An argument for a paper log book - filled my first one.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Lndwarrior, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Line Up and Wait

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    I went up for a short flight today to practice emergency procedures. Sitting in the hangar afterward I pulled out my logbook to fill in today's flight. I got two surprises.

    The first was that my last flight was the last row in the logbook. I had no idea until I flipped the page. This is my first and only logbook. The first entry was April 15th, 1987.

    Since that time, I have logged every single flight over the past 34 years. But I have done more than just logged hours. I put a comment about every flight. There are dozens of comments about taking people for their first flight. In all these cases I had the person sign my logbook.

    There are comments about beautiful flights, and terrifying flights, long trips and camping with my dogs. There's my last trip with Lou Roskie to Nut Tree where we both got watermelon ice cream cones. Lou was a crotchety old bastard, but he let me fly his plane.

    There are three flights noted where I almost killed myself. And one where I almost killed my son. There's the trip with my ex-wife where we surveyed the damage from the 1989 earthquake in San Francisco.

    There are two flights with two beautiful girls (not at the same time), but my flying skills was not enough to impress them apparently....

    On August 12, 2000, I took another beautiful woman up for her first flight. She signed her name and added a smiley face. I guess my piloting skills impressed her because two years later she married me.

    On August 18, 2000, I took my career air force father up for his first flight with me as his pilot. He signed my logbook too.

    On September 15, after 2 ½ years of hell, I logged my first flight in my homebuilt aircraft. The remarks column simply says, “First flight - Woohoo”.

    On March 30, 2020, I took my papillon, Willy, for his first flight. Somehow, I managed to get his paw print into the logbook, and it is still legible.

    Since it was the last page, I added up all the columns and got another surprise. My last flight put my total hours at 1000.8.

    I frequently go back and read through my logbook. There is something special about this handwritten record of some of the greatest memories of my life. Since I need a new logbook I thought about going digital, and then ordered a new analogue one.

    First page.jpg Last page.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  2. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I put all that in my digital book too. Its fun to go back and be like "oh I forgot all about that flight."
     
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  3. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    There's no reason you can't do both, many of us do.

    And while I agree with the sentimentality of a paper logbook, and I still keep one, I will say that as a working pilot and CFI, there's not much nostalgia to be had when page after page is just names of students. Or for the entries where I'm acting as a commercial pilot, no remark at all.
     
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  4. tawood

    tawood En-Route

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    Wow! Last flight in the book hit 1000 hours???!!! Sweet!

    Your first lesson was at night?

    I only log on paper too, but I'm on my second book without about the same number of hours (either my books or shorter in pages or my flights are shorter, lol).

    Hey, I wanna see the dog's signature!
     
  5. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As a corollary, I love the fact that when you are thinking about some great flight, it takes 6 seconds to find it digitally.
     
  6. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    Truth. I met with a prospective client the other day. We had flown before, but it's been years. In 10 seconds I was able to tell what date it was and what we did, 5 years ago.

    And immediately before that, I got a call from an insurer and was able to provide all the times he needed while on the phone in a parking lot.

    I do keep paper still, I'm not sure why other than inertia, but it really is endless pages of flights with no nostalgic value.
     
  7. geezer

    geezer Line Up and Wait

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    The Geezer IS old. He views his history in respect to the access that his children and grandchildren will have.

    Looking back from much further into history, the advantages of paper logs are the ability of your children, grand children, and others to access those stories without a password.

    My sons flew with me from when they were pre school. Their wives have flown with me, and the oldest grandchildren have flown with me.

    Someday, they will thumb through those books, and find remarks such as "Unforecast snow", and remember a VFR into IFR at night, that went un eventfully, but not to our destination airport.

    "Levies under water" into Lafayette LA, When we landed behind two amphibians rescue planes, on an airport with most of the grass covered with water.

    "State Trooper" We landed at Jekyll Island in heavy rain, no taxi's on the island in those days, the assigned trooper was asked by the hotel to transport us, and agreed. Wife and sons sat on a 12 guage shotgun in the rear seat, the trooper had forgotten it was there. The trooper was dispatched from the hotel, so a convenience.

    "Zoomed Grandpa in the field" Arriving early, flew over the farm at 200 feet, full throttle, to let him know we were 2 hours early, come pick us up at the airport.

    "Glen puked" No, that was not the big thing, I had decided the bumps were too bad to continue, descended, and landed. The line guy in Illinois was an ex employee that my wife knew from Washington DC, he helped cleanup the plane with good attitude, and when the day cooled, we continued just fine.

    One word "SHARK", we flew over a 10+ foot shark just north of Kitty Hawk, in very shallow water, after swimming in deeper water that same day.

    The remarks space is small, but those few words bring back complex memories, and theirs are different than mine, for the same flight.

    Can all your relatives read your digital log after you pass?
     
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  8. Brad W

    Brad W Line Up and Wait

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    wow, that one paragraph speaks volumes I think....about when a person does something they enjoy for a job....etc....

    I agree about the inertia....but I also agree about the written page. I don't like redundancy though when it's not needed (with regard to paperwork, etc...) The thought of maintaining two logbooks just strikes me as a bit silly and even heartburn inducing....
    That said, I suppose I'm doing it...although I haven't flown much since doing it. I haven't flown much since electronic logbooks became a thing really...but I did make a spreadsheet copy of my logbook a year or two ago. I mentioned this in another recent thread. I have really enjoyed having the searchable and 'portable' electronic format. It opens tremendous possibilities for data...how much time do I have in say for example 172N models as opposed to just 172's? Anyway, it was quite a fun project that I thoroughly enjoyed doing...going through my paper book line by line keying them in and remembering....
    Now when I do fly though I feel the need to fill out both to keep them current..... I suppose that's just the inertia
     
  9. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

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    I'm on my 5th or 6th logbook and all of them have comments in them. Not every flight, but a lot of the most important ones. It's a cool history of my life.

    There are people who are no longer in my life. There are people who have passed on. There are first flights, scary flights, flights to Oshkosh, flights to Blakesburg, etc.

    I also have an Excel spreadsheet I keep. I started it because when an insurance company asks how much time I have in a type of plane, it's much easier to figure it out!

    I will say Garmin Pilot has made me lazy. It logs my flights and about every two months I go back and put them in the paper logbook. Other than the fact that I like having it on paper, there is really no need to do it anymore.
     
  10. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You can do the same with a digital logbook but yes, a paper one seems more “tangible.”
     
  11. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Best of all worlds. I keep a paper log book. I scan each page when it gets filled as a back up. And I have an Excel sheet with the data so I can sort, add, etc. ForeFlight is also keeping a log - sometimes. But its good to look at that too from time to time to critique a past flight, etc.
     
  12. Rich Holt

    Rich Holt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I currently have four logbooks. One is the original paper log that I've kept since my introductory flight. The second is the paper log that houses the whole of my military flight experience-just a paperweight, heavy with nostalgia now. I also have two electronic logbooks that I am using to figure out which (electronic) one I like best. I feel like the electronic log takes the emotion out of the whole experience. It is awfully convenient, however.
     
  13. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    I know what you're saying there, but I don't want you to misinterpret me - I absolutely love flying and hope I pass that on to my clients when I'm teaching (some have actually pointed that out about me, too, which felt good).

    But when you go up and do steep turns, slow flight and stalls with a student for the 5th time that week, you're not likely to write "REALLY SMOOTH LANDING!!" or "Cloud looks like Simba" or really anything else in your own logbook, just because, well, you've seen a hundred clouds that look like Simba and will probably see a hundred more. Now, if I do have something that stands out, or I'm on a personal flight, I will definitely comment. For example, we flew to see the eclipse a few years ago. That _definitely_ got a comment in my logbook. But normal everyday stuff? Nah.

    Here's an example page from my logbook, showing CFI flights (where I just write their name - I have a separate tracking document for what we did), and contract pilot flights, where I don't typically write anything (for reasons of propriety and/or privacy).

    upload_2021-9-17_9-46-49.png

    I agree 100% with both sentiments. I fill out a lot of insurance "pilot information forms" and they all want different breakdowns. I can't even imagine how hard this must be to do with just paper logbooks. With electronic, it's just a few minutes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
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  14. Brad W

    Brad W Line Up and Wait

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    I get it...meant no insult to you RussR, or anyone else..... I was just commenting that there's a lot of nuance in hobby/sport vs profession vs doing that hobby/sport AS a profession
    same thing even if not as profession but just do it a lot.... like someone that likes to drive cars but drives the same boring route to and from the office every day for years.....
    I used to have the feeling that my instructor liked flying with me because I was often willing and available to do something different. I was young, single, and didn't really know anyone there...new to town...so had lots of time available. As part of my training, we often flew when the weather would drop and his VFR students would have to cancel... we flew to art or food festivals, flew to NYC, flew to Disney World, flew to KDCA to land...just because we could.... flew to Luray caverns, flew to Bader field in Atlantic City to go to the casinos. Really got him out of the pattern and typical practice area!
    Still, I recall seeing the CFIs logbooks.. page after page of "From: JGG To: JGG"...no doubt they all just ran together....
     
  15. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    I have a separate "Airplane Guestbook", which is one of those bound journals full of blank pages, that you can find art the artsy-stuff shop next to the greeting cards at the mall. It has a picture of an old-timey airplane on the cover. I put the safety briefing in the inside front cover. I ask all my passengers to sign it. There are entries in there where I have forgotten who the people were! The first entry is from my dad, on the day after getting my Private. Some people have filled a whole page writing about the flight. My husband's signature is in there somewhere. If my house is ever on fire, it's one of the things I hope I can grab before running outside.
     
  16. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Still have 1 1/2 pages to go in my logbook from 1974.
     
  17. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    I liked the part of the movie One Six Right where the veteran pilot talks about his logbook and says, "This is a love story."

    But the logbook has limitations. You can have a hundred flights logged from KXYZ to KZYX and back again, but they all look the same. That's why I carry a camera and take photos to document the uniqueness of each trip. I download the screenshot of the track from Foreflight or Flightaware, and the kml file from Foreflight.
     
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  18. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Yes. I don't have passwords on any of my personal devices. And my digital log sits on the NAS drive at the house. But st this point I'm certain I won't have any relatives to pass things down to.

    And if anyone wants (including myself) they just have to click "print" and they will have a paper copy.
     
  19. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I gave up paper logging in stages.

    I've been co-logging since sometime in 1992, shortly after I got my instrument rating. I started in DOS with a flat file program called FileExpress which morphed through Paradox for both DOS and Windows and ultimately into MS-Access. After trying a few logging sites and apps, finally settled on MyFlightBook in 2006 and moved my data there.

    In 2013, I stopped logging on paper, except for items requiring a CFI signature - dual received and endorsements. Although ESIGN had already been around for more than a decade and I was familiar with the concepts, having followed the progression to it and similar state laws, I was not yet comfortable enough with its acceptability from an FAA standpoint.

    That changed sometime in 2016. I became comfortable with electronically signed CFI entries. But my comfort does not necessarily translate into the comfort of the CFIs, so, if I receive a flight review, IPC, checkout, etc, I aske the instructor whether digitally signing is OK with them. If they prefer sighing paper, I bring my logbook.
     
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  20. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Electronic logbooks have a box for comments and I know some also allow you to save pictures. I mean I almost never do that but I could.
     
  21. farmrjohn

    farmrjohn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Valid point. I just came across my dad's hand written log book from his pilot training days in WWII. Unless it was a digital copy just the data and comments wouldn't be quite the same. Interesting side note, the FAA data base is still showing his commercial pilot certificate with commercial pilot rating, multi engine land from 4/12/1946.
     
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  22. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Cool story bro

    I like to write my pax and anything special we did. I omit any cases that involve near death.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  23. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    I never write anything in my logbook that I wouldn't be OK with the FAA seeing.
     
  24. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I do both. The paper is mine.

    the digital is for everyone else.
     
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  25. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I recently earned my PPL in 2016. 2018 I received my instrument rating so a lot of training in a couple years and a lot of log book entry's. I use paper logs even though I fly with FF.

    This past weekend I started my 4th log book. We were camping at a turf airport with our RV camper and I gave rides. I never thought about having other people who flew with me sign my log book. That would be interesting to look at years later.

    I filled up one page on Saturday. I landed at 2 other turf airports in the area, they all got separate log entry's.

    I have flown my 172 almost 700 hours in the last 3 years. I have just over a 1000 hrs since 2015. I fly 5-7 days a week if the weather is good.
    [​IMG]
    I love to fly, especially when I can walk out of our RV and climb into our plane. Heaven on earth!! lol
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
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  26. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    NOW you tell me.

    Oh well, only one more page and the book can get "lost".
     
  27. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    I love to hear that you're flying a lot! That's great and something that as a CFI I see too little of.

    But 4 logbooks in 1000 hours? Do you have the world's thinnest logbook? :D Really, each of mine usually gets about 800 hours. And they're the "normal size" Jepp logbook, not the giant "Master Pilot" or whatever logbook.

    Actually, I'm interested in the logging method that would be needed to fill up this many logbooks. I assume that you must log each leg of a flight on its own line. So, a flight from AAA-BBB-CCC-DDD would look like this in your logbook:

    AAA-BBB
    BBB-CCC
    CCC-DDD

    That would definitely fill up a logbook fast!
     
  28. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Love the old school three wheeler - I thought "big red" was suppose to have killed us all! :eek: :D

    Just into my 2nd civilian logbook and a bit over 400 hours in the last three years. 4 military logbooks but other than going back and looking at all the green ink, as an NFO, they mean nothing. I like being able to stroll back and see how far I've come. I also have my Grandfather's Army Air Corp, USAF, Civilian and Eastern logbooks (although he stopped keeping one once he went over 20K hours)

    I keep a log-book in foreflight, it delivers nice reports, keeps track of my instrument currency and I can include tracks and pictures. It can't get lost and is backed up in the cloud.
     
  29. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I do log each flight separate that I full stop land at. Some flights are .4 hrs. Many days I fly twice a day local.
    I log each flight that I full stop land at. Some flights are only .4 hrs long. This last book I bought is a little thicker than the previous 3 and they are all hard bound books. I don't have them with me at the moment to see how many pages they have, I will look.

    I exaggerated, it took me 4 days to fill one page now that I look at it. I have 3 entry's on the next page from Sat and Sun.

    Yes I have survived that 3 wheeler since 1984!! LOL seemed like a good place to take it since it was all flat. It does have a un locking diff so it is easier to ride with no "body english" Only my wife and I ride it, we don't let just anybody ride it so they don't get hurt on it.

    Maybe I am not logging correctly? I am open to all suggestions. TIA

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
  30. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    Hah! No, there's no correct and incorrect way to log flights like this. Whatever works for you, works for you.

    My technique is to put each "trip" on one line. Whatever I decide that division is. So, if I flew from AAA to BBB, did touch and goes at BBB and flew back to AAA, that's one "trip" in my mind, so one line. But if I flew from AAA to BBB, then took my Mom flying around at BBB, then flew back alone to AAA, then the flight with Mom might get its own line. Or maybe not. It all depends. I do typically start a new line if the trip goes into a second day.

    Now, really the only reason I lump all the airports on one line is because that's how my first instructor did it back in 1994. Primacy is real!

    Here's the most recent page of my logbook. Now, I'm a CFI, but the logging method is the same for my personal flights.

    upload_2021-9-21_10-30-32.png
     
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  31. Brad W

    Brad W Line Up and Wait

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    Looking back I generally did it similar to RussR...and I suppose for the same reason!
     
  32. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for sharing how you log your flights, that would save space. I am in the habit of looking at my gps right before shutdown for my log time. Then I carry a clip board that I log my engine and hobbs time that I make notes on at the end of each day.

    I went home at lunch time and grabbed my old books and added up my time on the 3rd one. Just reached 1000 hrs this past weekend. Whoohoo!

    [​IMG]

    I have logged every day since I started flying this plane 4-16-18 on this legal pad.
    I have my separate official logs for the plane/engine, propeller that my IA gives me entry's for that I keep at home safe.
    The airframe has 2050 hrs now and the zero time engine now has 278 hrs. The engine is 13 months old.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
  33. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    If you'd kept your logbook on a Palm Pilot 25 years ago, would you still be able to and know how to retrieve it now?
     
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  34. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    A migration path is always something to work. CSV has been around since the early 70's and make it the defacto norm for anything like a logbook or financial data. You could move CSV files in and out of a Palm Pilot.
     
  35. geezer

    geezer Line Up and Wait

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    Food for thought there Mr. Magginson!

    An EE student created a custom spread sheet on my Apple lle, and I transferred my logs to it, and saved to a floppy drive.

    I still have those documents, do the current Apple products read those discs? I saved them to floppy, just in case the hard drive failed, and it did. Unfortunately, I have not bought an Apple computer since, except for the Ipad and Iphone.
     
  36. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    If you can find a floppy drive that can connect, odds are they are readable. What did he write it in? Perhaps Appleworks? Odds are it can be exported in CSV.
     
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  37. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    Similar to @midlifeflyer , I believe, my first electronic logbook was a creation of my own in Excel in 1995. I still have it, still use it (it has my CFI lesson tracking as one of the sheets), and when I started using online logbooks in about 2010 was easily able to export my data and import into those, in .csv format like @Pugs mentions.
     
  38. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    Good point, and that leads to my next question: can you find the 3.5" inch floppy disk you backed your log book up onto 25 years go, is it still uncorrupt, and if so, how will you read it?

    (Edit: just saw that @Pugs made a similar point earlier.)
     
  39. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Why would you not transfer it when you had both capabilities. Yes, if you didn't fly at all for 10 years, you might have an issue.
     
  40. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    If you're careful and organized, of course you'll be fine: corporations and governments have data going back to the 1960s or earlier, that started on punchcards or reel-to-reel mag tape.

    The point is that an electronic logbook requires you to do all that extra work and stay on top of it to make sure you don't lose it over the decades. A paper logbook in a fireproof safe will outlive you without any extra effort.

    I have no objection to using an electronic logbook, but it's always secondary for me, never my primary reference.
     
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