Flight Maintenance Logbook (FML)
Disclaimer: This is a starter template provided for general informational purposes only. Before taking any actions based on using this template, we recommend you consult with the appropriate professionals.
Aircraft is a marvel of human innovation, playing a crucial role in transporting people and products over great distances as quickly as possible. We rely on aircraft equipment that is well-maintained to safely complete trips. We also depend on pilots that are knowledgeable and current in their credentials. A breakdown in equipment or aircraft operation by someone lacking education or experience can be devastating. Records and logbooks are essential to documenting aircraft airworthiness as well as proof of ongoing pilot certification.
Understanding the Importance of Logbooks
For an aircraft to be airworthy or fit for operations, it must conform to its type certificate and any applicable modifications. This basically means that its design and components are compliant with various standards. The second measure of airworthiness is safe operating condition. Detailed records of the maintenance of an aircraft are essential to proving that a particular aircraft is airworthy and safe for travel, as per civil aviation authorities.
The aircraft maintenance logbook provides a complete record of the performance of the airframe and attached components from beginning to end of use. Each engine has its own logbook for use until it is either completely overhauled or decommissioned. It doesn’t matter how well-maintained a particular aircraft is. Without maintenance logbooks, it is not airworthy, so it cannot be overstated how important it is to have complete, verifiable logs of repairs and upkeep. These logbooks are legal documents containing actionable information.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires pilots to maintain a record of flight hours. This record serves as proof that a pilot has flown enough hours to satisfy the minimum requirements for the following:
- Certification or license
- Flight review
- Test of instrument proficiency
- Currency purposes
There’s not an official format requirement from the FAA as long as certain information is provided. Many pilots maintain their logs using personal journals or Excel spreadsheets.
Capturing the Essential Things
The next thing is to consider what goes into a logbook. For aircraft maintenance, you would need to capture these details in each entry:
- Inspection type and a short description of what was inspected
- Date of inspection
- Total time that aircraft was in service
- Approval or disapproval for return to service for the inspected aircraft, airframe, engine, component, or subcomponents, as applicable
- Certifying statement of the person doing the inspection, including signature, certificate number, and type of certificate held
Because this aircraft maintenance logbook is an official record, the information should be accurate and complete. Entries that are incomplete, unclear, or sloppy give the impression that the maintenance of aircraft is incomplete, which has major implications on its airworthiness. An aircraft maintenance logbook entry software solution would help guarantee completeness and consistency for these records.
A flight logbook for use by a pilot should include these details:
- General information: Your flight logbook should include general details such as the date, the total time of the flight or lesson, the location of the flight or lesson or flight simulator, and the type of aircraft used. If a safety pilot is involved, be sure to include that person’s name and pertinent details.
- Training type: There are different types of pilot roles, experiences, and training. Are you training for solo flying or as part of a team? Your logbook should specify the type of training and experience that is relevant to a particular flight entry. Be sure to include information about your instructor for the record.
- Flight conditions: The conditions you experience while flying are crucial details for a record. Did you fly during the day or night? What instrument approaches did you employ? If you flew using a simulator, what were the conditions, and what devices were involved in the simulation? This is where you’d also make a note of special equipment used, such as night vision eyewear.
Both a pilot and an organization that employs pilots benefit from a consistent way to generate entries.
Finding Value in Electronic Records
Most maintenance records and logbooks are paper and are subject to issues such as the vulnerability of paper, access issues, inconsistency, incompleteness, and illegibility. Electronic aircraft maintenance records can serve as backups for the paper records required by the FAA. If there’s ever a reason for an outside entity to see maintenance logbooks, this can be easily accommodated with aircraft maintenance records online.
Similarly, pilots, especially those who work with airlines and airports, also benefit from a consistent, electronic method to record their flight information to maintain certifications and other industry requirements. Imagine a pilot opening a smartphone app to make an electronic logbook update, unifying records in a system that interfaces with the records of an organization, facilitating verification of continuing professional requirements.
Leveraging the Power of Fluix
Fluix is your lightweight, flexible, and scalable solution for electronic records. Take your pilot and aircraft maintenance records logbooks to a powerful new level with this workflow automation platform that transforms document sharing, forms completion, and workflow automation without special coding or special operating systems. Step up the accountability, consistency, and versatility with logbooks by leveraging the power of Fluix with a free, 14-day, no-obligation trial today.