Pilot Logbook in the Cloud

Ever since I earned my Private Pilot License, I have been using my Sportys Pilot Logbook that I bought on the same day I finished my introductory flight. I didn't really think about it until the other day; what if I lost my logbook? How do I get back all of my flight logs? Apparently, this is not really a new question. The short answer is, you can't. But you do have some options.

  1. Check with your flight instructors. Hopefully they keep good records of your flights.
  2. Check with your flight school or flight club.
  3. FAA Form 8710. Hopefully you filled this out and duplicated your logbook at the time of your check ride.

After doing some searching, there are a few useful solutions:

  1. Keep your logbook at home. Carry a smaller version to log time after flights.
  2. Make photo copies of your logbook periodically and store in a safe location.
  3. Scan and backup electronically.
  4. Use logbook software.

I decided that I would use Google Drive (and Google Spreadsheets) to develop an cloud-based logbook myself. There were a few pros to this approach:

  1. I could view and updated my logbook from anywhere (on any device). I have an iPhone and iPad that I use for flying anyway.
  2. I could share in real-time with my instructor (or anyone with a Google Account).
  3. I could easily total my time and landings in different aircraft and by category (this is really useful for insurance applications).
  4. I could easily filter to limit the log view.
Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 10.15.14 AM
Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 10.15.14 AM

By using Google Drive and Google Spreadsheets for my logbook, I can now make log entries from the plane and not worry about losing my logs. Now I simply sit down and transfer the electronic logs to my paper logbook when I have time. There are many possibilities here with Google Apps Script and integrations with other apps like Google Maps.

For those interested in making a copy of my Pilot Logbook Template, please feel free. Sorry, I don't have an Excel version, but you can always download as XLS.