Whether you're an experienced pilot, or just starting training, it's important to fill out a logbook to record all of your paramotor flights. A logbook will help you keep track of important flight information, that will keep you safe, and help you progress in the sport. It will also serve you well as an important future resource, and we'll look at the reasons why in this post.
If you don't have a logbook, you can get a 100 page one that we created at Amazon HERE. You'll be able to personalise the logbook with your details and a photo, and then take it along to every flight to jot down lots of details, plus important flight notes.
Why is a paramotor logbook important
Here's a few examples of why a paramotor logbook is so important:
1. During training
A logbook will be required on any good training course. Most courses require students to complete a certain number of hours ground handling before they can solo. Students will also need to complete various lectures, all of which should be recorded in a logbook, and signed off by the instructor as they're completed.
This logbook will be required as proof of proper training in the future. You may be asked for proof of training when buying insurance, when attending events like fly-ins, if you're entering a competition or cross country event, or in the event of an accident.
2. To track the number of hours on your equipment
Your equipment will need to be serviced at regular intervals. After a certain amount of hours, belts need tightening, engine parts need changing, reserve parachutes need repacking, and wings need testing and inspecting.
A logbook is a perfect way of tracking how many hours you have put on the motor and wing since its last service. With our logbook, you'll be able to fill in the correct box to log the amount of hours you've flown on a particular flight, and you can enter what equipment you were using.
Don't forget to get yourself an hour meter like THIS ONE that will automatically time how long your engine has been running.
3. To track the total number of hours you've flown
It's important to know exactly how many hours you have flown as a pilot. There are various reasons for this, but a great example is for additional training, like tandem pilot training.
Most instructors will only train tandem pilots after they have completed 150 hours of flying. If you keep a logbook, you have a way of proving that you are ready to train as a tandem pilot, and your instructor will know that you aren't lying about how many hours you have under your belt.
Buying a new wing is another great example. Any pilot can fly an EN-A or EN-B wing, but as you progress to sportier wings, you'll notice that manufacturers recommend pilots have a certain amount of experience before flying them. This will usually be quoted in number of hours flown as a pilot, so be sure to write every hour that you've flown into your logbook.
4. To record important notes about each flight
Paramotoring has a big learning curve, even after hundreds of flight I'm regularly learning something new. That's why our logbook contains two handy notes sections for each flight.
You can log launch and landing notes to help you remember the things you did right, or even the things that went wrong. This will help you to avoid doing them again in the future.
You can also jot down important flight notes. This is where you will write anything of relevance, like areas to avoid flying over, dangers you experienced like severe turbulence or rotor, wing collapses, motor issues, wing issues, your fuel burn figures, maximum altitudes, engine temperatures, little niggles that need fixing, or anything else you think you'll need to remember for future reference.
5. To keep a record of paramotor service history
In the back of our logbook, you'll find multiple notes pages. You can use these pages for anything you like, but it's recommended that they're used for two purposes.
Firstly, write down your paramotor kit checklist. I've lost count of the amount of times I've left parts at home, or at the field, a checklist will prevent this happening, and potentially spoiling your day.
Secondly, use the notes section to keep a record of your paramotor and wing service history.
Write down the date, the parts you have changed, and the number of hours that they were replaced at. You can also write down the date that your wing and reserve were last serviced, and when they're due to be serviced again.
Many pilots neglect regular services, but your life depends on your equipment, so this is super important. Keeping a record of this information ensures that you will remember to carry out each service, and that your equipment will be functioning optimally at all times.
Can you just film flights instead?
Many paramotor pilots will tell you that they wear a helmet camera to film every flight. This way, that can look back at each video to see how they're progressing. Plus, if anything goes wrong, they have a record of it that they can look back at.
This is great, but video takes up a heck of a lot of space on your computer, and you'll end up with multiple expensive hard drives to store them all. It's also very time consuming to transfer video, and finding what you want from a flight that was 3 months back for example, means you may have to sift through hours of video just to find what you want.
I'm not discouraging the use of cameras to log flights, but most pilots will agree that a logbook is a much more convenient way of logging important flight notes, or you could even use one in conjunction with your videos.
Is there an alternative?
Some pilots use free flight logging sites, software on the web, or MS Excel spreadsheets. This just complicates something that should be easy, and is probably the reason why air force and commercial pilots still use standard paper logbooks.
I've tried using spreadsheets and logging sites, but turning a computer on or waiting for web pages to load up is a pain. It also means you'll probably have to do it when you get home after a flight.
Filling out a good old paperback immediately after a flight while you're sill buzzing from it, is much easier, and you're also much more likely to remember to do it. You'll also have something pretty awesome to look back at in years to come!
So there you have it, a bunch of good reasons to get yourself a good paramotor logbook.
One last thing that I recommend is that you also stick a plastic sleeve inside the cover of your logbook. This way you can keep your insurance certificate with it, licenses, and any other important documents that you have.
Don't forget to check out our logbook which has 100 flight pages, separate notes pages, and a pilot's personal information page. Check it out on Amazon HERE.