Real Answers from Real Pilots

Logbook for the Newbie?

I won’t be starting training until, at least, this summer. I’m a hyperactive planner and I keep looking at all the details of what I’ll need and what will happen (which is why I love this group, and may also contribute to my gravitating towards aviation). I got to thinking about logbooks. I’ve read opinions of electronic versus paper. There are pros and cons to both. I’m old fashioned and like the idea of a nice leather book, but my handwriting sucks. On the other hand, I have an innate fear of the “cloud” going down and my electronic log disappearing, or that I won’t be able to access it because of a technical glitch at an important moment.

What do y’all suggest for the new/upcoming student? The instructor on my intro flight said I could count that towards my hours and offered an endorsement. If I go “paper book” which one is the best? Just wait for the student logbook to come with the ATP package? Or go big and get the professional one that I’ll use for the first 10 years of my career? Or… just wait till I start training and do the electronic log?

Thanks for your thoughts and experiences.

Scott

P.S. As I said in my initial post, aviation is a second career for me. As I’m typing this, I’m in a deposition (my client is being deposed by the other side), and I just finished a federal court hearing right before. I so much more enjoy the thought of flying than whatever it is I’m doing now.

Scott,

I’m a fan of Logbook Pro from NC Software. User friendly app works with desktop seamlessly and you’ll never outgrow it. Sync with airline scheduling software. Great support.

Adam

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If you join atp, they give you a log book in your “start” package after you pay your deposit.

In it, includes this log book.

I avoid electronic log books. I don’t trust the servers of any company, ever.

For example, I had this Firefox add on called “last pass” which is a password manager. One day, my account mysteriously ceased to exist, company couldn’t find it even, and I lost all my passwords.

Sure you can make backups, if that’s still your thing.

I just keep it original and use that log book, and treat the logbook like it’s my social security card and try to never lose it.

After every page is filled, I just take a quick photo of it with my phone to store

A) on my phone’s internal memory, SD card, and B) stored to Google photos automatically.

In the end, it’s personal preference. Just make sure you have BACKUPS!

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Scott,

I haven’t transitioned to an electronic logbook yet. If you’re going to go paper, I recommend Jeppesen. It’s far superior to the ASA logbook.

https://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/1117

Tory

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Scott,
You will get a small logbook from ATP before you start. Many use it but I don’t recommend it. You’ll end up going to the airline interviews with two logbooks, one that you started in and the next one for when it fills up.
With that being said, the only reason to start in a logbook like that is if you plan to transfer all the student time clean over to a professional one later. Some do that because throughout your time as a student your bound to mess up your logging and it can become a mess.
The goal is to end up with one clean and professional logbook when it comes time to interview. However you see that happening is up to you. I used the brown cover Jeppesen professional pilot logbook from the start and an erasable pen.
On the electronic side of things, I’d pick an app you like and start logging in both your electronic and paper right from the start! The electronic will act as a backup in case anything should happen to your paper book. It also helps to filter and total up your time when it come to checkrides. On the app side, I used Pilot Pro. A one time purchase, easy user interface, consistent backups, syncs to my phone and iPad and able to export logbook copies if needed. Hope this helps!

-Hannah

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Moe,

There’s ZERO reason to not go electronic and one day you’ll be sorry you didn’t. All the data can be backed up and stored on a zip etc and the 8710 feature is worth the price of admission.

Adam

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This right here is a reason I use ForeFlight (@Adam, unaware if Logbook Pro can as I have not used it). ForeFlight is an app that we use during our training so to mitigate having to pay extra money for another app/subscription, I think ForeFlight is good enough for now! I use both paper and electronic, I like to always compare my numbers and ensure everything adds up. Currently trying to figure out a 0.1 PIC mistake in my EFB :frowning: , been trying to find it all day. I’m sure later in life when I am officially set, I will switch to another platform, I don’t forsee a reason to right now.

Brady

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I still use a paper logbook. The Jeppessen one that Tory recommended is good.

Chris

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Brady,
I used to use ForeFlight as my logbook backup until I realized that I’ll only have it if I continued paying the ForeFlight yearly subscription. Quite an expensive logbook to pay for each year once you stop needing/using ForeFlight… just a thought…

-Hannah

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Hannah,

I have been trying to think how I wanted to word a question to your electronic logbook reply above. I know during flight training, ForeFlight comes in great handy with charts and all the other features, adding the 8710 Form for checkride prep; since we are required to have the application. The other way I was looking at it was if instructing, more likely using ForeFlight again for charts and publications. I was looking around at Logten Pro (since I started ATP) and your suggestion of Pilot Pro. Right now, I just use both as a cross-check, trying to figure something out for the future once instructing full-time. I plan to keep a paper trail for proof of written documentation to secure a position (I may be thinking to deep, but I like paper trail [former banking representative]).

Brady

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Yep! Nothing wrong with using it now and while you’re instructing since you will be using ForeFlight but just something to keep in mind! There will come a time that you won’t need ForeFlight anymore and it will be a greater pain to transfer everything over the more hours you have!

-Hannah

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https://www.atpalumni.org/discounts/logten-pro

For those interested in electronic logbooks, the ATP Alumni Association has procured a discount on Log Ten Pro.

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Log Ten Pro is Apple-based. I know I’ll have an iPad during flight training. But I’m otherwise an Android person. Is there any log software that crosses all platforms… Mac/iPad/Android/PC?

And thank you all for the lively discussion. I’m probably going to take the “belt and suspenders” approach of having electronic and paper log books. I like the idea of being able to reconcile, and having a back-up if the internet or paper disappears. I do this in my law practice… I have three electronic calendars (Outlook, Google, and our professional software), electronic notes, and a paper (book) calendar. Yes, it’s a pain to make multiple entries. But there’s more security and less likelihood of losing a license for screwing up (in either profession).

Can electronic logbooks transfer from software to software? Like when training is finished, to transfer your Foreflight logs to another software and just continue? Or are they not compatible?

Scott,
Yes you can export your ForeFlight logbook via their website. Here’s the link with more info:

https://foreflight.com/support/support-center/category/logbook/215600817

You just need to make sure the software/application you want to import it to accepts CSV files. Looks like LogTen Pro does.

https://support.coradine.com/hc/en-us/articles/360022344873-Importing-spreadsheet-files

-Hannah

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