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Fred0311

Just because...

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Just because no one seems to talk about anything here anymore... I thought I'd bring up an under discussed logbook controversy.

 

Back when I was in flight school my flight instructor told me when filling out my logbook always be as neat as possible, never have a reason to strike anything, and always use the same high quality pen so your logbook looks nice and professional. For some reason it stuck and the vast majority of my entries are made with the same nice pen, with a few exceptions of course.

 

Anyway fast forward a few years and I have my first Huey job and I go to make my first logbook entry proudly with my good pen but I can't find the damn thing. Looking for it I mutter something to myself about needing THAT pen and my coworker with infinitely more experience, a lot of it involving hiring and firing people, offers up his bic and I politely turn it down and explain I need my pen. He responds "Don't do that! People will think you made up all your flight time if its in the same pen! It's a dead giveaway!"

 

So what do you all think? Do you view entries that look like they were made in one sitting with suspicion? Not that it really matters. In my career I have had my logbook looked at exactly once and oddly enough it was a really bad third world operation that wanted to verify my time (tuna boats).

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I have 7 full logbooks and one half-done, but being retired, it will have no more entries.

 

A thousand different pens, and over the 45 years of use, my handwriting style has gone from student-neat to a doctor-style of an ant that crawled through ink.

 

Yes I would have some questions about books done in a way that could have been fabricated. Get a Bic.

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Just because no one seems to talk about anything here anymore... I thought I'd bring up an under discussed logbook controversy.

 

Back when I was in flight school my flight instructor told me when filling out my logbook always be as neat as possible, never have a reason to strike anything, and always use the same high quality pen so your logbook looks nice and professional. For some reason it stuck and the vast majority of my entries are made with the same nice pen, with a few exceptions of course.

 

Anyway fast forward a few years and I have my first Huey job and I go to make my first logbook entry proudly with my good pen but I can't find the damn thing. Looking for it I mutter something to myself about needing THAT pen and my coworker with infinitely more experience, a lot of it involving hiring and firing people, offers up his bic and I politely turn it down and explain I need my pen. He responds "Don't do that! People will think you made up all your flight time if its in the same pen! It's a dead giveaway!"

 

So what do you all think? Do you view entries that look like they were made in one sitting with suspicion? Not that it really matters. In my career I have had my logbook looked at exactly once and oddly enough it was a really bad third world operation that wanted to verify my time (tuna boats).

I made it a habit of using the same pen and making neat entries. However, after the first logbook was complete, I started using an excel spreadsheet. Once I started flying under Part 135, I started logging each line as the day total (rather than per flight) and keep a copy of the duty log. I print and sign each excel sheet and keep it all in a binder with the first logbook. Spreadsheet is backed up to a flash drive and also saved in my email inbox.

 

After working as a CFI, Ive flown for 4 companies so far (Part 135); not a single one has asked to see my logbook / binder (although Ive always brought it to the interview). They were more concerned about verifying my previous employers, if anyone currently in the company could vouch for me, and about my performance during the interview flight with the check airman, CP, etc. Personally, I would want to comb through each applicants logs. But that may just be to justify my own detailed record keeping.

 

For all practical purposes, it seems like the industry standard is to not scrutinize ones logbooks. So I wouldnt worry too much about yours looking one way or another. What is more important is being able to prove the work youve done through a legitimate series of former employers, and leaving each one in good standing. Reputation is everything in our industry.

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I admire a 'good hand' and nice pens a great deal. My logbooks are in every kind of ink, especially from my time as an instructor. The last quarter century or so are 135 spreadsheets...

 

Aside from flight instructors (for endorsements, etc.) and pilot examiners, I've never presented my logs to anybody, in my memory. Limited number of occasions to do so, I've only had 4 pilot jobs since 1968.

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The logbook is a legal document, hence the counsel to keep it need, avoid strike through's or scribble-outs, and initial any corrections you make. Pens in blue or black ink are generally preferred. There is no reason to keep it all in the same pen unless you really want to, in which case there's no reason not to.

 

I've seen people who falsified six or seven logbooks, and tried to weather them by rubbing them on the concrete. All the scratch marks were in one direction, where they rubbed the logbooks back and forth. All the entries looked the same, as if the entries had been written by the same hand on the same day, far too repetitive.

 

Usually log entries will vary day to day, maybe a little to the left or right, the writing a bit smaller or larger, a little more slant, more or less sloppy, etc. A series of entries written at the same time or same day are sometimes more distinctive, and similar.

 

My logs are different pens, different colors. Some of the logs have taken over 10 years to fill, and as a result are falling apart; they've each got reinforcement at the binding, and the pages aren't clean, but have fingerprints and wear. They're not show pieces. There's nothing wrong with keeping them pristine and all in the same pen if you want, but there will come a point where you realize that it really doesn't matter. I log landings, instrument approaches, duration of flight. I quit logging cross country 30 years ago because it doesn't matter to me any more, and there's no legal need to log it. I'll never use it for another rating or certificate, and no employer asks, so there's no point. Just log what's needed and don't worry too much about what others think you should be putting in your log. Mine has business cards, photographs, and other things stuck in there. Each of my medicals gets glued in the back when the new one goes in the wallet.

 

Do what works for you. Meet the legal requirements, but it's your logbook. Add categories if you want. I keep a column for time in whatever I'm flying at the time. Sometimes it's useful for insurance paperwork. I keep a column for ag/fire, and one for turbine. No legal requirement for those; it's just something to track. I haven't kept running totals of landings or instrument approaches; just logged to show currency, and that's it.

 

If you want to use the same pen, then use it. Don't let anyone talk you out of it . If you don't have your favorite pen, then it won't hurt a thing if you change to another color, style, etc. It doesn't make any difference.

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Honestly, I don't care and I use my favorite pen most of the time. My references say more about then a logbook ever could. But I thought it might make for a good topic of conversation.

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I had a logbook get stolen along with a headset a few years ago...I had to recreate it. I used a different pen for each model of helicopter...dunno why but that's what I did.

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No one will EVER ask to see your logbook(s). Nobody wants to wade through page after page of boring, scribbled entries. Nobody will ever ask, "Did you really take this flight as PIC in the R-44 Raven? Or was it really an Astro, hmm? FESS-UP, BOY!" Nobody is going to tally up your Turbine column or your Night column to see if the numbers match. "Was THIS flight really done completely after sunset?:" FESS-UP, BOY!" No, you put your totals on the insurance form and you attest to their accuracy by signing it. That way, YOU are on the hook for fraud if you've faked something. It's called plausible deniability for the company. "Hey, he claimed to have these times and ratings. We checked the FAA and we checked his former employers. He seemed to be who he represented himself to be. What do I look like, Lt. Columbo? We did our due diligence!" At least, as long as that constitutes due diligence.

 

Oh wait, the FAA might want to see your logbooks. If you crash or somehow get sideways with them, they might demand them. If you're smart you'll say, "Uhh, they burned up in the crash, sir." And the FAA guy goes, "But the aircraft did not burn." And you wink and say, "Not yet!" Or you say, "Damndest thing, ossifer. My logbooks were sitting on the passenger seat of my car along with my headset while I was parked at the airport. And some scoundrel...some scallywag...some ne'er-do-well broke in and stole them! So I cannot prove how much R-44 time I have." The FAA guy will roll his eyes and say, "Do you really expect me to believe that??" But stay insistent! Say, "The thief left behind his calling card....a big heavy wooden stick that truck drivers and 747 pilots use to thwack against their tires and check for proper air pressure. So I conclude that it was probably that rapscallion Avbug who did the deed! Yes, it must be him!"

 

The FAA guy will close his books with a flourish and send you on your merry way. Then he'll issue an APB and a warrant for Avbug's arrest. And we'll all sleep a little easier tonight.

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No one will EVER ask to see your logbook(s). Nobody wants to wade through page after page of boring, scribbled entries. Nobody will ever ask, "Did you really take this flight as PIC in the R-44 Raven?...

On my first job interview, I was sitting there as he thumbed through my logbook, when he looked up at me and said, "This doesn't show forty hours in the 44?" To which I responded, "Its there, the last page just hasn't been totalled yet."

 

I wasn't going to say anything on this awesomely interesting topic, but I just love contradicting people too much,...:)

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