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Online Pilot Logbook | Professional Aviation Record Keeping™
Logging PIC Time
FAR 61.51 defines PIC time, but that's only part of the picture. The airlines and military branches have their own terminology —"PIC Time" differs depending on context. Luckily, you can keep the different types of PIC time easily separated in ZuluLog, and report on each as desired.
FAR 61.51
The FAA has a more expansive definition of PIC time than the airlines do. According to the FAA, you can log 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 this PIC time, simply enter the applicable flight time in the PIC boxes in the Times section of the ZuluLog Flight Entry screen. Just make sure you've chosen the correct role from the "Crew" drop-down above: "PIC", "Student", "SIC", etc.
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 while you were receiving your instrument rating, or were flying a leg as SIC, etc.
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, simply select PIC from the "Crew" drop-down selector in the Basic 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.
Reporting your PIC time
If you've logged your PIC time as advised 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 from the Pilot Logbook menu. Or, tap Explorer from the Pilot Logbook screen, and subtotal by Crew Role.
Questions? Feel free to contact us.
Important disclaimer: This document is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an understanding of the regulations that apply to you.
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