Maintaining a log of all your drone flights, even the ones that only lasted a couple minutes, can sometimes feel as a challenge. However for real professionals every minute matters…
When we first get in touch with our customers to assist them with obtaining their operational UAS authorisation from the CAA, we often hear that they are struggling with maintaining a log of all their flights.
Almost always they keep some kind of record of their flights but they have trouble in keeping consistency because of various reasons. Some fly with aircrafts of different brands, for example a DJI quadcopter for their inspections and a senseFly for their mapping missions. Others fly with one brand but only log their flights in the often limited record incorporated in the aircraft or in an Excel sheet, thereby lacking information that is vital in building up a good (safety) record. Let me tell you why building up such a record is important.
Why (airline) pilots value flight logging
As a former airline pilot I know all about the importance of keeping a consistent log of all your flights. Every pilot of a manned aircraft keeps a logbook. In aviation a logbook is the indispensable diary of a pilot’s training, career, and solo journeys. It records not only where he has flown, but who he has flown with, the number of hours, how many landings were undertaken, the kinds of instrument approaches, and what kind of airplane he was flying in.
I can remember that when I started out as a young pilot, that I wanted to log every minute of every flight because I wanted to have proof of every bit of experience I gained. Especially when you start applying for a job, a couple hours more or less can make a difference in getting selected for an interview or not. So pilots do not only log their flights because they are required to do so by law but also because it is in their own interest.
Logging drone flights
I admit that when I started out flying drones I also had some trouble in keeping consistency in flight logging. As drone flights normally do not last more than 30 minutes – often even just a couple of minutes – and you perform multiple flights during one assignment it can be a struggle to manually fill out your “Excel” logbook after every flight. But as with flying manned aircraft I quickly noticed that I needed to log every flight if I wanted to be able to provide proof om my experience to the CAA and, more important, potential clients.
Another difference with logging drone flights compared to logging flights for a manned aircraft – besides the shorter flight times – is that with flying drones you will probably work with multiple types of aircraft and you will probably perform multiple types of missions such as mapping and inspection flights. And as with specifying VFR and IFR flights in your logbook in manned aviation, with drone flights you will want to log if a flight was performed within Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS), within Extended Visual Line Of Sight (EVLOS) or even Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS). So how can you quickly log all these details in an easily accessible formate?
Plan, fly and log with the AirHub App
To solve these struggles we started developing the AirHub application. We wanted to have an easy to use mobile app that lets you quickly plan and log your drone flights in the field and that is a one-stop-shop for all things related to a drone operation. So with the app you are able to quickly log your flights and record all details such as:
- Take-off and landing location
- Date and time
- Weather conditions
- Team members
- Drone(s) and batteries
- Completed checklists
- Notes and documents
By using the app you will be able to save a lot of time, not only with logging your own flights hours but those of your drones and batteries as well. Especially when you fly your DJI drone through the AirHub app you will notice that planning and logging your flights has never been easier.
Available for iOS and Android
The AirHub app is available for free to all drone operators via Google Play and the Apple Appstore. By downloading the app you will not only have an easy to use and comprehensive drone logbook but also a complete compliance system for your drone operations. Our enterprise customers will also profit from advanced features such as live streaming, maintenance scheduling and incident reporting.