Smartphones and tablets have become standard equipment for pilots, and a variety of apps help with a variety of tasks including flight planning, weather, and logging flights. Many pilots have discovered the benefits eLogbooks.
Besides having the details of flying history at their fingertips, pilots enjoy automatic currency calculations, maps of airports they’ve visited, progress towards goals and achievements, and social media sharing of flights.
Some eLogbook programs even include special features for students and instructors. Student pilots are able to share their records with their CFI, who can use checklists to manage their training program and sign off on important activities. Of course, the options are numerous, and many pilots are concerned about making the best choices.
“At aviation events, pilots often ask me, ‘What features should I look for when I consider an eLogbook app?’” said software developer Ken VeArd.
“I realized there wasn’t a comprehensive list of features that are available among eLogbook apps. It would be a lot easier to answer those questions if there was such a list that shows all of the possible features, and which of the popular logbook apps support each of those items.”
VeArd and his team have compiled a list of thirty six features that pilots can look for in their eLogbook software, with the three top eLogbook apps listing whether or not they include that feature.
He acknowledges the limitations of such a list. “Of course, eLogbook software is my business, so the Pilot Partner Logbook is the standard by which we’re going to measure all other software. And different factors are going to be important to different people, so pilots who use this checklist will have to use their own priorities and judgment. Also, recognize that it’s a moving landscape. We release new features all the time, so any list like this will be a snapshot in time.”
“A complete checklist is really helpful for pilots considering the options,” said Private Pilot Paula Williams. “Software can be complicated, and as a consumer, we don’t all have time to research every possible option, and we may not be aware of all of the questions we should ask when comparing eLogbook software.”