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Let’s Look at Logbook Programs for UAS Pilots

If you are not a licensed pilot you might be unfamiliar with the importance of keeping a detailed record of all your flight experience. Maintaining a logbook of time, flights, and missions is going to be critical for UAS pilots in the future to document experience.

As a FAA pilot the act of recording my flights is almost an autonomic function. I just instinctively reach for my logbook after each flight and detail places, times, and notes about the flight.

Historically a pilot logbook was a paper affair, with flight recorded in an actual logbook.

Here is an example from a 1944 pilot logbook. The process has not changed much, if at all, today. There are a range of paper logbooks available.

pilot_log

But today there are other options besides just the old paper logbook.

Electronic programs to record your flying are varied but here are two that rose to the top from those I’ve tested.

LogTen Pro

LogTen Pro is a product of Coradine Aviation Systems and has been around for awhile. It is a more advanced product with a significant number of features, maybe too many for the UAS pilot.

Lately the product has struggled with the Apple operating system transitions and the previously effortless synching function between devices is, well, a painful mess at the moment. I’m sure they will eventually cross this bridge once Apple makes the full leap to the integration of iCloud Drive on all their devices.

The current version of LogTen Pro 6 for the Mac can be found here. The price $99.99.

The version for the iPhone and iPad is $79 and can be found here.

You can see the video of the program, below.

There is no doubt the application contains almost every bell and whistle that you’d ever want. One of the features I like is the somewhat integration with an iPad application I use when I fly an airplane, ForeFlight.

This program was at the top of my list till the recent Apple integration mess. When the problems synching through iCloud happened I took a second look at the program below.

MyFlightBook.com

A less expensive, read that free alternative, is MyFlightBook.com. There is also a free app for your iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows 7 devices.

The downside of this application is entries can’t be signed by your instructors. And just as a personal observation the format of the logbook could use a little tweaking. But the function of the logbook program works well and is already geared towards UAS pilots. I log both my UAS and aircraft operations in this program.

The iPhone application is easy to use as well.

There are some additional features, like nightly backups, and for $25 it was an option I jumped on right away. The site backups your data and uploads it to your Dropbox account. The feature works perfectly.

As mentioned, the cool design look with MyFlightBook.com isn’t there but for the price and flexibility, it’s a logbook solution all UAS pilots should consider looking at.

About Steve Rhode

Steve is an experienced and certificated UAS pilot and aircraft instrument rated pilot. He is also the Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department.