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Flight Time Vs Air Time Vs Revenue Time

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A few company pilots have been discussing the definition of Flight Time for the purpose of keeping track of Flight Time Limitations.


First let's look to the CARS:


"flight time" - means the time from the moment an aircraft first moves under its own power for the purpose of taking off until the moment it comes to rest at the end of the flight; (temps de vol)


Note the last word above is "flight," not "flights” or "series of flights."


Doesn’t this really describe air time?


I offer some varied definitions of "flight time":


The Charter Definition of Revenue Time

Most companies lay out in their charter how they will be charging their customers. Normally, companies define flight time generally as the time from the first take-off to the last landing in a series of flights. But this is not necessarily designed to fit the Transport Canada definition; rather it merely clarifies how customers can expect to be charged.


The Broad Interpretation: Revenue Time as Flight Time

When we fight fires and hot fuel, we normally charge right through; in other words, the number of hours we enter on the flight report includes all the time we spend that day idling while taking on fuel; it also includes all the time we spend running on the ground while loading and unloading goods and passengers too.


The Narrow Interpretation: Air Time as Flight Time

On the other hand, when we fly drills, we do not charge the customer for refueling time. Apart from the minute or two we spend loading and unloading drillers at the beginning and the end of the day it is actually air time that we enter on the flight report.


The norm is to log whatever we charge for, i.e. whatever goes on the flight report. Thus, on fires, we limit ourselves to 150 hours/month of the broad interpretation of “flight time,” whereas when flying drills, we limit ourselves to 150 hours/month of “air time.”


Does this not seem inconsistent to you?


Here’s a question: Why can’t we charge straight through (like on fires), but log “air time” like on drills?


All comments and contributions are welcome.


Thanks All


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My first response would have a look in your AIP.


Flight Time as you say is defined as from the time the aircraft starts moving, better suited to stiff wing, until it comes to a halt in front of the hangar. This time goes in the pilots log book.


Air time is wheels up and wheels down on the ground for stiff wing and for helicopters skids up to down, except for a succesion of flights ie. gravity survey etc, hot refueling is totally up to the operator and the charterer. If one shuts down most helicopters you will wait at least 20 minutes to restart.


Every start on the helicopter is another cycle on the engine and the battery and costs the operator money.


Do as you wish.


Cheers Don

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:) Maybe look at it this way......air time is a direct time against components, your maintenance costs against the aircraft. Think of this little scenario, you are out on fires on your Astar/407 or whatever, you are flying the fire boss around and he decides that he wants to stop in at a fire camp, you land ,and he says...".I'll only be a minute, leave it running". Fifteen minutes later he scrambles back into the aircraft, and back you go to base. So as a pilot. are you going to bill him for the "FLIGHT TIME" while the aircraft is running as he requested? You bet you A** you are, are you going to register that as "AIR TIME" against the aircraft ? I should think not. Your job description along with flying, is to be also an accountant and manage your "TIME" wisely.....happy flying :D
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Yes, by all means. We have to carefully distinguish between air time and flight time. What I'm trying (perhaps poorly) to outline is that there seems to be a grey area when choosing how much time to log for flight time limitations.


On drills, I don't charge for fueling; on fires I do. So when I fly on fires, I end up logging the fueling time, thereby causing me to timex faster. Does what I charge for necessarily have to dictate how I log the time? I should think not.



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As a newbie fresh out of flight school (well, ok, a year out of flight school), I might be getting out on a limb here, but...


The way things are calculated where I fly depends on the agreement with the customer. The one thing we never fudge on is air time. Time idling on the ground between legs may or may not be billable. In some cases, the flight is on a fixed rate, regardless of whether we make it in more or less time.


From what I remember in ground school, air time is the time the landing gear is not in contact with the ground. As a rule of thumb, we start the stopwatch on startup, and stop it immediately on final touchdown before shutting down. If there are no intermediate legs, we deduct .2 from the resulting (flight) time to get air time. If there are intermediate legs, we also deduct that idling time (including hot-refuels). What I've been told is the critical part is to make sure what you log as flight time in your personal log matches with the flight time recorded in the a/c journey log. I've seen situations where flight time was 2.9 and air time was 2.1, for example.


Logically, if when fighting fires you're logging all flight time in the a/c journey log, your personal log has to reflect that in the event TC audits you or your company (I may be out in left field here).


My question is: Unless the contract with the customer states he can audit the a/c journey logs to compare with billed hours, can the company get into trouble with TC if they're billing more hours than flight time logged in the a/c journey log ?


Trying to figure all this out from the CARs or AIP is rather tedious. I found studying Latin in high school less confusing... :blink:

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Well this is the rule that I have gone by for eons and with no complaint. When I land and am told specifically to "keep it running", I'll give them 2 minutes as a 'freebie' because I would have used that before shutting down anyway. If they say nothing, then I'll probably shut down an if it's an extended period of time, it definitely gets shut down. After that they pay and I don't log and neither does the Hobbs. Starting up to move the a/c and then shutting down again for the customer is a .2 Rev flight and the client pays, even if it took me .1hr.. He's advised of same after the request and why it has to be that way. Sometimes they say "ok' and other times they cancel the request. Pressing that "Start" button costs money and somebody gotta pay the bill. Idling a Medium for an extended time period also has cautions involved, but that's another subject.


"Hot re-fuelling" is never charged unless the customer is informed and agrees to it or the company dictates it. Any disagreement that takes place, I make sure that it is between the company and the client at all times and not between me and the client. I've found that if I keep the customer "in the loop' about their charges, etc., it negates problems down the road and is appreciated.

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Gents, FYI,


BCFS now has a computer program in place that ACCURATELY tracks the flight times of aircraft in their employ. It is based on your radio call-ins, the Fire-Center dispatcher enters your up times and down times, and even on a long complex day, gives them an accurate log of all your activities and an accurate total flight time expected.

If you pad BCFS times...you will probably be asked to explain your flight times! One of my pilots got caught this year, and it was mainly because of radio contact and dead-spots.

He called in " ABC is off fire 176, 10 minutes ago enroute XYZ" The computer log showed this flight as a .3, when it actually was a .5.

We routinely called the Fire center AFTER take-off and just before landing...but not any more.

Now, we call departing before pulling pitch, and call down after we land and are at idle.

A few minutes here and there do add up over a long summer day.

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So what exactly is "flight time" ......


As defined by CARS....."The time from the moment an aircraft first moves under its own power for the purpose of taking off until the moment it comes to rest at the end of the flight"


My question to you...isn't this the same as the time recorded by a collective activated hobbs meter? The meter starts when you lift off...it stops at the end of the flight when you land, it starts when you lift off again for the next flight. This next flight could be in 3 minutes, or 3 hours.


My confusion is in the definition of what constitutes a "Flight". Note that CARS states Flight Time ends at the "moment it comes to rest at the end of the flight" . It says "THE FLIGHT"....not flights etc...


Senario: Your working Alberta Forestry....In 25 straight days of flying your flight tickets total 145 hours, and you have been doing lots of crew moves in a medium. Now as Alberta requires you to bill by Air Time, are you going to be flying on day number 26?



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dammyneckshirts ---- If you think the Hobbs meter is counting the second you pull pitch, then you better check again. Day 26 will be a REAL short day.


Over-Talk ------ Agreed!


407 Driver ------ Good idea. If I got a Crew Leader or a Forestry Officer with me, I usuually get them to call that in and give HIS time off and down. That way, if "inacurracies" occur, I got him and his little black book for back-up.

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