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dew pylot

Plain old member
Jan 18, 2002
i am currently in a cfi ground and we are covering the topic of logging time. i was wondering if there is an easier way to log rather than playing catch up at the end of the month....can i just make one entry for the month and put in the remarks that it was the time flown during the month rather than go back and fill out each and every flight? thanks in advance.
Logging Time

Go read Part 61 on logging time. Good subject for your CFI ground because you have to know it and set an example for your students by how you fill in their logbooks.

Part 61 says all time in preparation for a certificate or rating must be logged. Other time need not be logged (as an aside, who wouldn't log the "other" time after we work so hard and pay so many dues to build it? :rolleyes: ).

Don't forget that your logbook is a legal document. Putting in one collective entry for that month's time will open a real can of worms, in my .02 opinion, about padding time and all those terrible things. As a professional pilot, it comes with the territory to log every flight. Get used to it. If you instruct, jot down the names of your students, lessons you taught and times on slips of paper or something. Then fill in your logbook at the end of the day. Schools generally give instructors receipts or some kind of paper for their flights. If you get into the habit of filling in your logbook every day, it won't seem so burdensome.

I know there are computer logbook programs available that might ease the burden. Once again, you shouldn't consider logbook-keeping to be a burden.

Good luck with your CFI training.
CFI Log Book

Get into the habit of filling in your log while your student is filling his out. If things are jumping and your are too busy with student after student, get a small notebook and log all of your daily activities. Log the events during the evening down time or at home.
What I like to do is count how many entires make up a page in my logbook (13 in the little one 19 in the big one for mine), then after I have gone on that many flights I fill them out. I get receipts where I work so it makes it a little easier.

If you are going to get an electronic logbook start early. It took me at least a week working about 5 hours a day to fill in 500 entries. Now I know how a desk flier feels, yuk!
Try to stay current and up to date on your entries. Daily, at the very least. If you're away from home for some reason or not near your logbook, at least get in the habit of carrying a small personal log to keep track of each flight, and what you did.

You didn't indicate if you keep a separate record of your activities with each student, but if you don't, it's especially important to keep track of this information on a flight-for-flight basis as you go. FAR 61.189 requires you to keep a log or record of instruction and endorsements given. Your logbook will suffice for this, but it's best to keep accurate and detailed records by making an entry each time you fly, or at least every day.

You may come to a point in the future when a former student attmepts to sue, or an insurance company comes calling, when you can show a detailed logbook showing every little thing you did with the student. A common mistake is to believe that the student will simply have all the endorsements and information in their logbook, but if the student has lost theirs, or is killed or missing, the information may not be available.

I experienced this only once, when a person with whom I had flown crashed an airplane. I had flown with that person for only a half hour, a year previously. I was contacted and told that I would be named in a lawsuit. I was able to demonstrate my minimal involvement with the student based on my own records in my logbook, and was subsequently left alone. I don't know what ever became of the case and the lawsuit, but I was left out of it. If I hadn't kept a specifc record of the flight and exactly what was done in connection with that flight, I might have been dragged into the mess.

Keep detailed records. It's only to your benifit.
Self-Examining Records

Reading Avbug's comments about instructors being sued made me think of another point about instructor records.

I gave stage checks at a self-examining 141 school. I always recorded the examinee's flight in my logbook and if it was satisfactory (a pass) or unsatisfactory (a failure). I also copied examination sheets for the Unsats and put them in my files. Self-examining authority at this school was a big political deal and I was concerned that something untoward might happen to the Unsat records. Of course, these students were rechecked and would pass. I was concerned that I would have no proof of the student's unsatisfactory performance if I were ever sued or if the FAA came down on the school. I know the school would never provide a defense for me.

CYA, folks. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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