What is the difference between fixing errors on logbooks and falsifying hours?

There are times pilots make certain mistakes on logbooks (such as missing hours or incorrect totals). However, some would worry about how to keep such info true, knowing that falsification of records is an automatic ground for harsh penalties with the feds.


For the most part logbooks follow the honor system and there’s a big difference between an error and an intentional false entry. Before you apply anywhere you’re expected to double and triple check your numbers. Further electronic logbooks don’t make math errors. If you’ve got a false entry and it’s caught it will impact your career.


I think the biggest difference is intent. If you put in the effort to check your numbers and compare to a digital version, you mostly won’t have errors. If you do, you find them and correct them. We’re human, errors happen. The ones who fluff their numbers intentionally adjust the math hoping they won’t get caught. That’s a big difference.



I make mistakes in my paperback logbook every now and then, but by double checking my entries and numbers to my digital logbook before inking them into my paperback logbook I can prevent errors and having to put a single line through and initialing in the mistakes I could have made. There is a page in my ‘professional logbook’ that I accidentally single line crossed out PIC time because I thought I made a mistake, I went back through and realized I was right, it was not in the SIC column, but properly in the PIC column.

Falsifying anything in life is just cheating yourself out, don’t think about it and it won’t happen. Be honest with yourself 100% of the time in life and you will never have to worry about accidentally falsifying anything.



The difference between fixing hours and falsifying is simple. One is correct a mistake (which certainly happens), the other is outright making something up. Nobody will ever ding you for correcting an error. They will fire you for falsifying.