A pilot should always check his flight logbook before every flight. This is because it contains important information such as the date, time, weather conditions, fuel consumption, and other details.
Pilots are required to keep track of these details in order to ensure safety during flights. If they fail to do so, they could face serious consequences.
We find out why logbooks are so essential and how pilots need to manage them.
What’s A Pilot Logbook?
A pilot’s log book is a record of all the activities that a pilot has undertaken on any given day. It also includes the details about each flight that he has been on.
A pilot’s log book is typically a compact notebook that fits into his pocket or suitcase, so it’s always at hand when needed.
The pilot should use this logbook to record the following:
- Weather conditions
- Flight hours
- Details of the flight (e.g., route, destination)
- Details of the aircraft (e.g., make, model, registration number)
- Any special instructions for the flight
- The pilot’s name and signature
- Aircraft type
How Often Does A Pilot Need To Fill In His Logbook?
There is no right or wrong answer here. Some pilots write in their logbook every day, while others only write once a week.
There are regulations that a pilot does need to keep a log book, but it isn’t stated how often he needs to update it.
In order to keep track of all flights, it’s best to fill in your log book after each flight.
When Should A Pilot Start Keeping His Logbook?
A pilot should start keeping his logbook as soon as he begins flying. It doesn’t matter if you fly just once a month or every single day.
When you start training, get a logbook and start adding in the flight details. Your first logbook is likely to be very disorganized because it takes some time to get used to.
To keep track of all flights, we always recommend keeping your logbook up to date as soon as you complete a flight.
If you take off from the airport, then you should also note down the time when you land at the airport.
It’s important to remember that a logbook is a legal document, so you should spend some time and effort to fill it in properly from day one.
If you are not using an electronic logbook, then you need to make sure that your handwriting is legible.
However, it is good practice to start using an electronic logbook as early as possible as this will save a lot of time later in your flying career.
An electronic logbook will also help you avoid making any mistakes, and you can correct your entries much easier than on paper.
As your pilot logbook is so essential, you may also want to back it up, so if your logbook is the only paper copy, then you should take pictures of each page and save the image files somewhere.
It’s almost impossible to recover any data from a lost logbook, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In addition, if you are planning to become an airline pilot, you will need to bring all your handwritten and electronic copies of your logbook to the interview.
Different Types Of Pilot Log Books
There are two different types of logbooks used by pilots today.
This type of logbook is typically a notebook or a small A5 booklet. The most common ones are bound logbooks.
These days, electronic logbooks are becoming ever more popular. They are much easier to use and manage than paper logbooks.
You just enter your flight details in a piece of software, and it even shows you graphs and trends.
How Many Logbooks Should A Pilot Have?
There aren’t any specific guidelines on how many logbooks a pilot should have. It’s important that they track all the flight hours and details.
A pilot needs to total the number of hours at the end of each old logbook, and carry any time forward into the new logbook.
What To Look Out For When Filling In Your Pilot’s Logbook?
When filling in your pilot’s logbook, make sure that you follow these tips.
Use Neat Handwriting
Make sure that your handwriting is neat and legible. If you write too fast, then your writing becomes messy and illegible.
Use Only Blue Or Black Ink
Avoid using green ink as it fades over time. You don’t want your logbook to look dirty and faded after years of use.
It’s best to use blue or black ink.
Note Down The Total
You should always total your flight hours at the end of a logbook, and whenever you provide an interviewer with a section of your electronic logbook.
What’s An Aircraft Flight Logbook?
An aircraft flight logbook is an official document which records the details of all the flights that a specific aircraft flies.
This logbook is usually kept by the airline company where the aircraft belongs to. Typically, an airline pilot or co-pilot fills in this logbook for each flight.
It is used to record the following details:
- Number of passengers
- Fuel consumption
- Weather conditions
Why Do Airlines Keep Their Own Flight Logbooks?
Airline companies keep their own logbooks because they want to be able to check whether there are any problems with their fleet.
If an airline wants to sell its plane to another airline, then it must provide them with the original logbook.
If an airline finds out that one of its planes was involved in an accident, then it will need to check the logbook for details on possible causes.
Also, airlines may need to check the logbooks of their planes if they want to know what kind of maintenance work has been done on them.
Who Needs To Update Their Flight Logbook?
Any pilot who uses an airplane must keep a logbook. They include private pilots, commercial pilots, military pilots, and air ambulance pilots.
Pilots who fly for more than 6 months per year must keep a logbook, even if they don’t fly every day.
However, some pilots don’t need to keep a logbook if they fly less than 6 months per year. For example, if you are a student pilot, then you won’t need to maintain a logbook.
Keeping a logbook is very important for any pilot. It helps them to keep track of the hours flown and also ensures that they can prove to the authorities when they were flying.
In addition, future airline pilots also need to prove to the airline in an interview how many hours they have flown.
A well-kept logbook also shows your future employer that you keep neat records, and you will be able to keep their aircraft logbook up to date.