I've recently started taking flying lessons and was wondering if I should begin logging my flying hours immediately?

I'm aware there are minimum hours for each license certification, so I'm assuming I should be noting down my flight time right from the start but my instructor hasn't really said anything about it yet.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes. You're paying money for it. The instructor will be happy to provide extra hours instruction :-). $\endgroup$
    – copper.hat
    Feb 4 '15 at 7:37

Yes, you should be logging from the start. Now for the first few lessons, it'd be ok to not have your own logbook yet, but you should get one. Hopefully your instructor has kept his up to date, and can build your logbook in terms of flight times since you started.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! Do you have any advice regarding a specific logbook? I was looking at these: skylines.com.au/category/106/flight-crew $\endgroup$ Feb 4 '15 at 5:34
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    $\begingroup$ I've got 2, different brands/designs, don't have a favorite. Depends on how high you're planning to pursue it as well, if you're just going to get a Private certificate logging after you get there isn't as important... but to get hired by an airline logging becomes far more important. Ask your instructor or others around various shops about pros/cons to the various designs for your local requirements for what's needed to be logged. $\endgroup$
    – slookabill
    Feb 4 '15 at 5:39
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    $\begingroup$ Start keeping an electronic logbook in parallel with your paper one. I can name two students of mine whose paper logbooks were stolen when their car was broken into, and who had to rebuild them from scratch. $\endgroup$
    – Steve V.
    Feb 4 '15 at 13:36
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkyMark Pretty much any logbook will work. I like the Jeppesen "Professional Pilot Logbook", and ASA's "Standard Pilot Log" is also a good choice (many instructors like the latter because of the generous "remarks" space to write in lesson information). Electronic logbooks are an option too, but many of us like having the physical paper book. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Feb 4 '15 at 18:42

As has been mentioned you should log hours as soon as you start flying. All training hours with a CFI count towards your license, if you are paying for those lessons, you should log them. As for books, also as mentioned there are a few kinds out there but if you are starting with your PPL a basic log book will suffice. There are also many paid, online services that come in the form of tablet/smartphone apps that are now FAA accepted as official logs (and your instructor an even sign them digitally). This is a nice solution as you don't have to worry about your data getting lost. I will personally be moving to this soon (when I start my instrument training).

Side note: if you have an iPad or iPhone there are lots of cool flight apps out there that are now legal replacements for paper maps, although you should still carry a paper or second digital back up.

  • $\begingroup$ Although great answer, can you have a reference for FAA accepted as official logs? According to my knowledge, FAA does not tell you how to log the time, but just to log it. $\endgroup$
    – Farhan
    Feb 4 '15 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ The FAA requires the instructor to sign off on the time. Older versions of the application had no way of doing this. They now allow the instructor to sign on the screen making it (as conveyed to me) an official log. I guess in the past you could print it out and have them sign it. It also allows for endorsements to be tracked and signed for. I will try and look for more info on what makes them "official" now while they were not previously. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Feb 4 '15 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ As I'm in Australia I have to follow CASA regulations on this. CAR 5.51 requires a physical logbook, though printouts from an app are acceptable. I'll try both out. $\endgroup$ Feb 4 '15 at 23:18

Yes you should whether you are PIC or not, solo or dual.


Assuming you are flying in an FAA "controlled" area, you "must document and record the following time [...] : (1) Training and aeronautical experience used to meet the requirements for a certificate, rating, or flight review of this part." (FAR §61.51(a)).

Now this is for you, but your instructor should have a look at FAR §61.189(a), where it says: "A flight instructor must sign the logbook of each person to whom that instructor has given flight training or ground training".

So, you don't have to log the time, if you don't want it to count to your training, but your instructor is required to sign your logbook if he gives you any flight training.

For every day life I would say this should be interpreted as:

Yes you have to log your flight time when you train for a license!


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