A pilot logbook, one of the most important accessories for a pilot. But which one should you get? Finding the correct logbook is not that easy as there are so many of them on the market. When I started my training I received a logbook from my flight school and I still use it today. However, I honestly regret the fact that I did not buy another one in the beginning of my flying career, simply because it is waaay too big.
A lot of people asked me which pilot logbook I have and my thoughts on other logbooks. Here’s my opinion and guide to not making the same mistakes as I did.
I think the perfect paper logbook should be small and easy to bring along. I also suggest that, at least until you unfreeze your ATPL, you should keep track of your flight hours in a paper logbook. That doesn’t mean you can’t use an app or program to log your flight hours but it might be best to do so as a back up. The reason for advising against an app at the beginning of a professional pilot career is because you need to add a lot of signatures to flights while in flight training and PICUS programs. Adding those to a digital logbook can be inconvenient and if it crashes you lose all the important data. Besides you need to prove you fulfill all the requirements in order to unfreeze the ATPL at some point.
The licensing authority and/or examiner needs to verify the accumulated experience so you would have to print all of those pages anyway. Still want to use a digital logbook? Take a look at LogTen Pro or mccPILOTLOG.
One of the most used pilot logbooks is this one: The Jeppesen Professional Pilot Master Logbook in black or brown. A very strong and durable logbook. Adding flights is easy and convenient, for flight training but also for your professional career later on. I see many colleagues walking around with this logbook and they all seem happy with the size. Talking about sizes… 12 x 9 x 1 inches is what you can expect.
The best one, the one I wish I bought a couple of years ago, is this pilot logbook: The Standard Pilot Logbook in blue or black. This logbook is super small, thin and surprisingly light. Exactly the thing you need when traveling around a lot, especially on charter flights or in business aviation. It is also one of the cheapest on the market. The size: 4.5” x 0.5” x 7.8”.
Only interested in a private pilot license? Sure you don’t want to make it your profession? Really? In that case investing in a relative expensive book is not necessary at all. Go for an easy and small logbook to write your hours in. The Jeppesen PPL Pilot Logbook would be perfect for flying in small airplanes or in this case it’s even worth considering to start with a digital logbook straightaway. Size: 8″ x 5 1/4”.
So in short: Just flying for recreational purposes? Get yourself a cheap logbook or a digital one. In all other cases, use a paper pilot logbook at least until you unfreeze the ATPL. Use a digital logbook as a back up, that way you can also easily make a transition to only logging flight hours digitally once you have unfrozen your ATPL. Buy a small and convenient logbook instead of a bulky one. My logbook is really way to big at it’s quite annoying sometimes. I even made a video in which I address this, check it out here.