Since the end of last summer, I have been doing a lot of remote flying with several different quadcopters. I realized that it was important to start recording this time, so I purchased an ASA logbook specifically for unmanned aircraft systems. It’s quite similar to a regular pilot logbook, just with a few different columns to log information about the type of operation.
After reading a blog article by another commercial drone operator, I realized that maintaining accurate logs of flight time (even when they are quite short) could be important for future jobs. As of right now, the FAA does not require any flights to be logged, and even a Part 107 certificate doesn’t have any specific flight hour requirement. In the future, however, this could easily change.
A logbook could help to prove that you have applicable experience when applying for specific authorization or a waiver to operate in controlled airspace. It might also be useful for purchasing insurance or advertising your company.
Tips for Logging Flight Time:
- Pick a system and stay consistent with it. Whether you choose to use a “paper” logbook or an online spreadsheet, try to keep records concise and standardized. Also, use the same format for date, time, equipment specifications, and additional comments. Avoid multiple copies with flights logged out of order or gaps in-between.
- Use the same color pen for all entries, preferably one with a finer point.
- Use a pencil for the “totals” at the bottom of each page. If a mistake is carried over on several pages, it will be easier to erase and change it. Any mistakes written in pen would have to be crossed out, which could make the logbook look quite messy after just a single error.
- Keep a backup copy of the logs in a separate location. Update the entries at least once a month, and preferably every week. A simple solution is taking photos of the pages and storing them on one of the “cloud” platforms online.
- Write a short comment or note about what you did during each flight. This helps to remember specific flights and to verify the time logged.