Logging Multi-leg XC Flights
(Ref: StudentPilot.com – revised for length)

C172 — N821SD — North Perry Hollywood, FL — T&Go's, Gusty Winds, 9 Landings — 1 hrs

Here's a question I had that others have also had, and some answers I feel are the best I've found.

QUESTION: How to log any multi-leg flight?

EXAMPLE:

KRNO > KHTH,
KHTH > KMEV
(lunch)
KMEV > KRNO

It's all the same day, but, given XC means 50nm, the first two legs are XC but the last one, if flown by itself isn't (at least as far as a 50nm requirement is concerned).

However, it looks like if I fly them all in one "flight," the whole thing counts as one XC. What if I stop for lunch for an hour and a half in KMEV?

On multi-segment flights like this, some would log it as three lines in their book (3 entries), but the last one if logged separately isn't really XC. How is the proper/best way to log this.

ANSWER(S):

The regs don't define this. They say when to stop the clock, but not what counts as one flight vs. two or more. I'd log the whole thing as one flight with two intermediate landings, and a route of flight that includes all the airports.

I would make one logbook entry like this: KRNO - KHTH - KMEV - KRNO
The Remarks section would then say something like; “Had reuben sandwich and potato soup @ KMEV”
Thus all time would be XC

So if I'm making a 3-legged flight, it fills one line of my log book if it's on the same day.
If I needed to show that a leg exceeded 50 or 100 miles or whatever for advanced ratings qualification, then I'd put that in the remarks column.

However, I would split the entry if the flight was not made entirely on the same day. If the flight gets split by an overnight, then what happened the first day goes on one line and what happens the next day goes on the next line.

Of course, if your goal is to purchase a "professional pilot log book" that is an inch thick and fill its pages, then you'll do that quicker if you use separate lines for every leg! :)

Also, a touch and go is a landing, so it counts as a cross country.

Probably the best FAA-based discussion of what is a cross country comes from the orphaned Part 61 FAQ and has been posted here from time to time. In response to a number questions about what counts when there are stops in a cross country, the FAQ came up with the same answer.

Here's one example:

QUESTION: Is the “original point of departure” subject to change if there is an overnight, extended stay, or the aircraft is left for repair and the pilot returns later to continue the cross-country or bring it home? Does “original point of departure” change with a new day?

ANSWER: Ref. § 61.1(b)(3)(ii) or (iii)(B) or (iv)(B) or (v)(B); The term “original point of departure” does not change with a new day or delay.

The basic "rule" is that, unless you are being completely ridiculous about it, what you consider a single flight for cross country purposes is up to you.