Best Pilot Logbook

Though a pilot logbook should contain the same details for each flight, each one can have different characteristics and last for different periods of time.

This is largely due to the fact that the FAA does not regulate the layout of pilot logbooks.

As a pilot, that means you can have a range of logbooks to choose from. These can differ in their size and construction material to the color of the cover and the number of pages which can make it a tricky choice.

Having the right type of pilot logbook is useful to ensure that you can record your flight time and other details accurately as well as legibly.

If the logbook is too large or too small, you may struggle to remember whether you have packed it away or not as it should be a convenient size for wherever you decide to put it.

The material should also be durable, just in case the cover gets wet as spillages can occur, even in planes that are expertly flown.

Whichever type of aircraft you fly, whether you are at the controls or seated on the left or right-hand side of the cockpit, your flying time should be recorded accurately.

The logbook should be with a pilot at all times so find one that you know can fit snugly in your pocket or in the same spot in your luggage.

Your pilot logbook should be more than just a few pieces of paper, it should be something you take pride in which reminds you of all the flying time you have accumulated. 

Best For Professional Appearance

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Best For Versatile Pilots

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Best For European Travel

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Best For Professional Appearance

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Jeppesen is a Boeing company, so they should know what is required for a pilot logbook.

Their Professional Pilot Logbook can hold up to a decade’s worth of flight information, and you should expect it to with the craftsmanship that goes into each one.

The pilot summaries are simplified, as are the annual pilot summaries making it a really easy logbook to use after each flight.

This pilot logbook is ideal for anyone that prefers old-school methods such as the sleek dark brown leather cover and the way the rows and fields are conveniently set out.

Though this logbook may be heavier than most, you do get a high-quality construction with superb paper and binding.

For a pilot logbook that you will last for years, find one that is a tried and tested favorite of aviation professionals.

Pros

  • Classy Dark Brown Cover – The logbook looks the part as soon as you get it out of your pocket or luggage
  • 16 Rows – Each summary page includes 16 rows which is more than most
  • Old-School Aesthetic – Ideal for pilots who prefer the more timely way of doing things
  • High-Quality Construction – Both the paper and the binding are of top quality construction for a logbook you can be proud of

Cons

  • Heavy – Some pilots have noted that with the number of pages, this logbook does seem heavier than most at 1.75 pounds

Also available directly from Jeppesen

Best For Versatile Pilots

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For a pilot who wants to fly various aircraft types and comply with several flying regulations then they need a Master Log.

The Standard Pilot Master Log is one of few that complies with CAA, JAA, CASA, and ICAO requirements, as well as the record keeping necessities set out by the FAA.

Having a logbook that takes care of all that can be quite a relief.

With such welcome versatility, you should still expect the same useful design from The Standard. This includes flexible columns that can be customizable to include the details you need to log.

Summary pages are also included for vital information such as medical dates, flight reviews, and tracking flying currency, so every detail has its rightful place.

Pros

  • Range Of Compliance – Not only does the logbook comply with FAA record keeping regulations but also JAA, CAA, ICAO, and CASA requirements 
  • Versatility – Few logbooks are designed to suit such a full range of pilot’s flying needs
  • Customizable Columns – Though the columns are standardized to an extent, they can prove flexible
  • Summary Pages – These are included to track flying currency, medical dates, flight reviews, and aircraft types for quick reference

Cons

  • Updated Version – Several pilots have objected to the new format from this updated version as they have become so accustomed to using the old one

Also available directly from Aviation Supplies & Academics

Best For European Travel

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For flying in Europe, you require a logbook to specifically comply with EASA standards.

With Jeppesen, you should expect a certain high level of craftsmanship but also an effective design, and this one hits the spot for all those regulatory necessities.

This pilot logbook is designed to meet European FCL.050 requirements yet still comes with the touches you expect from the brand.

Those touches include gold lettering that really adds to a stunning professional look that should impress your cockpit colleagues.

Of course, being a Jeppesen logbook you can expect to log a full decade’s worth of flying details and this one even has 18 lines per page.

You really cannot be flying in Europe without a compliant pilot’s logbook and this one hits the mark.

Pros

  • Meets European Standards – For pilots who fly internationally, knowing that the logbook is compliant is excellent peace of mind
  • Gold Lettering – That extra classy touch really looks good on the cover
  • Decade Worth Of Data – Feel confident that you can log a full ten years' worth of flying data
  • 18 Lines Per Page – Ensure you get all the detail you require with a couple more lines of space

Cons

  • High Price Tag – The pilot logbook may be more expensive simply to meet those EASA standards

Also available directly from Jeppesen

Best For Infrequent Pilots

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As a critical aspect of any pilot’s inventory, the logbook should be a trusted companion to take with you when flying.

Aviation Supplies & Academics have been producing pilot logbooks for over 30 years which goes with their overall 60 plus years' association with the aviation industry.

The Standard Pilot Log has evolved over the decades, so you should know it has all the right spaces for the correct details.

This is a lightweight logbook as it contains just 208 pages but weighs only 0.55 pounds.

There is also space for all your instructor endorsements and the logbook will fully comply with all the FAA’s requirements for record keeping.

The burgundy cover is also a classy look to suit any student or qualified pilot, as soon as they retrieve it to log their flight time.

Pros

  • Proven Experience – Truly the standard in pilot logbooks, that have been used in the aviation industry for over 60 years
  • Lightweight – At only 0.55 pounds, the logbook should be easy to store and carry
  • Includes Instructor Endorsements – Ideal for a student pilot as the logbook includes all the instructor endorsements
  • Burgundy Cover – Make a statement with a cover that stands out

Cons

  • Only 208 Pages – For a frequent flyer, this logbook is unlikely to last

Also available directly from Aviation Supplies & Academics

Best Pilot Logbook For Students

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For a student pilot, or one who solely flies at weekends or during the holidays, a highly-functional design should meet industry standards.

The Jeppesen Student Pilot Logbook could see you through your training and then into recording your own flying time.

With the possibility of over 500 flight entries being recorded, there should be more than enough time.

You should also be able to quickly prove your qualifications and BasicMed Tracking is included in this latest version of the logbook.

Making sure that your flight-time details are legible too is also made easier with large flight-time spaces and green pages that resist ink-bleed.

The logbook should also be durable thanks to a scuff-resistant cover meaning you should feel comfortable wherever you fly to and from.

Pros

  • BasicMed Tracking – Make sure you can prove your current qualifications as BasicMed Tracking is included in this latest version
  • Large Flight-Time Spaces – Make sure you can legibly fill in your information
  • Substantial Flight Entries – Over 500 flight entries can be recorded
  • Scuff-Resistant Cover – Enhanced durability from a cover that can take some rough treatment

Cons

  • Too Small – It has been noted that this is a great logbook to start, yet a more professional one should be applicable further into a flying career

Also available directly from Jeppesen

Best Pilot Logbook Buying Guide

Your pilot logbook will be initially used to record your ground training. Each session of a formal ground school course should be logged by your instructor.

For a self-study course, the Flight Instructor will put a statement in your logbook to verify how effective your flying has been assessed.

The logbook also becomes a legal document when you are receiving your flight training as your Flight Instructor and you must sign each entry. 

Best Pilot Logbook

Once you begin flying aircraft yourself then you can begin to log your own flight time and decide how this is completed in your logbook.

Though the FAA does not regulate pilots’ logbooks, there is some guidance on the details that should be included for each flight in 14 CFR 61. 51.

Your logbook should record specific information about the aircraft, the destinations of take-off and landing, as well as the flight time and the individual members of your flight crew.

The pilot logbook will also have pages towards the back which allows for Flight Instructors to detail further types of endorsements which is important.

That may be including their permission for you to fly solo, whether they recommend you take a check-ride, fly at high altitudes, or even special flying skills such as tail wheel aircraft.

Ensuring that your pilot logbook is legible, durable, and kept up to date with certain regulations is a crucial part of flying.

Cover Material

For a pilot logbook you can be proud to take out of your pocket or luggage, you want one with a suitably classy material used in the cover.

For a professional look, go for leather as this can prove waterproof and stain-resistant while also adding to the durability of your logbook itself.

A material such as cardboard may be handy for a student’s pilot logbook as it should not be used for such a prolonged period of time and can prove durable for long enough.

A cover material that proves to be scuff-resistant is also a good feature to have.

Durability

The pilot logbook should last for years to cover a substantial amount of flying time. By using it on every flight, it will need to be durable so that it does not begin to fall apart.

A logbook that is made of poorly constructed materials can easily rip or tear at the binding, and you really do not want to have to reproduce all that information in a new logbook.

Find a professional-looking pilot logbook with an elegant design, and it can last up to a full decade.

Size

The size of a pilot’s logbook should be one of the primary considerations.

It should be compact enough, ideally to fit into your jacket pocket or a specifically small pocket in your luggage, so you easily have it at hand.

Not too small as you may forget that you have it on you or struggle to find it when you need it most.

The more comprehensive pilot logbooks can measure 7 by 11 inches while more compact ones may only measure 4 by 8 inches.

Number Of Pages

How many pages are included is also important depending on how many flights you complete each year or over a decade depending on whether it is a student pilot logbook or not.

An infrequent pilot may only need 70 pages though if you are a regular pilot then you may want one with over 200 pages to prevent you from having to buy a new one too often.

Aircraft Type

The type of aircraft that a pilot flies is essential for the logbook as different aircraft require different flight information.

For instance, a pilot that flies gliders would be required to detail the cross-country distance and the launching method.

However, most pilot logbooks have enough fields to be versatile enough to cover a wide range of aircraft types.

It may prove to be a good idea to mark off certain areas of the logbook for those different aircraft types.

FAA Compliance

The FAA does not regulate pilot logbooks though if you are having to cram in the information then it may not be accurate or legible.

That could cause problems when you need to reproduce the pages to show to an FAA official, and they cannot discern certain details. 

The pilot logbook may need to be compliant when you are flying in Europe as it will be required to meet EASA standards.

The Paper

Clearly, the paper is important in any book, but in a logbook it is crucial to ensure the legibility of your details when written in pen.

Depending on the ink you use, finding a logbook that boasts resistance to ink bleeding should help you to maintain nice, neat pages which should save you from having to leave some pages empty.

The Cover Color

There is little to choose from when it comes to the color of the cover.

Most pilot logbooks simply come in either brown, burgundy, black, or blue to suit the professional aspect of a book that could be used as a legal document.

It is unlikely that you will find one in a garish color, though you may be able to find more options in a cover, you should stick to those classic colors. 

Best Pilot Logbook - FAQ's

Are Electronic Pilot Logbooks Legal?

As you should be aware, a logbook should be classed as a legal document.

To that effect, an electronic logbook is considered legal, and the FAA will accept pretty much anything as an endorsement.

However, it is typically more practical to receive your endorsements on paper even though an electronic version would comply.

Which Logbook Apps Should I Consider As A Pilot?

You should realize that a pilot can use a logbook app to effectively record their flying time, and they are a legal alternative to a paper logbook.

These electronic logbooks store their information in the cloud yet are also backed up on your own computer.

This electronic form of recording flying information can make it easier to analyze and sort your data which could come in really handy when completing an insurance application or even going for another flying job.

Logbook apps such as LogTen Pro have useful functionality though only work on Apple devices.

ForeFlight Logbook is also Apple-only and comes with their Electronic Flight Bag too making it cost-effective.

For Android users, ZuluLog can be easy to use on your phone though the interface is not as beautiful as it is for those Apple-only apps.

Jacob Stern
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