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Backing up logbooks

On another forum, someone has said that had their logbook stolen (along with their car), and it made me realise I havent made a backup of my logbook for ages. So I just got my camera out, stuck it on a tripod and took one picture per page. The whole lot was done in a matter of minutes and safely backed up to my PC, so I just thought I would offer this quick (though undoubtedly not ingenious) tip. Last time I did it, I used the tedious scan to email function on the work photocopier and took a good half an hour.

I keep an Excel worksheet in parallel with my logbok(s). That's enough backup for me. Theoretically, with my Excel data I could reconstruct the logbook from the aircraft logs. But I wouldn't bother as nobody has ever wanted to look at any of my logbooks in 35 years. Not once. Nobody. Ever.

EDDS - Stuttgart

I have been photographing my personal and aircraft logs since the beginning. As stated above, it's really quick. The pics go onto a CD which is stored at a different location.

It's no doubt true that after you have done X thousand hours and have collected every imaginable piece of paper (say, an FAA ATP and an EASA ATP) you have nothing more to prove, but until then it's worth keeping the stuff safe. Also checkouts like the FAA BFR are just logbook signoffs.

The aircraft maintenance logs are very important; without them anybody who knows anything about the aviation business is likely to massively discount your selling price.

I did look at keeping electronic logs but can't see the point because I only have to scan in any instructor or maintenance signoffs.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Just started scanning my airframe and power plant logs, which are in good condition. I believe in the USA, practice is for the private operator to keep aircraft logs with a scan back up, and you bring them into maintenance for engineering entries.

In looking at airframes in the USA it is common practice for the logs to be made available in digital form, and complete logs is an important value driver.

Oxford (EGTK)

In terms of personal logbooks, I can recommend MyFlightBook. It’s free, can be customised as much as one wants, supports adding the flight tracks (for example GPX from SkyDemon), supports adding photos/videos onto the flights etc. And all the data can be downloaded in a CSV file and backed up to Dropbox, Google Drive etc. Very much recommended.

I used to use mccPilotLog, but they terminated the free version (and I didn’t quite like it that much, it was simply “ok”) so I moved on to MFB and really like it.

I don’t understand how there are still pilots around who don’t have ANY sort of backup of their logbook. At the very least one should take out their phone and take photos of every page.

Last Edited by Alpha_Floor at 21 Feb 22:39
United Kingdom

Here is the Google Sheets template I’m using together with a small online script where you can convert the spreadsheet into an EASA compliant PDF logbook.


Once or twice a year I take my logbook to the office and scan it (my work computer backs up automatically and isn’t going to be broken by a toddler). It doesn’t take very long, but I wouldn’t want to do more than a few pages at a time.

With EFBs now at least the flights in a logbook could be recreated if necessary. I once saw the spine on an FI’s logbook split halfway up a staircase, spilling pages everywhere, including out of the door at the bottom. It was windy.

EGHO-LFQF-KCLW, United Kingdom

I use ForeFlight as backup for everything after 2007, that’s when I bought my first handheld GPS (Garmin 96 – remember those, LOL?). As I always backed up the tracks from the 96 I was able to import them into FF. There may be some flights missing, but that’s neither here nor there. For the ten years prior to the 96 (i.e. 1997 to 2007) I have paper copies. Licenses, ratings and endorsements I take pictures of, although the licenses and ratings (and medicals) are backed up by the FAA, CAA and now AustroControl anyway.

I take quite s simple approach:

For my personal logbook I take mobile pictures of the last page once in a while – not systematically. In case my logbook really gets stolen, that should count as “due diligence”. Worst thing that can happen is that I have to take another 3 landings to be allowed to take guests. Checkflight information is with the checker anyways.

For the plane I have no backup as the entire file is at the CAMO as well so the worst thing that can happen is that the flights since last check are lost.

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