Preferred logbook?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by DaleB, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I've been vacillating on the idea of getting my CFI-S certificate for a while now. I'd like to do it just for the challenge and to hopefully improve my skills, and just to say I did it. I hold a PP-ASEL cert now, but am flying under Sport Pilot privileges. Anyway, I put it off, and have gone back and forth several times on whether to even do it.

    Well, my youngest son (he's 30) has been helping crew for his cousin's balloon, and his cousin's uncle before he had to give it up. He was thinking about a balloon, but decided it's too much hassle for the flying time you get (on this we agree). He was looking at taking flying lessons from the local FBO. I told him I'd get my CFI-S, train him in my plane, and he can decide where to go from there.

    My own logbook is something I picked up from the FBO back in 1998 or 99 and has no indication of who printed or sold it. I see Spruce and Sporty's sell several different logbooks. Are any of them better or worse for general Sport/Private Pilot use? I very seriously doubt he'll pursue aviation as a career, since it would mean an eye-watering pay cut.
     
  2. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    There is no specific requirement for logbook other than keeping track of everything. It can be an excel spreadsheet, if you like. Or little yellow stickies in a notebook.
     
  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Most schools still have a couple in the glass case. Lots of people have also gone digital.

    I’m in the age group stuck in between.

    Three paper ones and also a fan of MyFlightbook and the work @EricBe does on it.

    There’s good and bad with paper vs digital. The largest “bad” for digital is a CFI who doesn’t understand it all yet.

    Other than that, it’s down to personal preference. Out of the three paper ones I have, two are no longer in print and I liked number two the best. It was an Air Safety Foundation big book and had the best layout for “stuff a non pro aviator would need to track”.

    Nowadays it’s the enormous Jeppesen Pro book.

    The first one was a tiny little thing from Sporty’s and it did the job. Had to make my own columns for certain things.

    Big warning: If you want digital, with other without paper — start right at the beginning. Manually entering years and years of entries into digital later is horrid. Build the habit early if you’re using it.

    Oh. And avoid vendor lock-in on digital. I’ve changed digital logbooks twice. It totally sucked.

    Eric’s system having a proper export (nightly to cloud with a nice donation to him to keep the lights on) in a completely easy to utilize format, is a critical no-go item for me on any digital system that doesn’t offer it. Never again will I use a proprietary data storage system for that job ever.
     
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  4. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    All of the logbooks currently available seem to me to be aimed at a different kind of pilot than me. I don't need or want columns for IFR, multi, simulator, etc. The first one I bought, in 1976, was fine. The last two I made myself,.printed the sheets, stitched them together, and added hardboard covers covered in bonded leather. Came out pretty nice if I do say so myself. The only labeled columns are total, dual, solo/PIC, and cross country, with several blank columns.
     
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  5. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    I use a paper logbook for dual and check rides, everything else goes in digital (I put dual and check rides in the digital as well and scan the physical entries). I print out the digital and put it in a binder and highlight relevant entries when I do a check ride. Worked great for my recent instrument rating.
     
  6. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Yup.... I remember the madness LTP caused several years ago. Got stuck like many and switched to MFP. Very happy with @EricB and his solution.
     
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  7. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    myflightbook.com
     
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  8. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    And a paper backup if you like. That’s what I do. If you are at all busy as a Cfi, you’re going to want to log flights before you forget. And no one wants to pack around their only paper logbook all day.
     
  9. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Glad I'm not the only one that has to be disciplined and remind myself to log the flight after the lesson is over. You guys didn't warn me of the need to set this habit into stone. <poke stick emoji>
     
  10. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Myflightbook will print a paper backup for you. Or backup to the cloud automatically.
     
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  11. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Given the horror stories I'd heard about various digital logbook systems I really had paid zero attention to them. However, that was then, this is now. Looking at MyFlightBook.com, I have to say I'm impressed. I'm in the process of stuffing in my old flights so I can play with it some more, but it looks really good. I like some of the features, like error checking the entire log for stuff you types in wrong or missed.
     
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  12. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Made my own as a database. Considering adding a web interface for it, but lacking the motivation to do so.
     
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  13. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    For paper logbooks I recommend the Sporty's house brand. Jeppesen logbooks have spaces that are often too small to write in and ASA logbooks fall apart.
     
  14. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    I like the Jeppesen standard log books, mostly because I have been using them for years. takes me about 2 years to fill one up then I make an electronic copy and put it in a safe place. I also transfer to an excel spreadsheet so I can total up times as needed.

    Sounds Like I might need to investigate myflight book.

    Brian
     
  15. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff

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    Excel FTW!
     
  16. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer En-Route

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    Paper works best for me. Fun to pore over handwritten notes and reminisce a little. It's the personal touch.

    Plus, in light of recent events, I like to have a paper trail, just in case a logbook recount is necessary. :)
     
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  17. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    If you're entering a bunch of flights, the easy way is to put them in a spreadsheet and then import it. That way you can take advantage of filling and copy/paste, etc.
     
  18. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have used a spiral notebook for the last 22 years. I got it for 99 cents during the back to school sales.
     
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  19. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I do both the old-fashioned way and MyFlightbook. I like that MyFlightbook is digital and I can upload pics... fun to go back and look at images associated with past flights. But there is also something satisfying about hand-recording the details of a flight.
     
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  20. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I get that, and I'll probably do both from now on. I also get that someone half my age might prefer to start out all digital from scratch. I do still have a few things to check out... like, what if you're using MyFlighbook, and get an (endorsement, FR, whatever) from a CFI or DPE, and they don't use MyFlightbook? Sure, they could create an account for free with very little effort, but you can't count on them actually doing that. Some are even older than me, some are busy with actual, you know, paying jobs. I don't want to recommend something that turns out to be a burden later on.

    Not that there is a single CFI or DPE signature or certificate number in my paper logbook that's actually legible, mind you. But they're there.
     
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  21. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Good point. All my endorsements are in the paper logbook. I only record flights in MyFlightbook. For my training flights, I did record my instructor and that there was dual given, but no endorsements in there.
     
  22. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    No paper logbook can do this when you go for a rating: upload_2021-1-13_16-29-1.png

    And your paper logbook can't proactively remind you when your annual, 90-day currency, FR, etc. is going to expire.
     
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  23. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I do heart MyFlightbook a lot... I didn't even know about that feature.... I need to look into the proactive notifications, too...
     
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  24. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Giving you the numbers for the IACRA is perfect too.

    Which is why I keep both. Electronic MYFlightbook, and then every 3 months or so I add entries to the Paper logbook. Not really necesary since I have a .csv file dumped into my storage for the low price of $25 a year or something...

    But a lot of my endorsements are on paper, and signoffs, etc. And I like that.
     
  25. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    It has your currency and expiration dates at the top of the monthly emails if you get those.
     
  26. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I never bothered to click on that Currency button up top. I just did. As the kids say - I was today years old when I learned about that...

    I double heart MyFlightbook now....
     
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  27. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    You can turn on an email to you with that info too. Maybe that’s a “donationware” feature but I don’t think so.

    Downside: When you haven’t flown in as long as I haven’t, getting an email in all red is a minor bummer. Ha.
     
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  28. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    You just reminded me to donate some $$$....
     
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  29. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    They can sign with a fingernail scribble, no account needed. While there are obviously advantages to having an account, making it a requirement is not a reasonable barrier to impose. So you just tap the "sign" button (you do need to use the mobile app), choose "New Instructor", and hand your phone/tablet to the instructor, who enters their certificate/expiration and adds a fingernail scribble, no account needed.
     
  30. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Nice! Thanks for the info.
     
  31. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

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    I do a paper log book (Gleim I think), scan each page when full and any new endorsements, and also put the numbers in an excel speed sheet. Stupid easy to add hours up, sort them, etc.

    BTW. When I did my check ride the DPE wouldn’t look at the printout summary of my hours. Insisted on lookin at the paper log book.
     
  32. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-Flight

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    This thread is timely and a good read for me. I'm in the midst of getting my PPL and have been thinking about how I want to move forward with logging flights/certs/etc. There's definitely pros/cons to both. Right now, all my flights/training/signatures are getting logged in my paper logbook. I then have been filling out the logbook feature in Foreflight and ensuring both align. At this point, being I like some of the attributes of both, I think I will continue doing just that - record in both. As I continue to gain experience maybe that will change, but for now I'll be doing both - Paper Logbook and Foreflight.
     
  33. Tspin

    Tspin Pre-Flight

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    Overall, I liked MyFlightbook. My issue is the nature of the shared database for airports and airplanes. Mostly related to the airports. I have a lot of flights in the FL area from back in the late 80's and early 90's. Several airports have changed identifiers since then. I like to keep the old identifier in the logbook for old times sake. For a while this wasn't an issue as the identifiers were linked in the database, but that changed last year (I think). With no input from me, all of a sudden the information in my logbook entries was changed. While my main issue is with the airports, the same can occur with aircraft as well. To me this made me question the integrity of my information and so I do not use MyFlightbook any longer. It's a shame because I enjoyed the features, ease of use (except for printing), on-line based nature, etc. Other's I'm sure will disagree, but this is my opinion.
     
  34. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    If I were starting now, I don't think I'd bother with paper at all. I can see using paper for dual and endorsements if my CFI insisted, but I don't see any other benefits.
     
  35. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My logbook of record is old school, made of logs. That said, I've used the Foreflight logbook since it became available as it does the above. Reminds me when day/night/IR/FR currency is due to expire. But backfilling it with the old stuff? No way!
     
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  36. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-Flight

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    I'm leaning that way down the road. But for now, the paper approach is where we're at with my CFI and I'm very much ok with that. I just didn't want to get to the end and if I then, at that point, decided to go electronic - have to enter in all the backlog of data and not screw it up. So just doing both for now and will decide later. The benefit of doing both might be just the safety net of not loosing the electrons as they float around in the cloud or get corrupted or whatever. I could see taking an 'export' of the electronic version every so often - so that would be an additional way to ensure nothing gets lost. That's my only concern - loosing something. The flip side is true too. I'd hate to loose my logbook as it stands right now even (being new to the game) without any form of backup. I like the idea someone else mentioned of scanning or taking a picture of completed pages - that's a great backup. I just want some redundancy. As far as entry into the log itself, I've found the electronic means to be easier (Foreflight is all I have experience with).
     
  37. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

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    The answer is - there is no one answer. Use what works for you.

    For me the added benefit of my own excel sheet and paper log book means i don’t worry about al my information being in a system that some day will not be there. Akin to having data on a palm pilot.
     
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  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    I believe @EricBe added a way to deal with both airports and aircraft that ended up being duplicated or changed quite a while back. I forget how at the moment though.
     
  39. Tspin

    Tspin Pre-Flight

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    Not sure about the aircraft, but for the airports, he made changes and decided to consolidate the airport identifiers to only use the current identifier. As a result, I had many, many entries suddenly change from one identifier to another unilaterally. This alone says to me that the data is not safe. Again other's may have a different take / experience. Otherwise, I liked his product and appreciate the effort he puts into it.
     
  40. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Myflightbook exports my logbook to a spreadsheet every day and sticks out on my Google drive. I could download it to a hard drive too, but I'm confident Google drive will be around longer.