One of the most important documents as a pilot is your log book. It is also one of the most neglected and least understood.
This article will help you understand what it is, why it should be kept up to date, how to keep it updated, and what information it contains.
What Is A Pilot’s Log Book?
A pilot’s log book is an official record of all flights that a pilot has flown in his or her career. The logbook is used by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for many purposes including:
- To determine if a pilot meets the minimum requirements to continue flying.
- To verify a pilot’s flight hours.
- To monitor the performance of a pilot’s aircraft.
- To maintain records on pilots who have been grounded due to medical reasons.
The logbook is divided into three sections:
- Flight Time
- Medical History
- Aircraft Information
In order to fly legally, a pilot must meet certain qualifications. These include having at least 1,500 hours of total flight time, being able to read and interpret instruments, and passing a physical examination.
In addition to these basic qualifications, there are other factors that affect whether a pilot can continue to fly.
For example, if a pilot was involved in an accident while flying, he or she may not be allowed to fly again until the investigation is completed.
When a pilot first applies for a license, the FAA requires him or her to fill out a form called “Application for Certificate of Waiver or Authorization.”
This form includes questions about previous health problems that could interfere with safe flying. In addition, the FAA asks for the results of any recent medical tests.
If a pilot has had a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other serious medical condition, this information is recorded in the logbook.
If a pilot has had a problem with alcohol or drugs, this information is also recorded in the logbook along with the dates of treatment and the results of any drug tests.
Every airplane has its own unique serial number. This number is usually located on the tail section of the plane.
When a new owner buys an airplane, the seller gives the buyer the serial number so the new owner knows exactly which plane he or she is buying.
Every airplane is required to have two types of identification numbers. A manufacturer’s identification number is assigned when the plane is built.
An airworthiness certificate number is assigned after the plane is certified by the FAA.
An airplane’s registration number is also included in the logbook. Registration numbers are issued by the FAA and they identify each specific airplane.
Each page of the logbook contains space for recording the following data:
- Date of entry
- Name of pilot
- Airplane type
- Manufacturer’s identification number
- Airworthiness certificate number
- Registration number
- Location of takeoff and landing
- Duration of flight
- Number of passengers
- Weather conditions
- Fuel consumption
Logbooks are kept in special boxes called filing cabinets. Each box holds up to 100 pages. There are several different sizes of logbooks available.
The smallest size is used for single-engine airplanes and helicopters. Larger models are used for larger planes such as jetliners and military transport aircraft.
Logbooks should be stored in a place where they will not get wet or damaged. If you use a computerized logbook, it should be backed up regularly.
Is A Logbook A Legal Requirement?
As you have already probably gathered from our in-depth look at the log book; yes, it’s a legal requirement! Every pilot who wants to operate a commercial aircraft must keep a logbook.
It’s a requirement under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 (14 CFR 121) and Title 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 135 (14 CFR 135).
In order to comply with regulations, you need to make sure that your logbook is accurate and complete. You can do this by using a computerized logbook.
When you purchase a computerized logbook you are able to enter all of the data into the system. Once you have entered the data, you can print the logbook directly from the computer.
You don’t have to worry about losing your logbook because there are many ways to back it up. Some people prefer to store their logbooks online while others choose to store it offline.
The most important thing to remember is that if you lose your logbook you could face serious penalties.
What Happens If I Lose My Logbook?
If you lose your logbook, contact your local FSDO office immediately. They will help you find another copy of your logbook. In some cases, the FSDO may issue a temporary logbook until you receive your original logbook.
How Do I Keep My Logbook Current?
There are several things you can do to ensure that your logbook remains current. First, make sure to update your information every time you fly.
If you forget to update the information, you run the risk of having an inaccurate logbook.
Second, make sure you know what information needs updating. For example, if you plan on adding a new crew member, make sure to add them to your logbook.
If you change your name, make sure to update it in your logbook.
Third, check your logbook often. Make sure that everything is correct before you sign off on it.
Fourth, make sure that you always review your logbook after each flight. This way, you will catch any errors or omissions.
Fifth, make sure that you keep copies of your logbook. If something goes wrong during a flight, you want to have proof that the plane was operating properly.
Sixth, make sure that you store your logbook securely. Don’t leave it lying around. Store in a safe location so that no one else can access it.
Where Can I Find More Information About Keeping My Logbook Up To Date And Accurate?
First, you can visit the FAA website. Here you can learn more about keeping your logbook current and accurate.
Next, you can read the Operating Handbook. The POH contains the rules and regulations for flying.
You can also go to your local FSDO office. These offices are located throughout the United States. Visit your local FSDO website to see if they offer any services related to your logbook.
Finally, you can call your local FSDO. They should be able to answer any questions you might have about how to maintain your logbook.
Keeping your logbook updated and accurate is essential to being a safe pilot, and the best way to stay within the law is to follow our advice above.
By following these tips, you’ll be well prepared when you take your first solo flight and have less time worrying, and more time enjoying your piloting adventures!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Cross Country Time?
Cross country time is simply the amount of time it takes to travel from one point to another. It’s measured by using a combination of distance and speed.
For example, if you’re traveling from New York City to San Francisco, you would use the following formula:
Distance (Speed * Time) / Distance per hour
In this case, the distance between NYC and SF is 4,200 miles. You would then multiply the average speed of your aircraft (usually around 150 mph) by the number of hours it would take to get there.