A Pilot’s Log Book is more than a record of time, it’s a diary linked to amazing firsts, unforgettable experiences, pride and accomplishment.
A Pilot’s log has been around as long as aviation itself.
The pioneering Wright brothers kept detailed records, noting the results of their research when building the first aircraft, leading to the completion of a breakthrough flight in 1903.
Nine years later, pilots of Britain’s Royal Flying Corps (the precursor to the Royal Air Force) were using Log Books routinely. For the first time, these were structured into rows and columns – a design they had borrowed from ship’s logs.
In 1913, a Pilot penned on one page the date of a flight, aircraft used, passenger’s name, time in flight, and course flown. On the opposite page, he recorded height reached, distance, weather, and remarks, but there were no stamps or validation to suggest that these logs were a requirement. Instead, the Pilots were observing and recording the capability of the aircraft just as much as the capability of the Pilot. You could say that at that time, all pilots were test pilots.
As the civil aviation industry evolved, keeping Log Books also became an essential piece for a commercial pilot, even if it was at first to make sure they were properly paid!
Over time, the first regulations governing the certification of aircraft and licensing of pilots also made flight logs a requirement. The rules and design of a Professional Pilot Log Book were set down and it became mandate that a Pilot’s log be certified. Today, it’s firmly embedded within the Air Navigation Order.
Evolution of air law
It’s not just the evolution of air law that’s changed the nature of a Log Book, but what it represents has evolved too – flying machines are more fantastic and pushing boundaries like never before.
Pilot Logs continue to mark history: In February 2017 Qatar Airways touched down in Auckland, New Zealand, following a marathon and record-breaking non-stop flight from Doha, Qatar.
Perhaps one day you’ll be able to log more than 16 hours in one entry… but for now, flight by flight, log each one with pride and make your own history.
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