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Lost Logbooks/ Jul 15, 2015 ()

Your Logbooks' Value

Why are your logs so valuable? And how should they be cared for and treated?

It is not uncommon for owners to lose more than 25-50% of the value of their airplane overnight in the event of damage, theft or loss of their logbook records.

One could argue that the maintenance logbooks are the most expensive component to the aircraft. But if you look around, there is little literature teaching owners this or how to care for these valuable items. The industry teaches owners and pilots to adjust fuel mixture at cruise altitude to save the engines. It teaches them to avoid side loading the aircraft to save the landing gear. It even teaches them to steer without breaking to save the brakes. Most owners seem to have a strong grasp on how to operate their airplane. But few realize that if these delicate pieces of paper are not given the same focus and care, all those careful and deliberate cost saving techniques will be for naught.

So what is the best way to take care of valuable paper documents?

  • Photocopy them? No, then you just have more vulnerable paper.
  • Photocopy them and put the originals in a safe at home? No, someone can steal the safe or a fire/flood can still damage the records within it.
  • Photocopy them, scan them, and put the originals in a safe deposit box together with the scanned images on a flash drive? No, still not good enough. The originals could go missing or be damaged when you take them out for your annual and the scans on the backup drive may not be up to date. And how much will you have to pay for that safe deposit box?

Finally, what if your scanned images or photocopies are of too low fidelity and even miss sections of pages? Then you do not have a true and complete back up.

As you can see, we have given this a lot of thought.

Upon receiving your logbooks we place them in our fire rated safe (and we are strategically located less than one mile from Carrboro fire department). When it comes to scanning we only work with high quality scanning equipment. This equipment ensures that the images we capture are of high fidelity. These images meet and surpass the recommendations from our local FSDO in creating true backups of maintenance records.

Next, we organize these images into a unique file structure that results in an organized PDF document with bookmarks for quick reference. Using cloud services from Amazon, one of the most reputable and reliable providers, we store these images securely in the cloud using 256 bit encryption. We also store the images on RAID hard drives in our headquarters in the incredibly unlikely event that Amazon goes down. These hard drives are then backed up again on separate hard drives kept in another location for triple redundancy.

With our Web Portal and iPad App you can always make sure that your most recent maintenance records are backed up to the cloud. You can upload scans of the maintenance records and even transcribe them on your own or have us do it for you on an ad hoc basis for a nominal fee.

In case it's not obvious, we are serious when it comes to redundancy and keeping your records safe. As pilots we know you can understand the importance of redundancy (redundant radios, GPS, etc.) too. When you are ready to bring your logbooks into the 21st century, we will be here.