticking and the air time is still accumulating. If you are at idle you are not flying and the meter is not ticking. You might as well get out and have a smoke and stretch your legs. The aircraft will happily idle away with out any help from you. Not saying I recommend that though.....that would be for another thread.
From PIC logging point of view, Air time is a more realistic measurement of your experience. Flight time is a measurement of your seat meat time and only slightly more valuable than co-jo time. I for one am tired of hopping in a machine with a so called 750 hour "flight time" pilot who's flying ability is well below standard for his hours.I know guys do it so that they can meet the customers standards but maybe if guys quit bs'ing there hours the standards wouldn't be as high. That though is also for another thread. Air time is also verifiable. All one needs to do is compare the journey log to your log book. At my company, we do not log Flight time in our journey logs and if a pilot's logbook were different than the journey log book then the pilot would have some explaining to do. Were would you even start with that. uh I did only fly an hour that day but we landed and waited for at least 15 minutes engines running at three sites so that's an extra .8 and we shut down at the next three so that's another .3 so you add those up that's 2.1 hours flight time that I put in my log book.
As for flight duty times....If air time and flight time are the same for skid equipped helicopters than there really isn't any issues.
That's my two cents
On a side note Freewheel........I went looking through the COM the other day to find the term air time and flight time are the same for skid equipped aircraft. I could not find it. I know that it used to be there but somewhere along the numerous revisions it has been lost. So there is hope. You might be able to get it removed.