A pilot logbook is the one accessory that pilots can’t do without. With so many on the market it isn’t necessarily that straightforward to make the right choice.
Of course, you will want the logbook to be well-made and last for years to come, but you also need to consider the size, number of pages, design, how easy it is to log flight time, and a couple of other things.
Best Logbooks for Pilots
Jeppesen Professional Pilot Logbook – Best Overall
A favorite among professional pilots. Well-constructed, well-designed, 256 pages.
As its name suggests, this logbook from Jeppesen is ideal for professional pilots. Not only due to its elegant design, but also because it can hold up to 10 years of data with simplified pilot and aircraft annual summaries. It is well-made as every logbook for professional use should be, measures 6 3/4” x 11 1/4”, contains 256 pages, and will serve you well for many years, covering thousands of flight hours.
Standard Pilot Log ASA-SP-30 – Best Logbook for Student Pilots
A firm favourite among all pilots but especially students learning to fly.
This is a great logbook for pilots that has been around for a while. It is a good choice if you’re looking for a compact option, as it measures just 7 1/2” x 4”. There are 68 pages that all contain a running total at the bottom for easy tracking. The logbook meets all record-keeping requirements established by the FAA. A very popular option particularly with student pilots as they progress.
Standard Pilot Log ASA-SP-57 – Also Great for Student Pilots
A little bigger and with more pages than the SP-30.
If you like the ASA-SP-30 but are looking for something a little bigger or in a different color, the ASA-SP-57 is just the ticket. It comes in navy, measures 8 1/2” x 5 1/2”, and has 110 pages. Just like the SP-30 it is great for student pilots and “weekend warriors”.
Standard Pilot Log ASA-SP-40 – With the Most Pages
An excellent choice for pilots who need more pages.
In the same vein as the SP-30 and SP-57, this logbook for pilots has all things that pilots have come to appreciate from ASA. If you need a logbook with more pages this is the one to get – there are 208 pages. It comes in an attractive burgundy colour, and measures 7 1/2” x 4”.
Jeppesen Professional European Pilot Logbook – Best for European Travel
A must for pilots flying in Europe.
If you will clocking flight hours in Europe, look no further than this logbook from Jeppesen. It is the exact same as the company’s other logbook mentioned above. It contains the same features, such as simplified pilot and aircraft annual summaries, and being able to hold up to 10 years of data, but complies with EASA standards.
Important Features to Consider
Don’t underestimate just how important design can be. Every time you log your flights you want to look forward to doing so. Storing your records only digitally doesn’t bring the same joy. Even younger pilots soon realise this.
A great logbook for pilots should be compact enough to bring along with every fight. The number of pages is also important. Are you an infrequent pilot whereby a logbook with 70 pages will suffice, or will you soon fill these up and don’t want to have to keep on purchasing a new one?
Any logbook you buy should meet all FAA standards. If you’ll be flying in Europe you’ll need one that can also meet EASA standards, such as the Jeppesen one mentioned above.
A good logbook is well-constructed and should last for years. You don’t want it to fall apart over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pilots Required to Keep a Logbook?
A pilot in the United States isn’t required to use an official logbook or format and does not need to record every single flight. As long as the conditions set out in CFR Title 14 §61.51 paragraph b are met any format can be used.
However, if you are in the process of needing to meet minimum requirements for a certificate, rating, flight review, or instrument proficiency check, and for currency a logbook certainly makes it easier to log all flight time.
Why not use an electronic logbook?
Electronic logbooks are legal and there is no harm in using one – ideally you should use both electronic and paper logbooks to log flight time, as it’s always good to have some form of backup. But there are a couple of factors that make a paper logbook the more practical and better choice.
For one, you will need to add a lot of signatures to flights when starting out. This is easier to do on paper instead of electronically. You’ll also find that there are times where you will need to print out your logs if stored electronically, so you may as well store everything on paper in the first place.
Then there is also the aesthetic and joy factor to consider. There is nothing quite like the simple joy of getting your paper pilot logbook out and spending some time logging everything by hand. It’s something you can take pride in and serves as a reminder of your journey as a pilot – similar to how some people will never give up buying and reading paper books instead of e-books.
What is the best electronic logbook?
The best electronic logbooks for pilots include the Logten Pro, ForeFlight Logbook, and mccPILOTLOG.
Is there any difference between a logbook used by airplane and helicopter pilots?
There is no difference between a logbook used by airplane and helicopter pilots, but if you fly both aircraft you might want to keep one dedicated for each to log flight time. Other pilots seem to manage fine keeping all flight data in one, though. It really just comes down to preference.
Can you log PIC as a student pilot?
Yes, a student pilot can log PIC. However, flight instruction is logged as dual not PIC when an instructor is aboard, since the student is not rated in the aircraft.