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Flight Time Vs. Air Time Personal Logbook

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Union? Who still confuses the word 'association' with the word 'union'?


How's that stakeholder thing working out for y'all?


Stakeholder practitioners and policy makers who wish to use or learn from facilitating multi-stakeholder processes currently are confronted with four constraints:


  • the lack of a coherent yet practical conceptual framework that enables potential facilitators to make sense of the diverse terminology and differing conceptual dimensions;
  • limited practical examples and lessons from experience presented in a way that is sufficiently analytical to be useful in other contexts;
  • the lack of facilitation skills, experience and confidence to design and implement appropriate and context specific processes;
  • the lack of comprehensive and integrated resource materials appropriate to the facilitation of multi-stakeholder and social learning processes.


That gobbledygook should provide a solution real soon now.

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Do you see AIR TIME in there anywhere?


I stated that I was lucky I was charged airtime which meant more actual flight time and experience for me according to the Aviation Policy Letter (GAPL) No. 2005-02 definition of flight time, rotors turning to rotors stopped.


I believe that the regulations were written more inline with fixed wing aircraft. So if the fixed wing schools, pilots, operators log flight time and experience from when the aircraft first moves under it own power (taxi, run-up, manoeuvring) which is pretty straight forward why do the helicopter pilots have to log Airtime as Flight Time (for skid equipped helicopters) according to what transport canada has been telling companies recently after the cancellation of the 2005-02 policy letter. A fixed wing plane could run into another aircraft taxing but then I have seen helicopters spin 180 degrees sitting on a pad as well as move sideways in the wind at idle so technically the pilot is still in control of the aircraft on the ground with those blades (or wing) spinning.


So as Flingwinger mention "skids up first time to skids down last time" Winnie said some flight schools add 0.1 to airtime to get flight time (sounds fair to me) while other may still be calculating rotors turning time or engine time.I have heard pilots say they add 0.1 for every takeoff and landing, or rotors turning to rotors stopped, And others say there companies have been informed by TC that Fight time is the same as Air Time so they are to log basically airtime in there personal logs and F&D's. It's simply shown on this site or by asking fellow employees what they log and you will get many different answers or "interpretations". What happens when you get a customer audit and they go through the log books and the airtime is significantly less than what most bill as Flight time (engines running) but yet Transport Canada's interpretation of flight time is the same as airtime for skid equipped helicopters?


So I have some friends logging Airtime the same as flight time in there personal logbooks as told by the companies they work for. while others are logging about 25% more time as rotors turning. There are many different possible scenario's of why the the definition should be clarified through out the industry. So like freewheel has said this is a major issue in the industry for many different reason's and the more people that report it to TC through CAIRs hopefully the quicker they will realize there is an issue that affects all of us.

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Just for the record. I am not saying anybody is right or wrong. Including myself. I am merely stating my opinion and debating with those whose opinions differ. No disrespect is intended.


I have no issues with logging flight time and I am not saying that there is no difference between flight time and air time. I do have issues with how "flight time" is being interpreted.


"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)


This is fairly cut and dry. When your skids or wheels leave the earths surface you are logging air time until they touch the earths surface again. If you were to toe in by this definition alone....you would be logging flight time and rightfully so. Although you are on the ground, you are still maneuvering the helicopter. IMHO the aircraft is still flying and should be logged as airtime. However, my opinion is different than the intent of the definition.


"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)


What moves under its own power? - "The aircraft"

Why is it moving ? - "to take off " on skid equipped helicopter this would happen the moment the aircraft take's off. On wheeled equip helicopters this would happen the moment they start to ground taxi for the purpose of taking off.

When does it end? - When the helicopter comes to a rest at the end of the flight.

What is the definition of flight????


If you fly from point A to point point B Land and shut down. Does your flight time not end the moment the aircraft lands and is safely on the ground. Because you "choose" to keep the aircraft running because you are "intending" to do "another flight" should not be logged as flight time. Your initial flight is finished. You have reached your destination and have landed safely. The helicopter has come to a rest. You could shut it down and unload or you could keep it running and unload. If you were toed in then yes this would be flight time in line with the definitions. The air craft is touching the surface so it is no longer air time. The helicopter has not come to rest. If you were to turn the engine off the aircraft would disastrously come to its own "rest"



First skids up after start to last skids down before shut down is flight time.



And that is correct!


(At least how I interpret it.)


At the schools I have worked, we have added 0.1 to the total air time to obtain FLIGHT TIME, and don't find that completely unfair, as you can spend 20 minutes or more on the ground. The hobbs meter in most of those machines ONLY run in the air to get AIRTIME.






I think this is more than fair. However, If flight time is calculated from first skids up after start to last skids down before shut down, then this flight could easily be logged as a 1.4 or more and here lies the problem.


Freewheel..... I commend you on your obviously repeated attempts at clarification and yes, you have definitely identified a problem. I will also be filing a report.

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Wow I'm a lot more experienced than I thought. Have logged "air time" all along except for some time instructing where the "industry norm" was oil pressure hobbs. My first 100 hours training was "first lift off to last landing" at a bigger school in BC.


So this season if I had logged per ICAO I would have repeatedly broke flight time limits. Many days were close to 8 hours air time which was often way over 10 rotors turning. I didn't do much sitting idling like some jobs, just a lot of landings per "flight".


Industry has a lot at stake here as do all our customers and last (perhaps least?) the workers. I suspect TC is not unaware of this and guess that's the reason why the letter of interpretation was retracted.


Personally I would rather keep air time as the norm or I couldn't do many of the jobs that happen in the long daylight hours up north.


I suggest everyone log air time and PIC. No one can argue: YOU ARE PIC from rotor start to stop. It's just the darn airplane terminology that's confusing. If every pilot does one of these CAIRS that would be a force to be reckoned with!

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Just to add to the confusion, I remember from somewhere that flight time was defined as the time that the engine was at self sustaining speed until the moment the throttle is closed. Air time is skids up to skids down. Manufacturers care about air time and cycles. Pilots,TC and customers care about flight time.

Sitting beside someone in the cockpit for a 1.0 of flight or air time can be a far more accurate way to measure a pilot... :shock:

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  • 3 weeks later...

My first 100 hours training was "first lift off to last landing" at a bigger school in BC.


Did you check the aircraft logbook to see what the school was loging as airtime?


I have seen some BC schools use a stop watch for" flight time" and billing. Then use the hobbs for aircraft logbooks with a difference of 0.2- 0.3 depending on the type of training. Big difference in the cost for the student. Personally i would rather go to the school that ads a 0.1 to the hobbs to get flight time as winne mentioned. If TC says flight time is the same as airtime as in the Expedition Helicopters findings why would you want to pay a 0.3 difference if the flight school is paying 0.3 less on airtime? is this Fair? are your flight time hours legit according to TC stance? i guess that depends on who you ask and how TC interprets there own definitions.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Has anyone ever got busted on this, (air time, flight time, what time?)?


If not, do we really care? :wacko:


From a pilot standpoint I am much more concerned about the consequences after an incident occurs. I would suggest that the consequences of being "busted" will seem like a slap on the wrist in comparison to the consequences when a lawyer such as Mr. Robb (see forum – Helicopter Crash in Florida) claims you have some of the responsibility in civil litigation.


Civil Courts in Canada and US are based on settlements, with cases rarely going to trial. In many instances, those named in the lawsuits, end up sharing the responsibility in settlement. This means you could end up being responsible for part of the settlement. Often times, those named share the settlement in percentages.


Insurance companies, and major manufacturers all have teams of lawyers like Mr. Robb, whose job it is to minimize the amount their clients payout. They often win cases, (or get settlements) by “praying on the ignorance” of juries who have little if any aviation experience. In my opinion, Mr. Robb is doing just that by questionning the safety record of the Bell 206 helicopter. This to me seems absurd.


Injury victims in accidents also employ lawyers such as Mr. Robb who’s job it is to get the highest payout for their clients. They will usually name all involved (including pilots) in the lawsuit and later drop individuals from the suit as they are cleared of responsibility; this means years of legal discussions, even if you are found to have no responsibility.


Insurance companies have also been known to question pilots experience/fatigue after accidents. If they imply you misrepresented your hours at renewal, they may have grounds to deny coverage; this I have seen first-hand. Even worse, if you interpret Flight Time to be the same as Air Time (as some pilots clearly are), and the lawyer agrees with the Director of Standards interpretation, a pilot could be found to be over his Flight Time Limits, Duty Time Limits as per CARs. This would likely mean that you would have some responsibility and be caught with part (or all) of the settlement.

I suggest that the fine/enforcement action you would receive from TC would seem like small potatoes, compared to the headaches of a multi-million dollar settlement (even if your portion of the settlement was small). Suppose you are completely cleared, you may have significant legal fees and spend years defending your position.

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