Does a RTG count as flight time?


Well-known member
Feb 4, 2007
This came up on another thread and I thought I'd put it out there:

From the FAA clarification:

"With regard to cancelled flights, if a flight is cancelled before takeoff, then it does not count as a segment for Table B purposes. This is because a flight segment consists of a takeoff and a landing, and the lack of a takeoff/ landing means that there is no flight segment. However, the taxi out time for the cancelled flight segment would still constitute FDP time because the taxi out would have taken place after the flightcrew member reported for duty with the intention of conducting a flight. 30 If the aircraft moved under its own power for the taxi out, then the taxi out would also count as flight time because the aircraft would have moved under its own power for purposes of flight. " Duty Clarification.pdf

ALPA'S FTDT guide dated May 2013 says that it IS counted as flight time, since the airplane taxied under its own power with the intention of flight, but the next revision from November says it is not because there was no landing.
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Well that explains it pretty well.......for a normal RTG.

The Past 3 RTG's I have had lately are still in the weird area.

I pushed with a tug started engines had a mechanical then taxied 20 feet back to the gate then the rest of my day cancelled all 3 times. The taxiing I did on those 3 was to taxi right back into the gate that's it. To me that doesn't count as block since I didn't taxi towards the runway with the intent of flight.

This is just my scenario though and if RAH wants to count it I guess I will too.
Agreed, I had one where we deice for 2 hours and then cancelled. All before starting engines. When we finally started, it was just to pull back in to the gate. No intention for flight.
In my opinion once you have left the gate and the ultimate goal is to fly the plane from A to B then it was moved the intention to go fly. I don't think it matters that you had to de-ice on your way to the runway.
I think the issue is whether or not there is a landing. The only definition of flight time I can find is in 14CFR Part 1 and it says that the fight time ends after coming to rest after a landing. Some interpret this to mean a landing is required. I don't think that was the intent for part 117, but unfortunately they decided not to have a more specific definition of flight time in 117.
I agree with most of the comments here, however, there is one caveat to the regulation, and that is that the aircraft moves under its own power. In a RTG situation the important thing to remember is at the moment that the aircraft first "taxied under it's own power" what was the intention? If a system malfunctions requires a RTG before taxi was commenced, then the first movement of the aircraft under it's own power is not for the intention of flight and thus would not count. However, if the same system malfunction occurred while taxing out to the runway that movement was for the intention of flight and thus that time would count toward block time.

The difficult thing is that this rule must be evaluated on a case by case basis, and it is difficult for a dispatcher or crew scheduler to know what the intention was at the moment of movement...unless you tell them :)