Pilot Partner is pleased to announce the release of the CFI Dashboard module in the Pilot Partner Electronic Pilot Logbook System. This is a tool that will help hard working CFIs manage and track their students in one simple and easy to use dashboard.
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CFI Dashboard Features
- View your students’ logbooks
- View your students’ flight totals
- Provide detailed remarks for each instructional flight
- Electronically sign instructional flights
- Automate your own logbook
Overview of CFI Dashboard
The CFI Dashboard works by having the student link their Pilot Partner account to their instructor’s Pilot Partner account. When linked, the instructor will be able to view the student’s entire logbook; The student remains in control of all of their flights and uses Pilot Partner as normal.
If the student moves on to another flight Instructor, they can remove the link between the instructor and their logbook in one quick action.
Problems with Traditional Logbooks
Traditional logbooks have been around since close to the beginning of flying and have changed very little. Although they still serve an important function as the official record of training for the FAA, they are not an effective or efficient tool.
Pilot Partner is working with the FAA and examiners to accept the Pilot Partner record as an official record. For now, we recommend keeping both a paper logbook and use Pilot Partner to enhance it, and as a backup. Only the minimum information needs to go into your paper logbook, so you can save a lot of time by not writing every little detail into that tiny remarks field inside the paper logbook.
In our opinion, there is never enough space to write useful comments to your student for them to review later. Instructors try and cram the basic information into the tiny remarks column and still get their signature in there, or sometimes the instructor ends up taking up 2-3 rows to write more notes.
Then the student takes the logbook with them and the instructor doesn’t have a good record of exactly what they wrote. Hopefully the student doesn’t lose the logbook before their next flight and they bring it back to the instructor. The instructor should review the logbook before the next flight just in case he wrote something that would change his lesson plan for the next flight, although that doesn’t happen that often.
How to Use the CFI Dashboard
Here is how a typical flight would be handled using the CFI Dashboard feature of Pilot Partner
After an Instructional Flight
After each flight with dual instruction, the student would log their flight under the supervision of their instructor. Typically, this would be done on their iPhone/Android device while still at the airplane. The Student would enter: Date, Total Time, Tail Number, Route of Flight, Landings and Dual/PIC categories. The student would then enter his/her own remarks of the flight.
At the same time the flight instructor could be filling out the required information in the student’s paper logbook, but now the instructor doesn’t have to spend as much time entering notes about the student’s flight in the tiny spot in the paper logbook. Focus primarily on the basics: Date, Tail Number, Type, Total Time, Landings and PIC/DUAL.
At the Office/Home
During a break or after the day of flying is over, the instructor should sit down at their computer and review their day of flying. Pilot Partner will list all of the student flights logged that are requiring signatures.
The instructor can then go flight by flight and take the time to write detailed and meaningful notes of the student’s flights. Including:
- Skills performed
- What the student did well on
- What the student needs to improve on
- Expectations for the next flight
Once the flight is signed, the student will receive an email with the instructor’s comments and signature.
This process will also give the instructor an option to automatically log this flight in their logbook, reducing the amount of time needed for the instructor. Pilot Partner will automatically toggle certain flight properties. For an example, the instructor will earn PIC and Instruction Given, and will not earn Dual. It will also automatically log their student’s name for them.
Before the Next Flight
When a student schedules the next flight lesson, the instructor can go to the CFI Dashboard and review the student’s recent flights and remarks entered. Use correctly, the instructor will be able to clearly see what the student has done well on and what the next flight’s mission should be.
There should never be a question on where your student stands in regards to meeting specific requirements for a check ride. Does the student have enough Total Time, Night Time, Cross Country time? Just log into the CFI Dashboard, pull up your student and check.
Just a Start
This release just contains phase I of CFI Dashboard. We have big ideas and more features coming. Take a look at this and let us know what you think. Tell us what you want your CFI Dashboard to do. Some items that we will be including in the next phase are:
- Ability to create and track endorsements
- Ability to establish a curriculum and track students progress
- Including a checklist of specific skills
- Public list of available CFIs.
- Create your own CFI bio
- Allow students to find you
- Get more students
Free for CFI’s
The CFI Dashboard is included in all Pilot Partner subscriptions. There is no additional charges or requirements to use these features. Our goal is to make the use of Pilot Partner free for all active CFIs. To achieve this, a CFI refers their students to Pilot Partner. When their student purchases a subscription the CFI is credited with a 6 month bonus to their subscription. If you refer 2 students a year, you will never have to purchase a subscription.
Your Bonus Time Banks
If you refer more than 2 students a year, your time will add up and “Bank.” So if you refer 4 students this year, you will be able to use Pilot Partner for free for 2 years. If you refer 10 students, then you have 5 years free. It is possible that an active CFI will be able to earn enough free Pilot Partner credits to continue to use Pilot Partner for many years beyond their career as a flight instructor.
It is our goal to provide flight instructors a valuable tool to make instructing students easier and more effective. At the same time we believe the best time for a pilot to begin an electronic logbook is at the time they make their first flight. We like to believe that this program helps the CFI and the student.
If you are an active CFI and have a subscription that is about to expire, email us at email@example.com and let us know. We can help extend your subscription free of charge. We only require that you have sent out 2 or more referrals to your current students.
How to Get Started
Getting started is easy:
Step 1) Sign Up for Pilot Partner
Step 2) Enable CFI Dashboard
Visit your My Account Page once you log into Pilot Partner. This must be done using a computer or web browser on the phone, it is not supported in the Apple or Android App at this time.
- Choose “Enable CFI Dashboard”
- Enter your CFI Certificate Number and Expiration date
Step 3) Add Students
Once CFI Dashboard is enabled, you can add students to your Dashboard. Again this must be done on your computer and not in the Apple/Android App.
- Click CFI Dashboard from the Main Menu
- Click Students on the Left Navigation
- Click the Plus Sign “+” at the top right of the screen
- Enter your Student’s Email Address
Pilot Partner will send your student an email inviting them to create a Pilot Partner account. When they create the account, Pilot Partner will link their account to yours and you will have access to see their flights. Your student will be given a 60 Day free trial of Pilot Partner.
Once your student renews their subscription you will be given the 6 month bonus to your subscription and your student receives a 3 month bonus as well.
What if my student already has Pilot Partner?
If your student is already a Pilot Partner user, have your student add you to their logbook on their next flight. There is an option to add a new person (both on the computer and in the app). All your student needs is your email address. This will create the link.
Unfortunately if they are already a Pilot Partner user, you will not get the 6 month bonus for them.
How to Log a Flight as a Student
After each flight, the CFI should supervise the student making the log entry in their Pilot Partner logbook. They should click the “Add Person” option and then choose your name.
Then the student should save the flight.
This flight will now show in your queue to sign when you log into the CFI Dashboard.
You can optionally sign the logbook on their phone by either signing with your finger or entering your secure PIN Number, but doing this requires you to enter you remarks on the phone, which can make it difficult to type meaningful remarks.
eSign by Secure Pin #
There is an option you have as a CFI to establish a CFI secure PIN #. You can establish this on your computer or inside the app under the CFI Profile. Here you sign once and Pilot Partner will save your signature (think rubber stamp). Each time you need to sign a student’s logbook, you enter your PIN number and you signature is applied.
The advantage here is that it prevents your student from making any changes after the fact and forging your signature. In order for your student to change anything in their logbook they would have to remove your signature, make the change then add your name back.
Without Secure Pin #, they could scribble a signature down that might look like yours.
With Secure Pin #, they are not given the option. They would have to know your Pin number.
Pilot Partner highly recommends this option.