Circa 2000 Paul Auman, an airline pilot and software developer, introduced the airline industry's most sought after app among airline pilots "Airline Pilot's Daily Aviation Logbook" passionately dubbed "APDL". Also known as "AirlineLog" per the icon on the Palm OS and Windows Mobile interface, now officially known and trademarked as "APDL" - the official name of the upcoming iOS app, pioneered a class of mobile apps dedicated solely for the airline industry. Logbook Pro and others in its market space are considered "General Aviation" apps with a goal of covering a broad range of a pilot's needs. We built up Logbook Pro to incorporate airline features as APDL was in a state of transition yet to provide airline pilots with a true and useful tool dedicated to their needs, an app must be built completely around the regs that airline pilots live by hence a class of app APDL lives in by itself - an "airline app."
General Aviation apps such as Logbook Pro and those in its market cannot adequately be "band-aided" with queries and filters to accurately provide an airline pilot today, under FAR Part 117, with a complete and accurate representation of their requirements and legality. For those that are familiar with FAR Part 117, an app cannot take a snapshot of only "today" and meet the requirements of the reg as some apps offer. There are also many other facets such as crew size, acclimation, look back and look forward that all have to be included in calculations for proper legality such as duty, rest, and other elements that are complexities in today's airline and airline pilot's equation of "am I legal to fly?" While some airline pilots rely on their company to determine legality, it always comes down to the pilot and it is their sole responsibility. For this reason, it is imperative that airline pilots know the regs such as FAR Part 117, stay involved in all of the changes taking place regarding the implementation of this new reg, and not be short sighted by biting off on information provided by using the wrong tools that do not take into account the required elements to determine your legality.
General Aviation apps cannot perform the task of FAR Part 117! An app must be dedicated and built solely for and around the reg it supports and this is what APDL is all about. APDL has been in development over 2-1/2 years creating the unique "trip sheet" paradigm interface airline pilots are accustomed to and incorporating all of the required regulatory facets and providing a complete picture with proper legality incorporated in the calculations. We've also built APDL with flexibility in mind to adapt to future regulation changes.
APDL, the only airline app on the market, is a stand-alone logbook dedicated to the airline pilot incorporating "data everywhere" synchronization, backup, resume features for those finding themselves in a job search they never envisioned, advanced and powerful search, deep iOS integration such as tap the call for hotels on file, and much much more. Expenses, pay, charts, analysis, statistics, logbook, you name it, it's all incorporated in this complete airline logbook picture now being finalized for your use.
With over 60 dedicated and hand selected beta testers selected for their involvement in the airline industry as decision makers, regulatory expertise, and software experience such as with prior versions of APDL, are all working hard to ensure we are producing the right solution as needed by today's FAR 117 regulated airline pilot. Only when we have achieved a compliant app, a quality app that meets the standards customers have known to expect from NC Software, and an app we are confident in will we release it to the public. We are close but we are not there yet but when we do get there, you will appreciate our desires to get it right at release. With that said, release to the App Store as version 7.0 is only the start, not the end. We have a long list of features and integrations planned but first is the basic feature set needed by you, the FAR 117 governed airline pilot, then we will incorporate the flood of feedback we are sure you will provide as our outstanding beta team has been doing for months and continue to hone this fine machine to better serve you.
Moral of the story, we are working on something great, we know you need it "yesterday" and we greatly appreciate your patience while our engineers, led by Paul Auman himself, do their magic in providing you the reincarnated airline app for iOS - APDL version 7.0.
With that said, here are a few screen shots of the iPhone interface as we shared iPad interface in the January newsletter (click here to view). As you can see we have tailored layouts based on the device to ensure the best use of screen real-estate available for you to use and get the most out of the app as easily as possible with all of the information required for FAR Part 117 compliance.
NC Software Licensing Explained
Software licensing can be painful, especially those that manage servers as we have to. Trying to figure out all of the legalities can be difficult as well as reading all of the fine print. We try to keep software licensing as simple as possible and every product we sell you can scroll down and clearly read the licensing requirements.
Logbook Pro Desktop is now going on its 17th year! Thank you all for your trust and loyalty to a product we use and love as well. We started Logbook Pro in the mid 1990's and set our prices which are the exact same today and on top of that we have kept the version at 1.x so we would not have to charge for an update as is typical in the software world that when the first number of a version changes (called the major version number) is when a fee based upgrade is typically involved. Our community of users have continued to grow steadily over the years and we have released literally hundreds of software updates continually improving the product based on your outstanding feedback. We log your suggestions, bug reports, etc. in a dedicated software tracker and incorporate the features and fixes at the earliest and most fitting opportunity.
Here is a quick reference on software licensing:
Logbook Pro Desktop is a "perpetual license" meaning you pay once and get all updates in the same major version (first number of the version) free, i.e. all version 1.x updates are free as they have been for a very very long time. Logbook Pro Desktop is not a subscription.
The software world is transitioning to a subscription model where you pay a small fee and get all updates and no longer worry about versions and whether or not you're entitled to the upgrade. We started using the subscription model for Logbook Pro Mobile in December 2010 as we were six months into the iOS app market realizing Apple and Google are continually updating OS's with little regard to backwards compatibility. Microsoft has always done a great job in backwards compatibility and continue to do so, kudos to them. Our Logbook Pro Desktop architected in the mid 90's still runs as of Windows 8.1 today, great job Microsoft. Companies such as Apple expect customers to update to the latest version when they release new versions and immediately drop support and compatibility for anything prior. As a result we continually update and keep the worry out of upgrades and compatibility and you pay a small fee for the continued development.
Logbook Pro Mobile is our mobile line for iOS and Android. You pay one small annual subscription fee which allows you to sync to Logbook Pro Desktop but without it you can continue to log your flights and enjoy the app FREE. The other great part is that with this one Logbook Pro Mobile subscription you can use any and all of your supported devices and you don't need to pay for Android and then for iOS, etc. Logbook Pro Mobile is supported on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, iPad mini, Android phones, Android tablets, Kindle Fire, and NOOK tablets.
Route Browser is like Logbook Pro Desktop, a single perpetual license.
The Airline Schedule Importer is a cloud based application accessed by visiting http://nc-software.com/schedule that you pay to use only when you need it. You can purchase a subscription just like Logbook Pro Mobile down to 30 day increments or up to 2-year terms. We continually update the cloud app based on constant changes to trip filters used by the airline schedule providers. We can update a filter for you in minutes or add new filters for newly supported airlines of which we support over 200 as of this writing. No software updates are required and you are guaranteed the most up to date schedule importing at all times. A small fee is paid to utilized the cloud app based on your needs.
Finally, we offer an optional but highly recommended service to allow you to backup your entire Logbook Pro database to the cloud for a small subscription fee. We offer different tiers based on the number of backups you want to keep in the cloud at any given time, i.e. if you want to keep a history of 15 backups in the cloud you can do so which is smart as your most recent backup could have an issue and you need to step back to two backups previous to go back to an inadvertent deletion you may have done. Cloud Backup is deeply integrated into Logbook Pro Desktop and is as easy as clicking File...Backup to Cloud. You can backup a million times, there is no limit, but the number of backups that remain stored in the cloud is what the different tiers represent.
Logbook Pro Desktop and Route Browser are licensed to the licensee name which is the person purchasing or if a name is entered in the licensee box you can purchase a license as a gift. Licenses are activated and controlled by the number of computers they can be activated on which is typically one computer per license other than Logbook Pro Desktop Professional Edition which allows two activations for the Desktop/Laptop scenario.
Subscription products are attached to the purchasers login, gift subscriptions should be purchased as gift certificates to the recipient can make the purchase under their account.
As you can see, we keep it simple but remember, just go to the product you're interested in, scroll down and read the "licensing" section of the product details.
How to use the Schedule Importer
So you're an airline pilot, you have your cryptic trip sheet from your schedule provider, now what do you do with it? Sure, you can print it and go fly or you can use our magic tool, the Airline Schedule Importer, and turn your trip data into a format that Logbook Pro and APDL can consume and turn into useful information including integrating with your calendar.
Let's give it a try, no purchase or subscription required:
1) Go to http://nc-software.com/schedule and login if you have a NC Software login or create an account on the right side of the login screen, no purchase required
2) In another browser tab view your trip data or open the PDF or file that has your trip data
3) What we require for your trip data typically starts at the top left with your trip number/date all the way through the crew data, TAFB value, etc. that concludes your trip information provided. Click on the top left of your trip data and drag to select everything then copy the data to your clipboard by pressing CTRL + C (or Command + C on Mac's).
4) Click into the box below "Paste Trip Data" and paste in the data you copied above by pressing CTRL + V (Command + V on Mac's)
5) Now let's talk about the options above the trip data you pasted in.
a) There is an option to choose the filter to use to process your trip data. We recommend first trying AUTO as we can auto-detect most trip formats and do the work. Only if AUTO does NOT work should you narrow down the filter based on your airline or trip format, some airlines use the same so we don't list it typically by airline.
b) The other option is the time zone. This setting specifies the time zone "of your trip data". Is your trip data in UTC, or do they provide it in local times for each destination, or a custom timezone? Set the time zone that represents your trip data. The schedule importer engine will convert all of your data to UTC which is what all of our app integrations receive the data in. The system is also smart and knows the date and whether or not daylight savings time changes at each and every destination such as this coming weekend we are changing the clocks in the US.
6) As you have provided your trip data and pasted it in and set the two options for filter (auto) and time zone preference, click the Process Trips button and the magic will now happen. The cloud app will parse your data, process the time zones for each destination, and give you a thumbs up or down as to whether or not the data could be processed. If not, try another filter other than auto and click Process Trips again and see if it can parse your data.
7) Finally and if desired, expand the rows in the grid to review the trips, days, legs and keep processing all that you want at this time. You can also edit any of the values by clicking the edit button which will update the cloud data. If your trip date is yellow and says bidline then your trip data did not supply the trip date and at this time you should set the trip start date.
If you are not subscribed the cloud will not keep your data and it will be purged immediately. If you are subscribed to the cloud app then your data remains in the cloud until you download it or import it into a supported app such as Logbook Pro Desktop, Logbook Pro Mobile, and APDL. Once the trip data is imported it is removed from the cloud. There are additional options such as exporting to CSV and TAB delimited data should you want to use this data in another application, you can also download iCalendar (.ics) files to easily import into any calendar that can read .ics files which is about any of them. Those in the FFDO program can also export the required information for you to supply the FFDO portal as desired.
The Airline Schedule Importer is a simple app to use, while extremely complex behind the scenes, that adds great value to your electronic logbook and calendar to help you as an airline pilot. We continually maintain the cloud app updating the parsers as airline trip systems change and add new filters for trip formats not currently supported.
Need help or want to have your trip data supported? Open a ticket to our help desk specifically to the schedule importer department and provide us the data you're using and need help with or new data you'd like us to support. Our schedule importer team will work with you and in minimal time you'll be able to enjoy the magic of this system and enhance your airline schedule management experience.
Video tutorial below on YouTube. If you don't see the video render below click here.
Backup Strategies - Creating a Historical Archive
Software companies know all about the importance of a backup strategy, both as a software producer but also for their own systems. We run servers and offer cloud solutions, backing up is critical. We use accounting software, and many of you probably use accounting applications such as Intuit's Quicken and you know the importance of backing up. Logbook Pro is an accounting solution for pilots, it too must be backed up, and regularly just as you backup Quicken regularly.
There are two important parts of a backup strategy, beyond the actual steps of backing up. 1) Restoring a backup to make sure your backup strategy actually works when you need it to, and 2) Maintaining a deliberate and organized backup history and not just keeping one backup that you overwrite every time you backup.
Creating a backup in Logbook Pro is done by one of two ways depending on if you're creating a local backup (on your hard drive) or a cloud backup (on the NC Software Cloud). Click File...Backup to File to create a local backup or File...Backup to Cloud to create a local and cloud backup. Restoring a backup is done nearly the same using the File...Restore .BAK File or File...Restore from Cloud menu options. Give it a try, not only backing up but also restoring a backup. To make sure it works create a backup then add a dummy flight for example, then restore your backup and the dummy flight will disappear as your backed up file didn't contain it. Once done, you've completed the loop and not only backed up but also verified the restore works. If you want you can also make a copy of the data file which is the file ending in .LBK indicated in the application's title bar (top) and also found in the Help...About Logbook Pro dialog.
Now that we've addressed the backup and restore commands let's discuss the purpose of keeping a history of backups. First off, backups are small compressed copies of your entire Logbook Pro database. Also note that "cloud sync" of Logbook Pro Mobile is NOT, I say again is NOT a backup. Cloud sync's data does NOT remain in the cloud for catastrophic recovery. Keeping a history of backups or an archive of multiple backups is important. Let's say something goes very wrong with your computer as hard drives can and will fail. Sectors can fail, power surges, we've heard it all, it can and will happen. All of the sudden something has gone wrong in a file which could be a word document or a Logbook Pro data file. You don't realize it until weeks later that something is wrong. You are backing up every day but you realize there is a problem so you restore the most recent backup. You realize the problem exists in your recent backup, you need to go back to the one prior to that. There is the problem, do you have any backups prior to your most recent backup created? If so, you're in luck, try restoring the next most recent file and keep stepping back in time until you find what you need. On the Mac the backup system is called Time Machine and it steps back in time just like this as well keeping a history or "versions" of your files. Windows 8 has it as well, and other backup programs offer similar strategies such as Acronis which I highly recommend.
Above we discussed two important topics: 1) Backup AND Restore, and 2) Keeping multiple backups. Hard drive storage is cheap and we are in the realm of Terabytes these days. Thumb drives come in Gigabytes, I even have Western Digital Passport external drives attached to my systems in addition to office and server backup software...you can't backup enough!
Our Cloud Backup service is available to you that takes Logbook Pro Desktop backups and keeps them on our servers which are in our backup rotation as well. I highly recommend you use this, the subscription is very inexpensive and you can choose how many backups you want to keep in the cloud at any given time. It has nothing to do with how many times you backup, you can backup every time you use Logbook Pro, the tiers are how many backups you can keep in the cloud at any given time. The Cloud Backup system is smart, just keep backing up and it will discard the oldest backup if you reached your limit of backup storage to make room for the incoming newest backup. All you have to do is click File...Backup to Cloud and it's that simple. Lastly, don't forget to renew your Cloud Backup subscription when we send you the reminder as cloud backups are purged not long after your subscription expires. To learn more about Cloud Backup and get your subscription today, click here.
Are you ready for your Interview...TOMORROW?
Articles like this are inspired by the latest trend of expedited data entry jobs and expedited turn-key printing jobs. Hiring is on the rise for several reasons as airline pilots know and those seeking are excited about, assuming you meet the minimum requirements. First and foremost, do you have your paper logs transferred into Logbook Pro completely and accurately? While you may not be currently flying, is your logbook ready for an interview? Don't wait until your stress level his high enough to make you prepare as that may result in a stress level beyond your comfort level when you get a call that all of the sudden interviews are resuming when you expected them to be further from now and you have an interview date "next week".
We can help you and will do so to the best of our ability. We offer a data entry service to do the hard labor of getting your paper or company logs into Logbook Pro. We have a finite number of staff and we are typically 200% tasked meaning we have current and future jobs in process. Expedited service levels are available and they bump normal jobs in the queue and recently we've taken numerous expedited jobs helping prospective pilots prepare for their opportunities. The military is going to potentially have a scale down and airlines are actively seeking military pilots as well. Everyone needs to be prepared and make your best presentation and first and lasting impression. To learn about your data entry services click here.
Once you have your data in Logbook Pro we can help you produce a great interview ready presentation. This starts with our color laser printing service on professional heavy bond Cirrus Elite paper bound in unrivaled Cirrus Elite professional binders. When people using other logbooks on the market see what we provide we are often asked if we can do the printing for them. I'm sorry but we only do printing services for Logbook Pro. To learn about our printing service click here and to view our binder offerings click here, for airline pilots the recommended binder is the Commander series or the lesser capacity Full Size series.
If you have questions or need help, please contact us. We will gladly assist you and we have gone to great lengths in the past as we will with any customer that needs emergency help to get ready for tomorrow's interview.
Logging your Certificates, Ratings, and History?
We see a lot of Logbook Pro logbooks either through our turn-key printing service or support inquiries. One thing in common and that a majority of pilots are not keeping a record of anything beyond their flights. I'd like to take this opportunity to bring your attention to three additional logbook areas that are available to you both from the toolbar as well as under the View menu:
Use the certificates area to list any and all certificates you've received such as your Private, Commercial, CFI, ATP, etc.
Record any of your Category, Class, or Type ratings such as Airplane Single-Engine Land, Multi-Engine Land, Boeing 737, etc.
History items are anything with an expiration from medicals, flight reviews, etc. You can define events in Options/History and then log them in the View/History area. Enter the event type, date accomplished, expiration date, and any notes. History items as they expire can be used in currencies that you create and as such also sync to mobile via the currency system.
All of the above build up your aviation record and when printing your logbook should be included to show your aviation experience accordingly. Leaving out this important part of your logbook is not recommended and it only takes a few minutes to log these rare events and be proud of your accomplishments. They are important events so please use these areas to properly record them just as you do your flights.
We moved - check out our new Facebook and Twitter pages
We've moved from our "/LogbookPro" Facebook and Twitter accounts to new "/NCSoftwareInc" accounts. Click the badges below to LIKE or FOLLOW us on Facebook and/or Twitter respectively. Doing so will allow you to receive more frequent notifications such as news, product updates and releases, and even social networking sales we run from time to time for those that join us on the social networks.
Are you up-to-date?
Logbook Pro for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
Logbook Pro for
Android, Kindle Fire, and NOOK
APDL for iPhone/iPad (FAR 117 Airline Pilot Logbook)