By Ken VeArd
How Do You eLog (#HowDoYoueLog) is a new campaign at Pilot Partner to help pilots who have yet to convert to electronic pilot logbook software.
Read more at: Starting Electronic with a Pilot Logbook.
Most Pilots Do Not Log Electronically
There are more pilots than I expected who still do not log their flights electronically. We are not only talking about the older and more seasoned pilots, even 20-40 year old pilots are not using electronic means. These pilots break into a couple different categories:
Those who don’t know about electronic logbooks
- Those who want to start, but are worried about the years of flying they already have in their logbook, so they don’t start.
- Those who started an eLogbook, but either stopped or lost their data along the way.
Believe it or not, until about a year ago I was in that last category. I wrote the 1st version of Pilot Partner in 1997 and I had my logbook completely up to date and perfectly accurate in my Pilot Partner database in addition to my paper logbook. At about the same time my life caused me to stop flying for a couple of years, I stopped supporting Pilot Partner.
Back then Pilot Partner was a program you would install on your computer, and you had to make your own backups. When I returned to flying, I was unable to recover my own electronic logbook. This is a pretty embarrassing fact to admit as the author of an electronic logbook application!
Some Pilots Don’t Even Log at All
The one category of pilots that surprises me more than any other is the group of pilots who don’t even log their flights. I know the FAA doesn’t require you to log every flight, but why wouldn’t you? Maybe these Pilot’s should read my earlier post about Why We Log Our Flights?
Some of the reasons I’ve heard for why they don’t keep a logbook are:
- I lost my original logbook so I never took the time to keep track of it
- I use my aircraft logbook to get a pretty good feel for how much I’ve been flying
- I’ve made it 20 years without ever having to show my logbook, I just don’t care
Their thinking is that some of us do not need to log every flight and it will never be an issue, as long as they can prove that they are current and they’ve met the requirements to be Pilot in Command, why waste the time logging all of their flights?
For most of us, earning the right to fly and continuing to fly represents a huge investment we’ve made. For myself, I take pride in filling out my log and seeing my records of my achievements.
Paper vs Electronic?
Despite what most people might think, I still keep my paper logbook up to date. Most CFI’s and examiners are still not ready to accept an electronic logbook. I predict that we will start seeing that change over the next 3-5 years though and Pilot Partner will be on the forefront of that effort. We are already working on the features required to have an electronic logbook accepted by the FAA.
Primary vs Secondary
Once a month or so, I open my paper logbook and add the details from my eLog into my paper logbook. I also make sure my logbook is up to date before my next flight with a CFI. For example, I recently did my flight review with an instructor I hadn’t flown with before. The night before my flight review, I wrote down the last 15 flights in my paper logbook so that when I flew with the CFI, he was ready to to write in the next line.
Tell us how you eLog? There is no one right answer here. The only wrong answer I can think of is, “I don’t eLog at all!”