NJMac

Anyone have personal maximum hours per day?

Recommended Posts

Wife and i took off from Dayton yesterday and planned to make it 3 legs totalling 10 hrs in foreflight. I called it about an hour from our destination as I wasn't comfortable with my performance at the time.

 

First if all, an autopilot has to play in favorably here. Can't wait for trutrac to be certified for the Mooneys. Hand flying all day is a taxing experience.

 

But that aside, has anyone placed max hours upon yourself? I see the value but don't know exactly where to start. I was good for the first 7-8 hrs but after that I noticed many errors in my flows. What do some of you all day for yourself?

 

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Members that donate $10 or more do not see advertisements*

As a short answer, NO but the longer answer is that I just won’t fly if I’m not feeling well and haven’t had enough sleep. 1 hour hand flying in IMC with light to moderate turbulence may be worth 3 on a calm VFR day with an autopilot so it’s really an apples to oranges comparison.

I use the MMOPA-FRAT app and find it helpful (usually to justify the decision I’ve already made).

Sounds like a good call to land and get some rest if you’re not feeling like things are going right. Anytime your flight starts to sound like the narrative from an accident report is probably a good time to get on the ground.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed you made a good choice if you felt you were getting fatigued.

No I do not have a maximum.    The longest I have flown in a single day has been about 9 hours.

Lots of other factors fall into place:

  1. where are you going?
  2. when you need to be there? (if the need to be there is that important leave a day earlier)
  3. what is the weather?
  4. time of day you get started?
  5. when the last flight will end?
  6. are you gong to a familiar airport?
  7. any other factor important to you
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What altitude were you at?  It adds up.

Was it all day vmc or would it conclude at night?

IMC or VMC?

Autopilot or No?

Those are the factors that start to make me limit my hours.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The most I have done is 10.5 hours in 3 legs. I felt fine doing it but was pretty tired afterwards. That trip involved a 150 mile detour around storms. What I do now is plan for 2 legs of 4 hours or less each.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



 I’m sure that wasn’t an easy call to make only an hour short of your destination.  
Jim


Honestly it really was not easy at all. Highlighted to me the reality of get-there-itis. And we didn't even have a hotel room booked. Probably my type A, complete the mission mindset.

Flew the rest of that leg this morning and honestly was glad we did it in daylight. The scenery is fabulous. abbecb5af987c043ce143f55ed75f634.jpgadbb2d436fcb46a923c3f65bfe008a18.jpg

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

11.9, SE Florida to NM against the wind, 1 stop, the worst part was moderate chop for last 2 hours. I was trying to beat a storm coming up from Mexico, ended up waiting a day for it to pass and continued on. I was tired, normally 10 is my maximum, but the winds picked up earlier than forecasted. You’ll need comfortable seats for the long flights.


Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can do sun up to sundown in glassy air with a low workload but I have also called it quits for the day after a 3 hour leg left me feeling wrung out.  Depends on how I'm feeling.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My longest non-stop was 5.2 hours from Longview to Dona Ana in NM.   After getting beaten up by the headwinds and turbulence in west TX for a few hours I was more than ready to get on the ground and was a bit fatigued.   Refueled, took a break looking at the museum airplanes there, and did another 2.5 home pretty easily.    The break made a huge difference, but that 7.7 in one day was the most I've done.   These days that's about the right max "long-day" length for me without it starting to get problematic.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just did a 2:15 IFR At 110 KTS. That’s enough for me....

The furthest I ever flew in one day was Pennsylvania to Arizona, but I was young and foolish. For work I will do 7 hours in one day. For vacation I try to limit it to 4 hours a day. Any longer and the wife gets cranky. 

The length of time till you are done depends heavily on the conditions. 

I don’t think very many of us on here are paid to get the Mooney there come hell or high water. Vacations should be fun not an endurance contest.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The median time I want to be in the cockpit is about 90 minutes.  Long XCs I start planning fuel stops every 90/120 minutes.  If it's gonna be more than 5 hours of flight time, I'll just go commercial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I just flew 5:45 today from VA to AR and I was done.  Something about being in the constant noise and vibration takes its toll.  

I think my longest day was 6.5, had to stop for fuel which helps a bit.  I also had someone else along to pay attention and talk to.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, I just flew 5:45 today from VA to AR and I was done.  Something about being in the constant noise and vibration takes its toll.  
I think my longest day was 6.5, had to stop for fuel which helps a bit.  I also had someone else along to pay attention and talk to.  
 
Told my wife that last night - if she fell asleep then I probably was going to also

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My longest day was 11.5 hours in a Cherokee 180 from NJ to Florida, with about 3 in IMC having only a wing leveler and a seat where the webbing was coming off on one side of the frame.  I was in my 20's, so I didn't think anything of it but boy did that fried chicken taste incredible that night!  

My longest recently was 10.5 hours over 4 legs from SC to SD last summer.  The margaritas that night in Rapid City SD were quite possibly the tastiest margaritas ever; the long day of flying may have had something to do with it.  

I did 8.2 for a business trip a couple weeks ago, out and back in the same day which was also a lot of flying, but it was smooth both ways in the low teens on o2 with the AP on.  The o2 and use of the AP makes a big difference in not getting too wiped out for me these days.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My limit is 24 hours in a day.  I don't have the power to change it to 26 hours a day which I feel I need sometimes.

On the topic at hand however, I paid my instructor to go with me to get my new plane and fly it home from Michigan home to Idaho.  With a 50 knot headwind, deciding not to go across Lake Michigan and being vectored around the huge and at the time very active MOA, we finally landed for the night after 16 hours and one stop for fuel in South Dakota.  Luckily, I learned about my awesome AP and glass dash and found the seats very comfortable. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I did my due diligence prior to the flight and I do, it all depends on how I feel and am I holding up, especially in my thought process if I’m on oxygen I get tired easier. Longest in a day about 12 hours, generally the last few years it’s been 5-6 hours. I’ve also landed after a couple hours and got a hotel room, yep how I feel that day.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really like to sit in the plane for more than about 4 hrs. I do not have a hard and fast rule regarding flight time.  I fly "on condition".  If things are not going well, I pick the safest, easiest, and fastest way to terminate the flight. That being said,  I have had 7-10hr days with fuel stop in between  that left me feeling really good about my progress as opposed to exhausted.  My family appreciates that traveling by Mooney is faster than commercial up to about 1000nm so they're also willing to put in some time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I have done 13.7 in one day but that was with autopilot and stopped for a 3 hr nap at hr 12. I would never make the mistake of doing that again but it was back in the 90’s when I did what was required to keep a job. Fortunately the boss only asked me to do that once hbz-btr-mgm-mth-mgm-hbz. All in an a36 bonanza 

Edited by Planegary
Adding airports

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I limit myself to 8 hours of flying in a 12 hour period. The 12 hour period starts when I show up at the airport and ends when I shut the engine down at the end of the day. This assumes that flying is the only event of the day - no work/play/anything else before showing up at the airport first thing of the day.

Yeah, I know, that leaves 4 hours somewhere in the middle. Refuel, lunch, quick (or not so quick) nap fills that time.

Cheers,
Rick

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not just the handflying.  It everything else that has to be alert.   Your spidy senses are all on 230% which uses alot of energy and tires you out.    It's like riding a motorcycle.   You are getting the IMAX experience but you are totally alive to make it happen.   Planning stops 2 hours seems to work to get the blood flowing and give a rest.   generally over 400 miles I would much prefer to sit in the back and let someone else do all the worrying

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About every 5 years, the limit seems to get adjusted a bit lower. Now, the limit is 8 hours with 2 stops. We usually try to make a trip with just one stop, and keep the front end travel long and a shorter hop after the stop.

Still, the smallest bladder in the plane sets the length of the legs.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What altitude were you at?  It adds up.
Was it all day vmc or would it conclude at night?
IMC or VMC?
Autopilot or No?
Those are the factors that start to make me limit my hours.
Agreed, high alt is hard on the body.

Also take into account circadian rhythm. Taking off for a long night of flying after working all day is much different than leaving in the AM for that same flight.

Fly Safe,
Safety Forum Mod

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once did a ~14 hr in a day with about 6hr solid IMC, no autopilot or wing leveler.  off at S37  Smoketown at 8AM to kaum Austin MN then back to S37 landed at about 1am. And I would not fly that long again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done a few 5.5 hr non-stops followed by 1-2 hr legs on O2 by myself and that's about my limit.  I find that my energy level and alertness stays at a very high level until I get home when I'm completely wasted (I avoided using the verb "crash" here).  I feel like the effects from the mental stress of constantly checking instruments, talking to ATC, and otherwise flying is latent for me, which can be dangerous. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My max is maybe 10 in a day.  Depends on day / night, whether I have had full sleep the night before, weather, etc. 

Flying AUS to ILM in a day with a fuel stop and a plane full of precious cargo I called it quits over ATL after it got dark and I was starting to get tired.  Landed at Hartsfield, spent the night in a hotel and went to the delta museum the next morning.  That was preferable to trying to slog it out.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.