A Guide for Using Log Books for Your Drone Flights
In a Specific Category, the UAS operator must maintain a record of information on UAS operations for a minimum of three years. There are various ways to record flights that can have different formats. For instance, one can find logbooks in physical formats (such as books), adapted spreadsheets, or even phone or web applications to keep a detailed record of all operations.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to fill in the most basic points of a logbook to maintain a record of the flights performed by the operator. Let’s get started!
What is a Drone Pilot's Logbook?
A logbook is a document for drone pilots where they can record all the hours they have flown. It contains all the flights the pilot has taken, including duration, location, aircraft used, etc.
Additionally, the logbook can also classify flights as normal operations, training, both as a student and as an instructor.
Filling in the Fields of a Drone Logbook
Let’s go through some of the most common fields found in a logbook.
This is just a possible logbook model example.
Enter the date of the operation.
Include a clear reference to the location where the flight takes place, for example, coordinates.
Record the start and end time of the operation.
Fill in the aircraft’s brand followed by the model.
In this field, add the serial number or registration number of the aircraft.
If multiple flights are carried out successively with no more than 30 minutes between takeoffs, they should be recorded as a single operation.
Record the number of landings made, classifying them as daytime or nighttime landings.
Specify the type of flight carried out, indicating if it was flown in VLOS, BVLOS, in what flight category (open, specific), and the subcategory or standard scenario.
Pilot in Command
Record the total hours flown as the Pilot in Command.
If using dual control for the flight, the user of the second control will note the total hours in this field.
Student in Command
For a student flying the aircraft entirely (as the Pilot in Command), log the flight hours in this section.
If training is being conducted using dual control, the student using the second control logs the hours here.
Instructor / Examiner
The instructor records the hours in this section, in addition to noting them in the Pilot in Command section.
This field will note any special circumstances of the flight. For example, in training, the instructor’s name will be recorded here.
Total Flight Hours in the Drone Logbook
Logbooks should tally the total hours flown by the pilot. If using a paper logbook, the hours need to be tallied on each page. Once you change pages, continue summing the flights, taking into account the total from the previous pages. For example, a table might be represented as follows:
- The current page records a total of 25 flight hours.
- The sum of previous pages amounts to 50 flight hours.
- Finally, the sum of previous pages with the current page results in a total of 75 flight hours.
Current logbook formats may vary widely, but fundamentally, the basic data to be filled in remains the same. Remember to record all flights as it’s mandatory, and in the event of an inspection, you’ll likely need to present it to the authorities for review.