In the past few weeks we are witnessing the oil crisis
take its toll on the airline industry. Three airlines
have closed their doors (Aloha, Skybus, ATA) and Frontier
is filing for bankruptcy. It is a sad situation but I
cannot imagine the impact of rising prices of fuel on
probably one of the highest consumers of this liquid gold!
It doesn't seem like the airlines are passing the higher
costs on to the consumer as much as I would expect, it is no
doubt a very sad situation with no fix in sight.
I'm interested to see how the rise in fuel prices are
going to take a toll on the aviation industry projected out
20 years from now. I can only imagine the number of
student pilots has decreased as the cost to take flying
lessons has probably doubled, if not more, than when I was
cutting lawns and bagging groceries to pay for flight
lessons far too many years ago! Are we going to end up
with an increasing need for pilots as the aviation industry
grows yet have a shortage of pilots as a result of this
crisis which sadly may be here to stay?
I don't know the answer to these problems but it is
something we all need to be aware of. For those operating
flight schools we need you to do everything in your power to
inspire the future pilots and organizations with deeper
pockets to promote young pilots to be to follow their dreams
and not give up on aviation. Let's not find ourselves
20 years down the road in a pilot shortage, and having been
raised in aviation courtesy of the Air Force, I do recommend
the military as a great starting point for anyone's flying
career who has the opportunity to do so.
Please do your part to keep the aviation community
strong, we are going to do everything we can as well as a
member of the aviation community.
In our February newsletter we included two articles of
interest for those considering the switch to an electronic
logbook but have not yet made the transition. Feel
free to review these articles or read if you didn't get the
Top 10 reasons to switch from paper to Logbook Pro? and
How do I transition from paper to Logbook Pro?
This month we'll take a look at considerations in
choosing your electronic logbook and of course, we hope
you'll choose Logbook Pro but we want you to make an
- Reputable Company:
It goes without saying before making any purchase you
want to ensure the company you're dealing with is
reputable, your financial transactions are safe, and the
company is going to be around to support your purchase.
I'd say more logbook vendors than not are simply
hobbyists that are selling something they created in
their spare time yet are not dedicated to their product
as a full time business venture. Are they really a
business entity or just trying to make a buck selling
something they created in a spreadsheet? Rest
assured at NC Software this IS our primary business, we
have a team of developers, and we provide free support
for the life of your purchase. We have been around
since 1998, we are a corporation, and we use the highest
levels of security to ensure the safety of your
- Be careful with "FREE":
There are free logbooks out there, several of which are
web based. Realize when you choose something that
is "FREE" that vendor has no obligation to you.
You could wake up tomorrow and xyz.com is gone, the web
site is no longer accessible, your data is gone!
Anyone can host a web page these days and putting up a
site for you to collect simple information in what
appears to be a logbook solution may be gone tomorrow
and you have no idea what your information is being used
- Check the features:
A logbook is more than data INPUT, the OUTPUT is equally
important. You may be lured into a low cost
solution or even that FREE solution, but what good is it
really doing you if you can't take your INPUT and turn
it into your printed logbook? Evaluate the
printing capabilities prior to choosing your logbook
solution. We take pride in having the most
extensive, advanced, and professional printing
capability of any logbook solution ever.
- What can you do with your data?
The first reason for an electronic logbook is an
indestructible history of your aviation career.
You can create backups (or can you???) and store these
backups in a free e-mail account, USB drive, CD-R(W),
you name it. The second reason is the ability to
find errors and correct errors. It is interesting
to read the aviation message boards on how Logbook Pro
helped to find errors, prevented pilots from logging
flight times incorrectly, i.e. entering 1.8 for solo
when the duration was 1.6. And the third reason
for electronic logbooks is the ability to get
information out of your logbook such as how much
instrument time you have in a particular aircraft, at
night, cross-country, etc. Amazingly, agencies
will ask for flight information that is literally
impossible to extract from a paper logbook, you would
only be providing an estimate. With Logbook Pro,
you can print it, include it in your response and have
the brand of authenticity "Logbook Pro" on your report
to represent the credibility of your information.
- What are the licensing terms?
We've heard of nightmares from a not so safe logbook
solution where if you don't renew you are locked out of
your data! What happens if that company closes its
doors as we've seen IT companies do (like AppForge that
we used to use for our PDA products, one day they were
gone, no notice at all!)? Your data is now gone as
it is tied to some crazy licensing scheme to get you to
pay for your logbook over and over again. Ask any
of our Logbook Pro users how long they have had their
product and what they have had to pay. We started
selling Logbook Pro in 1998, yes TEN years ago and they
have received every update we made available FREE.
And Logbook Pro will function until the end of time, the
license never expires and the activation system does not
require communications with our servers. Rest
assured with Logbook Pro your data is yours for as long
as you use it.
- Third party support?
One measure of success is have other companies joined in
to promote or sell your product? Do they believe
there is a business opportunity with this logbook
solution such that they can invest in business relations
and a product line that can be profitable with this
solution. Logbook Pro has had third party support
for years. We have the most extensive, if not the
only third party binder vendor that actually created a
series of leather binders and paper products solely for
the use with Logbook Pro. Formerly MGO Enterprises
then acquired by Cirrus Elite Corporation, I am proud to
see Logbook Pro has enabled another business entity to
ride on its coat tails of success which also provides
our users the most professional binding solution ever.
Jeff from FlightCentral built a really neat mapping
utility that works with Logbook Pro and has been
available also for years. It is great to know our
product can inspire others and benefit so many others.
Last but definitely not least, Logbook Pro is the sole
electronic logbook solution adopted by the world's
largest aviation superstore - Sporty's Pilot Shop.
- PDA Solutions?
You obviously can't take your PC everywhere with you and
in some cases taking your paper log will suffice.
However, why not take an electronic companion on your
travels so you can sync the information back to your
logbook solution upon return? Logbook Pro offers
two series of PDA logbook solutions; one for general
aviation and one for airline use (FAR 121). Both
product lines sync to Logbook Pro ensuring the most
seamless integration available for your efficiency of
Everyone pilot has something unique in the way they like
to log information, what they want to track, and the
currencies they need to adhere to. Does the e-log
solution provide customization capability and to what
extent? Can it analyze information and do number
crunching based on your custom defined criteria?
Take a look at the currency system, is it hard coded to
only work the way they created the parameters for or can
you define your own currencies to suit your needs?
And lastly, can it report on the custom information that
is defined by you? Logbook Pro has the most
advanced currency system ever designed. Broken
down into logical elements you can define your current
items which can be medicals, flight reviews, hours or
flights or anything related to your flying activity and
allow you to then assemble this information to create
your own currency. Extremely flexible, intuitive,
It's one thing to take a bunch of numbers and offer
bells and whistles, but is what you're being provided
actually accurate? We've heard of other logbook
vendors offering various forms of their e-log solution
yet the information is completely inaccurate. We
stand behind our products and we use our products, there
is no way in our good conscience we could provide you
with something that doesn't work correctly or provides
you erroneous data. Be sure when evaluating
software prior to purchase that you actually validate
the information it is providing.
I hope the above gives you some guidelines to investigate
with your future logbook commitment. As it's not easy
to transition between one logbook solution to another with
the greatest level of detail it is important that you make
the right decision now, not later. If you have any
questions after reviewing our information rich web sites
please send us an
e-mail and we'll gladly assist in any questions you may