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What is the best way to keep logbook entries backed up?

Should a photocopied or scanned image on a computer suffice? Can an Excel spreadsheet or other software/apps be used? In case a logbook is lost or (unfortunately) destroyed, should all entries from the backup be rewritten in a new logbook?

Also, when one has 100s or 1000s of hours, spreading over several logbooks, how much importance the older logbooks will have? Would someone go over every page to make sure that this individual actually have 1375.2 hours (as an example)?

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  • $\begingroup$ This article talks about some options for electronic record keeping. $\endgroup$ – Farhan Mar 21 '14 at 19:58
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The FAA requirements are for the information to be logged, without specifying the details of how it is logged.

It's OK to use electronic log books, and multiple log books. Scanned images are as good as photocopies. Just print them if you ever need them on paper. Some items are required to be signed, so scanned signatures and endorsements may be necessary in an electronic logbook.

The older the information, the less its importance. Log books are normally examined to see if what you're doing is legal, checking ratings, currency, training and reviews, etc. If you are flying without required night or IFR currency, for example, it is conceivable that they'd want to check previous flights to see how often that has happened in the past.

An insurance company might want to make sure you've got the hours you claim, but the FAA's interest is to see if you are legal.

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  • $\begingroup$ If you're comfortable with using a tablet device as a logbook to enter everything electronically without using paper (unless a printed copy is needed) there are professional logbook apps available such as Logbook Pro Mobile. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Dec 18 '13 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ Every few years, I put a digital camera on a tripod and photograph all the logbook pages since my last "backup". I still keep my official logbook with pen and paper. I'm old-school that way. Technology changes. Formats change. But a paper-and-pen logbook will be readable forever. $\endgroup$ – Edward Falk Dec 18 '13 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ Note also: every time you get a flight physical or apply for a new license or rating, the FAA asks for your current logbook values. This gets recorded and becomes official, so if you lose your logbook, you can write to them and ask for the last numbers they had recorded. You can use this as the "start" point for your new logbooks if nothing else is available. $\endgroup$ – Edward Falk Dec 18 '13 at 19:29
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    $\begingroup$ And finally: you have to keep a logbook, but you don't have to carry it. Mine never leaves my office at home unless I need to bring it with me for an instructor or examiner to write in. $\endgroup$ – Edward Falk Dec 18 '13 at 19:30
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know of any international regulations for logbooks. I think they are country specific. JAA and EASA regulations allow electronic logbooks: easa-logbook.eu/features.html $\endgroup$ – xpda Nov 10 '14 at 15:59

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