We all know that tracking our hours is not only useful it is also quite rewarding. While I am closing in on that magical 100hrs of total time I started thinking about a way to backup my logbook just in case. I have also run into several occasions where I needed to know my current total time or pilot in command hours. My current logbook is one I purchased from Sporty’s Pilot Shop. It is a simple yet well laid out book that you can see here. While the book is great for a hard copy I wanted a faster way to pull up my time and a way to break down hours more efficiently.
There are several online/software based logbook companies out there. I have two hangups with third party providers. The first is I am relying on that third party to handle my data. In the world of aviation it is sadly quite common for a company to just shut its doors one day. I would also have to download a backup anyway just so I didn’t have to worry about that. The second concern is purely financial. I am looking for something very simple and don’t want to pay for it.
So my next idea was to make an Excel spreadsheet. I could make something decent, throw in a few macros for some charts and have something that was very simple to extract data from later. Since I often backup my personal data to several locations redundancy was not a concern. Then I realized one thing: I couldn’t be the only pilot who ever wanted a nice spreadsheet to log time. That is where Greg Wilson and cheappilot.com come in. Mr Wilson has created a great yet easy to use and simple spreadsheet in excel. It apparently used to cost $5.00 but it is now free. What a bargain!
By far one of the best features is the automatic tally of landings within the last 90 days and instrument approaches which makes it very easy to check if you are current. So head over to cheappilot.com for the download and let me know what you think. Remember to ‘enable macros’ when you open the file in excel.
Once a year my flying club’s insurance company requires that I fill out a questionnaire. It asks for total time flying in the last 90 days and 12 months. I noticed this was not part of the original Cheap Pilot spreadsheet so I modified it. I attempted to contact the original author for permission to post the modified sheet but never received a response. I am posting it here because I think it would be useful.