While learning to fly can appear daunting at times, another challenge lying in wait for would-be aviators is learning to maintain a pilot logbook, a struggle that demands keeping a calculator and plenty of Wite-Out close by. Or at least it used to.
Ready to become one of the solutions to the problem, Pilot Partner’s new electronic logbook debuted at this year’s AirVenture. Creators Ken VeArd and Jacob Rodrigues Pereira told Flying their product will “reinvent the way logbooks are kept.”
Pilot Partner makes flight-data entry for any level pilot a snap, even when working from a smartphone, thanks to the cloud technology engine under the hood. Pilot Partner offers a bright, easy-to-read front page that instantly calls attention to an aviator’s flight currency, whether it’s IFR, tailwheel or the next flight review. Rather than simply listing a due date, Pilot Partner counts them all down, making aviators aware they’ll be out of night currency in nine days, for example. Pilot Partner offers a series of YouTube videos to help familiarize new users with the system.
Enter the tail number of an airplane not already stored in the profile and Pilot Partner searches the FAA database to retrieve an accurate aircraft manufacturer and type ID. The logbook’s report feature makes a 10-second chore out of generating a summary of aircraft types and hours flown within specific date parameters that’s perfect for insurance or check ride demands. Realize a mistake anywhere along the way and a pilot’s correction quickly populates the system, generating accurate numbers everywhere down the line.
One of Pilot Partner’s flagship features allows a CFI, also using the system, to access a student’s, or any other pilot’s, logbook to directly add times, dates and session notes, including the instructor’s signature to verify those summary reports when necessary. Accurate detailing also makes it easier for an instructor to review a pilot’s past progress on a smartphone just before the next flight, which should eliminate that infuriatingly popular phrase, “What did we do last time?”
Another important feature of the subscription-based Pilot Partner system is the availability of all flight data to the original user. As this Flying writer learned during the early years of electronic logbooks, all the work spent entering data from a paper logbook can be lost if that information is stored in a format that goes obsolete. Pilot Partner allows users to store a digital copy of their valuable logbook information on their home computers, or print out their entire logbook, in a variety of formats that should make obsolescence nearly impossible.
Canceling your Pilot Partner subscription doesn’t mean your data disappears, however. “We promise we’ll keep your data for at least five years after you cancel,” VeArd said. “We’ll probably store it for much longer, though, since it’s actually too much work to delete.” Pilot Partner subscriptions cost $29.95 per year.