I recently wrote about my logbook failure and received a nice number of comments in response.
A great many agreed with my regret at not drawing outside the lines.
“I totally sympathize,” says Howard Lentz. “My first logbook is woefully negligent on remarks as well. My flight engineer logbook is worse, 10 years of military transport flying, including combat support operations, and very few comments. I’ve gotten better with the advent of electronic logs, which I’ve been using for about 10 years.”
But an email from Al Gilson of Spokane, Washington, blew my mind.
“Back in 1999 when I just began taking lessons for my Private Certificate, I joined an internet ‘NewsGroup.’ These were online groups of like-minded people sharing ideas — kind of like Facebook, but just text conversation threads. There was one pilot who shared his idea for an online journal of his flights. Today, we call them blogs. I thought that was a cool idea. The internet was new and all programming was done in HTML code. I then set off to write a brief narrative of every flight I had ever taken.
“Twenty years have passed. Yes, my flying adventures today are fewer and far between, but all 690 flights, encompassing 659.2 hours, are here. Every destination, passenger, landing, accomplishment, and screw-up in an easy-to-read format.”
Al included a link. With that simple introductory email, how could I not take a look?
Admittedly, I haven’t read all of Al’s flight logs and likely won’t, but he sure has inspired me to do better.
In snooping around Al’s logbook, I found his Private Pilot Checkride entry. Holy smokes. I was nervous for him.
What a wonderfully detailed memory he can always go back to. I wish I had done something similar.
Care to take a look for yourself? Go ahead, Al gave me permission to share his website.
Whether you use paper and pen or a keyboard to log your flights, do you go above and beyond to document the details? Why? Why not?