While the primary responsibility of a pilot is to safely operate an aircraft under different conditions, they must also perform other tasks like doing pre-flight checks and keeping a pilot logbook. Essentially, a pilot’s logbook is where aviators record their flying hours and every flight they’ve flown. It contains the types of instrument maneuvers the pilot has made and the time spent in flight simulators. The logbook also shows whether the pilot has met the requirements to gain specific certificates or ratings, which are valuable when pursuing a professional career as an aviator.
Typically, examiners and interviewers will review your pilot logbook to ensure that you’ve met the requirements to operate certain instruments and aircraft as well as to obtain specific pilot licenses. Also, interviewers from many airline companies consider a well-kept pilot logbook as a sign of a pilot’s professionalism.
If you want to obtain a more advanced license or join a major airline company someday, having a professional-looking pilot logbook is a must. This may be a bit challenging to do when you have little experience or at the beginning of your pilot training in the Philippines. But with these helpful tips and practice, you can quickly have a professional logbook in your hands.
Keep a Backup
A pilot logbook contains valuable certifications and details of your past flights and losing your only copy means losing dozens of hours of flight progress. Also, much of the data can be very difficult to re-record accurately if you happen to lose it. That said, be sure to protect the contents of your logbook and keep a backup copy.
One way to do this is to take photos of all the accomplished pages of your logbook and store the files on your laptop. You may also want to sync the files in cloud storage so you can quickly access them wherever you may be.
Store Your Logbook in a Dry Place
While keeping a backup copy of your logbook is a good idea, you must still do everything you can to protect the one you have from getting damaged. There are various factors that can ruin a logbook, such as ink bleeds and smudges on the pages, the pages getting wrinkled, or the logbook developing unpleasant smells—all of which won’t impress interviewers. Keep your pilot logbook away from certain conditions that can cause damage such as humidity and moisture.
Aside from storing your pilot logbook in a clean and dry place, consider adding an extra layer of protection by keeping your logbook in a waterproof resealable bag when you bring it along on your flights.
Properly Label All Certificate Requirements
Your pilot logbook contains more than the flights you’ve flown. It shows all your certificate requirements and endorsements that reflect your level of expertise and knowledge as a professional pilot. More importantly, these certificates are reviewed by interviewers and examiners.
If you have plans of working as a professional pilot, keep an eye out for the requirements you need to meet and keep them organized in your logbook. Do this by labeling the correct pages with tabs or sticky notes that you can get in many office supply stores. It will keep your logbook looking professional and well-organized.
Additionally, labeling the pages with your certificates can help interviewers find them more easily and they won’t have to flip through every page of your logbook. This practice tends to impress interviewers and examiners.
Choose Between Blue or Black Ink
A simple yet effective way to keep a professional-looking logbook lies in the pen you use. Before you even write down your first entry in the logbook, decide whether you’ll use a pen with blue or black ink. Switching between the two colors can make the logbook appear disorganized. But when you’re consistent with the ink color, the records look neat and professional.
Aside from the ink color, use a pen with the same line thickness since it creates uniformity among the entries. It also avoids emphasizing different records when you write using pens of varying thicknesses. That said, consider buying your pen of choice in the same ink color in bulk or get a refillable one.
Cross Out Mistakes Neatly
While you want to ensure all details you input in your pilot logbook are correct, you can still make mistakes sometimes. That’s quite acceptable, as long as you make sure to do the corrections neatly. Cross out the mistake with a single straight line using a ruler as it will keep the entries looking neat and professional. If you must write something about the correction, double-check the details and place them in the next line. It will help avoid making the same mistake again and keep your logbook looking clean.
Keeping a professional-looking pilot logbook requires consistency, careful planning, and a lot of effort. With some practice, you’ll realize that it’s not as difficult as it seems. By referring to these helpful tips, you’ll have a professional-looking pilot logbook that you’ll be proud of and can impress any interviewer.