July 18, 2019

TCCA Clarifies Helicopter ‘Flight’ vs ‘Air’ Time


Transport Canada – Civil Aviation recently released an Advisory Circular (AC 700-052) that seeks to clarify the definitions of ‘Air ’and ‘Flight’ times as they relate to helicopters.

In the document (appended below), TCCA identifies the current definition of Flight Time, as per the CARs, as “…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”, a definition consistent with that for aeroplanes.

TCCA then contrasts that definition with the one set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which defines Flight Time as “The total time from the moment a helicopter’s rotor blades start turning until the moment the helicopter finally comes to rest at the end of a flight and the rotor blades are stopped.”

The circular points out that the American definition of Flight Time, according to their regulations, is consistent with TCCA’s.

TCCA adds the definition for Air Time: “…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.”

Later in the circular is a description of various helicopter flight scenarios together with guidance on how the resulting Air and Flight Times should be logged.