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Logging PIC Time
PIC time means different things in different contexts. Most importantly, the airlines' definition of PIC time often differs from the FAA's. ZuluLog allows you to keep track of the different types of PIC time independently, and easily generate totals when needed.
FAR 61.51
FAA regulations allow PIC time in any of these circumstances:
  • As the sole manipulator of the controls in an aircraft for which you are rated (FAR 61.51(e)(1)(i)). For example, when you're working on your instrument rating, your training is PIC time because you're the one at the controls and rated in the aircraft as a private pilot. Another example: You can log PIC time if you are an SIC at the controls from the right seat.
  • When you are the sole occupant of the aircraft (FAR 61.51(e)(1)(ii)). So, even your first "supervised solo" is PIC time as soon as your CFI hops out. What if you're flying with a non-pilot? You're not the "sole occupant" anymore, but you can still log PIC time per the previous paragraph.
  • When you perform the duties of PIC of an aircraft which requires more than one pilot for its current operation, or requires an ATP certificate (FAR 61.51(e)(1)(iii), FAR 61.51(e)(2)). So, if you're the PIC, and the SIC is flying a leg, you still log PIC time as the "pilot in command" for the leg. This is analogous to military "A" or commander time.
  • When you perform the duties of PIC while undergoing a PIC or SIC training program as a commerical pilot or ATP, as long as you fulfill the requirements of FAR 61.51(e)(1)(iv) and/or FAR 61.51(e)(5).
  • Flight time as a CFI (FAR 61.51(e)(3)).
To log "FAA" PIC time as above, simply enter the applicable time in the PIC boxes in the Times section of the Flight Entry screen. Just make sure you've chosen the correct role from the "Crew" drop-down above, e.g. "PIC", "Student", "SIC", or "Instructor".
Many airlines have a definition of PIC time which is closer to the military's concept of commander time. This means that often, airlines won't care about your PIC time except while you served as pilot in command; for example, they might not want to see your "SIC time at controls" logged as PIC time.
Because of this, many pilots end up shortchanging themselves and logging PIC time only for "aircraft commander" time. Don't do this. ZuluLog lets you easily separate your "commander" time from your "PIC time at controls" time.
To indicate that you were the PIC or "commander" of a flight operation, select PIC from the "Crew" drop-down selector in the Main section of the ZuluLog Flight Entry screen. Then, fill in your flight times in the Times section. You'll notice that the PIC time boxes will fill themselves in, because you were the commander.
On the other hand, if you were acting as an instructor, select "Instructor" rather than PIC from the Crew drop-down. This will give you more flexibility later when reporting your times.
Reporting your PIC time
If you've logged your time as described above, this part is easy:
  • To report your "FAA" PIC time, just report the totals from the "PIC" column on the Pilot Logbook screen.
  • To report your "airline" PIC time, run the "Application Totals" screen in "Crew Role" mode. Or, tap Explorer from the Pilot Logbook screen, and subtotal by Crew Role.
Questions? Feel free to contact us.
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