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Electronic Logbook

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Kevin Slezewski
Homebuilder or Craftsman
40
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#1 Posted: 10/3/2009 10:45:48

Just wondering if there's anyone out there that uses an electronic logbook.  (Package software or Excel download)  My current lobook is almost full and I am considering going electronic.  Is there a particular one that works best?  How do you handle endorsements or instructor entries?  ...Looking for general opinions!...  Thanks in advance!



Kevin Slezewski aka "SLEZ" www.crispycedars.com
Mike Edwards
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
130
Posts
30
#2 Posted: 10/3/2009 15:43:49
Kevin Slezewski wrote:

 

Just wondering if there's anyone out there that uses an electronic logbook.  (Package software or Excel download)  My current lobook is almost full and I am considering going electronic.  Is there a particular one that works best?  How do you handle endorsements or instructor entries?  ...Looking for general opinions!...  Thanks in advance!

Probably overkill, but I use both.  I keep both a standard paper logbook and an electronic one.  I use a Microsoft Access database, but I wouldn't recommend that.  It's really overkill.  I just did it years ago as a training exercise for Access, and I've kept using it since.  I would recommend just an Excel (or Open Office!) spreadsheet which probably would do everything you need.

The advantages of using both are:  I carry the paper one with me when I have instruction or want to show it to somebody for some reason.  It contains the official stamps and signatures.  In the electronic one I just put [signed] in the notes field for the flight to indicate that the paper one contains the signoff.  The electronic one makes it easy to compute totals for the yearly insurance update or other purposes.  And it makes searches easy, like when was that flight to the Grand Canyon?

I keep the paper version fairly current, pretty much after every flight, and then I put the data into the electronic one every couple months.  It only takes 15 minutes or so to put pages of paper entries into the database.  Another advantage:  I put one page of the paper logbook into the database at a time and then look at the column totals.  That allows me to verify my arithmetic in the peper version.

Mike E

 

 



Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
482
Posts
101
#3 Posted: 10/4/2009 07:39:15

I second Mike's approach.  Keep 'em both.  my Garmin GPS logs each flight, and these logs are transferable to a Garmin provided program that maintains a log book on my computer.  I periodically hook the GPS to the computer, download the latest info and copy it to my paper log book.  Why keep both? Computers crash, paper can get lost.  Keeping both is kinda insurance, and the computer is great at adding up all those tenths of hours without making a mistake.  Besides, its cool to have your GPS and your computer talking to each other and keeping your records for you...
goggles



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Reggie Smalls
Homebuilder or Craftsman
126
Posts
49
#4 Posted: 10/4/2009 11:13:51

If I were starting my flight experience now, I would do it electronically.   

The chore of retrospectively inputting all the data frm my paper logbook is quite daunting, now. 

If I ever did go electronic (or do both), I would make sure that whatever software I used was easily exportable to another common format.   Easy to get trapped in proprietory systems.

 



David Darnell
61
Posts
18
#5 Posted: 10/4/2009 22:30:16

   I know with the Army we have a dedicated computer for a aircraft logbook. The program used is propietary, but I imagine that a equivalent could be done that allows you to track flights, times, aircraft maintenance, etc. would think it would be quite handy - if it works



Jim Hann
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#6 Posted: 10/5/2009 05:23:30
Reggie Smalls wrote:

 

If I were starting my flight experience now, I would do it electronically.   

The chore of retrospectively inputting all the data from my paper logbook is quite daunting, now. 

If I ever did go electronic (or do both), I would make sure that whatever software I used was easily exportable to another common format.   Easy to get trapped in proprietary systems.

 

 

Reggie, I started doing that exact thing in 2000.  Finished in 2006.  Got my paper log caught up in 2007, got my career position, paper log is out of date again.  I inputted about 8,000 hours of flying so it can be done, but it takes a while.  I had a lot of couch time sitting airport reserve in the year(s) after 9/11 so I had the slack time to work on it.  The end of the left couch in the crew room still had that depression in it when they tossed it!

I do agree with all of your statements though, it is a lot of work, and try not to get trapped by proprietary systems, I believe some download in CSV or something similar, but I'd have to go look at mine again.

Jim



http://sites.google.com/site/jimscavaliersa1025/ http://picasaweb.google.com/CozyCanard http://sites.google.com/site/cavalieraircraft/
Joe Norris
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
328
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137
#7 Posted: 10/5/2009 11:53:21

I second (or third) the motion of keeping both electronic and paper logbooks.  The electronic logs make looking up stuff and compiling totals easy, but the paper log is not only permanent (as long as you don't have a fire or lose them) and fun to look back on as a bit of a "flying diary".  Tough to pass electronic logbooks down to your grandkids!! tongueout

The electronic logbook I use is an old DOS-based program that I can't seem to let go of.  I can't remember what it's called even.  something like AirLog or something similar.

I have a newer, windows-based electronic log as well, but I like the old DOS one better.  The newer one isn't nearly complete as there was no way to transfer all the DOS data files so I have to manually type in the data to fill up the new one.  (I may or may not ever finish!)

Anyway, that's my $.02 US.  As always, YMMV.

Cheers!

Joe



Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate
Andy Gamache
Homebuilder or Craftsman
122
Posts
28
#8 Posted: 10/6/2009 10:50:31

This is going to sound obsessive, but I technically have four logbooks.

 

When I'm flying, I record my times on a 5x7 pad that stays with my kneeboard. After a pad is filled up, I toss it in with the rest of my logbooks. I use the data from the kneeboard to fill in the data on my electronic logbook. From there, I fill in my paper logbook. The forth logbook is really pushing it, but since I fly Part 135 I'm required to fill out a Time and Duty log. Those are in a spreadsheet and are saved on my computer.

Right now I'm using LogTen Pro (a Mac only product). I was previously using FlightLevel on my Windows machine, however they haven't really done much with it in the last bunch of years. LogBook Pro is probably the best way to go if you're going to spend money.

As far as using an electronic logbook, it'll probably pay dividends as you progress in aviation. Probably the biggest help is with filling out those annoying insurance forms. Whether you rent, own or work, you ALWAYS have to fill out insurance forms.



Alice Cornwell
65
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#9 Posted: 10/6/2009 22:30:57

Yes, that's obsessive.

Only joking Andy
wink



Predrag Vasic
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0
#10 Posted: 10/9/2009 09:24:23

On the Mac, a quick search revealed the following:

 

Logten Pro (as mentioned above)

Climb!

 

They both have mobile companion components for iPhone/iPod. These automatically synchronise data in both directions (i.e. between Mac and iPhone and back), so you can enter info in either and it's fully in sync.

 

On the Windows side of the world, you have:

 

FlightLog Professional - With FlightLog PPC Remote Recorder (for Windows mobile only -- no iPhone version)

LogBook Pro - with PDA Companion (Windows Mobile, and Palm only -- also no iPhone support).

 

If you are an iPhone user, you'll probably want to make your next computer a Mac. Otherwise, you might not be able to use your phone with the logbook software.

 

I don't have any personal experience with either of these titles, but they all seem to offer free demos (up to about 40-50 flight entries, or up to 40 hours of flight before they stop working), so if you have time, you can explore them all and choose the one that works for you.

 

 



Larry Lyons
IAC MemberVintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
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#11 Posted: 10/9/2009 12:03:38

Having lost two electronic log books due to a hard drive crash and a mother board failure I am not a big fan of digital for GA type flying.      
angry   Larry



Mike Cannon
7
Posts
5
#12 Posted: 12/1/2009 16:14:16

I use a paper log and back it up with an online log (aeroplanner.com) which is free with your EAA membership.

 

That way I have an offsite log in case something happens to the paper.



Mike "The Loose" Cannon
Victor Thompson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#13 Posted: 12/5/2009 09:58:05

 

Having lost two electronic log books due to a hard drive crash and a mother board failure I am not a big fan of digital for GA type flying.      
angry   Larry


I agree Larry: Paper all the way, trees are a renewable resource.


thumbsup  VJ Thompson
c-girq.jpg



VJ Thompson Thorp T-18 C-GIRQ
Drew Fultz
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#14 Posted: 12/9/2009 00:20:31

I just started my lessons and I am using both.  But first, a quick story on why I chose to go electronic...

 I was about 12 years old (19 now) when I got a new puppy... Have I said enough already???
biggrin  Anyway, my dad had his logbook at home and it was sitting on the table after a night of entries.  The next day he left and went to work.  I came home to see shreads of paper all over the floor with writing on them and only later figured out what it was.  I have never seen my father quite so upset.  My mother and I gathered up all the pieces that we could find and put them in a shoebox and for about an hour every night we pieced together the pages until they were legible again as a whole pages.  That's when my dad went electronic and now I use both.  We just use excel. 



Christopher Moon
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#15 Posted: 12/11/2009 23:40:06

I have been using Aloft from Skymark Technologies  www.skymarktechnologies.com for years now and am very satisfied.

It comes in three versions depending on your needs -Commercial, Private and Sport - with features each level of pilot needs. What I particularly like is the customability of reports - e.g. it has a report just listing the information needed for annual insurance renewal. It also has a currency tracker and reminder - medical, night, IFR, etc.



Chris Moon - Cardinal Flyer
Dana Hague
29
Posts
2
#16 Posted: 2/2/2011 21:00:12

 I use both.  The traditional paper logbook is primary, but I went to an electronic copy if for no other reason than making all the adding easier (especially as I use hours and minutes, not hours and tenths since my plane has no Hobbs).  Anyway, I couldn't find any I liked... they're either oriented to the professional pilot (I don't need colums for IFR, multi, or copilot time), web based (I want my data on my own computer, not some website that may go down or out of business), or too expensive... so I wrote my own.  I think it's pretty good... it's highly customizable, easy to use, and affordable.  Check it out (free download):  LogBook at Danaware.com



Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
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#17 Posted: 2/3/2011 09:33:12

Hint, Dana.  Six minutes is one tenth of an hour.  Makes adding so much easier..... And if you fly one hour and five minutes, very few are going to say you cheated one minute....
biggrin

 



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Mike Edwards
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#18 Posted: 2/3/2011 12:43:57
Jerry Rosie wrote:

 

Hint, Dana.  Six minutes is one tenth of an hour.  Makes adding so much easier..... And if you fly one hour and five minutes, very few are going to say you cheated one minute....
biggrin

 

Good for building IFR time (slowly), too.  One descent through a marine layer, 30 seconds in the clouds, logs as 0.1 hours!



Dana Hague
29
Posts
2
#19 Posted: 2/4/2011 20:53:12
Jerry Rosie wrote:

 

Hint, Dana.  Six minutes is one tenth of an hour.  Makes adding so much easier..... And if you fly one hour and five minutes, very few are going to say you cheated one minute....
biggrin

 

 

 

Well, of course.  If you enter "1.3" into my logbook it's stored as internally as 78 minutes... and displayed as 1:18... unless you set it to display hours and tenths.  But it's still tedious adding multiple columns each time you fill up a page.. I tend to be lazy, weeks or months go by and I have several pages of entries with no totals... which is why I wrote the program.

Actually I round the times to the nearest (up or down as appropriate) 5 minutes before I enter anything.  Some pilots who want to build hours may always round up, while some aircraft owners may well always round down.

 



Terry Litts
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
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#20 Posted: 2/7/2011 10:30:57

Thre are a number of free ware log books online. Just search "free logbooks" and pick the one you want.