One of a pilots most important assets is their logbook. This vital document is not only a view of our history but it’s also the key to our future. It is tangible proof of our abilities and experience and without which we have little more than our skills and knowledge.
In some countries it’s not yet legal to rely on an electronic logbook alone i.e. here in Australia, but that’s ok because in the mind of most pilots (even the most tech savvy), distrust in technology will always render a paper copy mandatory – at least for the foreseeable future.
With the electronic logbook in mind, it’s timely to investigate the different kinds available. Some products offer apps, some PC software and some in the form of the trusty old excel spreadsheet. Today we’ll be looking toward the latter.
When thinking about backing up your logbook, it’s important to consider what features you are looking for (I think the electronic copy will always be the back up to your paper copy after all that’s where the signatures are). Is it seamless hand off on IOS devices with cloud integration or the security of being able to store it locally on your own hard drive? Me? Well, I’m a fan of both. Since we are looking at this as a backup option, I like the idea of taking your trusty old book flying and then come home and enter the details in to an electronic copy. For this purpose, today I’ll be having a look at a product called – Excel Pilot Logbook.
The Road Test
Jumping right on in, the logbook has the traditional spreadsheet look with tabs for setting it up, entering your logs and a dashboard to view a snapshot.
The dashboard shows your current flying hours in different aircraft types (which are automatically calculated and summarized for you), your total flight hours and coloured warnings to ensure you are within your limits.
The settings page allows you to edit your currencies i.e medicals, ratings etc and customise your alerts.
The logbook itself is as displayed in your standard logbook but in a clean, easy to read and fill in format. You simply enter your details and watch the dashboard automatically update all relevant fields.
As the logbook sits as a standard excel file, you can move it about PC’s with ease or throw it on a USB drive. It is also compatible with any devices that have access to the Microsoft suite of apps. One of the great things about it being excel based is that you can customise column widths etc to suit your needs too. Although the experts have set it up pretty nicely already.
If I was tasked with picking out any negatives, it would be in it’s pure simplicity and the fact that you require Microsoft Excel or a compatible program to use it and I did have a few issues viewing it on a Mac.
Whilst it may not have all the bells and whistles of the expensive logbooks, for a safe and easy to use electronic pilot logbook, you can’t go past this one – especially for the low asking price. With logbooks available for Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe and America, this little gem is sure to impress pilots all over the world. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy today. I give it 3.5 stars.
To leave your own Excel Pilot Logbook Review, please comment below.
Have you used this Logbook? Rate it!
1. Easy to use design 2. Safe to store locally 3. Can be moved from computer to computer 4. Very customisable
1. Requires Microsoft Excel 2. Requires third party app for mobile devices 3. No device syncing