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Old 18th Mar 2011, 15:55   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South Yorkshire
Age: 27
Posts: 64
Logbook spreadsheet

Afternoon all,

Made a little spreadsheet for logging hours and thought I'd share it. I got fed up of sheets not doing exactly what I wanted them to do so I built this up. Only trouble is, I don't have enough hours to test it to destruction! PM me and I'll email copies out if anyone wants them.

I have a feeling that when the sheet has a few hours inserted the file size will bloat and it will perform very slowly on logging entries. Any feedback on it would be greatly appreciated and if you can make it perform faster or offer an alternative it'd be even better.

I think an Access database might be more suitable but I don't have the time or the knowhow to do one. The sheet isn't quite finished yet either (As when I started noticing a slowdown I didn't see the point in finishing it until it's been tested). Hopefully when it is done it'll be a nice free alternative to all the payware out there and it'll have the advantage of being mouldable to every pilot's needs. The screenshot is purposely crap resolution as it has my actual flying hours in it to show the appearance.

Features are as follows:

- Licence/Medical/Ratings status (NOT FINISHED)
- Full flight logging sheet as per standard log books
- Chart validity reminders/status indicators
- 90-day rule currency check
- Graphical display of hours flown in previous 12 months
- Automatic summing up of total hours
- Interesting statistics automatically calculated such as first solo hours, total landings, total aerodromes visited, different aircraft flown, most commonly flown aircraft, most commonly visited aerodrome etc.
- Queries for total hours between given dates (Table format, can also be calculated for specific aircraft registration)
- Aircraft log with count of hours logged and landings performed on each individual aircraft
- Aerodrome log with ICAO code entry and count of total landings there

I'd like to finish the Licence/Ratings/Medicals page so that reminders are given and automatic counts determine what is required to revalidate (i.e. test/4.3 hours P1/1 hour bi-annual etc etc.) and another feature would be to use macros to automatically set the print areas to make it all more print friendly. Maybe some macro buttons too.

As I said, I'm too tight to pay for any software and there doesn't seem to be many free options out there that cater for all of the above.

Cheers for reading and apologies if it takes me a long while to respond to PMs, I'm going away for the weekend.

View image: Logger

Edit: Seeing as I'm going away I thought I'd be better off adding a download link.

Zippyshare.com - Sendable.zip

Last edited by mr_rodge; 18th Mar 2011 at 17:21. Reason: Download Link
mr_rodge is offline   Reply
Old 18th Mar 2011, 17:26   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 11,388
I already do something similar for much the same reasons as you.

A few thoughts from me:

- chart validity I'd not thought of, nice idea, I may have to steal that.

- I also show licence and medical currency, biennial dates

- I have mine calculate 28, 90 and 365 day recency, which ally with the questions AAIB ask in their reports, and I think is a more useful measure for true currency than 90 day alone.

- I currently have about 1150 hours over roughly 1300 flights, and Excel copes with that without any trouble whatsoever, so unless you have 10,000+ hours, I'd not worry about slowing Excel up, it's pretty robust. Current filesize is 1.4Mb; I don't have any pictures in it. Maybe one day, but that really will increase the filesize.

- I keep adding extra columns for things that interest me, for example tailwheel hours, JAR complex hours, FAA high performance hours... You can do that in Excel, it's great!

- I also add up hours on type, and maintain a list of types flown, hours on various groups (single engine Cessnas, single engine Pipers, vintage taildraggers...) Currently up to 17 columns in my Excel logbook, which works fine.

- I can't honestly say I like recording airfields by ICAO identifier in my logbook, I prefer names! No reason not to do both of course.

- I do like to get all of the main points (hours, types, recency, medical) down on one printable A4 page so that I can hand/email this to anybody when I'm seeking permission to fly their aeroplane.

- Stick to the columns and categories that matter to you NOW, add extra as you need them. For example, the odds are that you're years away (if ever!) from logging multi-pilot time, so why bother wasting space on it; ditto floats. Also, aeroplanes fall into categories - so for example certainly include tailwheel, but if you have a JAA licence you may wish to include "complex" or in FAAland "high performance".

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline   Reply
Old 21st Mar 2011, 13:20   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South Yorkshire
Age: 27
Posts: 64
Hi Genghis,

I know where you're coming from with the Excel capacity and I agree it should be more than sufficient, however with the complexity of some of the calculations they can take time to execute when there's a lot of entries. What I'm worried about is the sheet taking so long to calculate that it becomes unusable. File size is over 4mb even without any entries, and after inputting a hundred rows it's grown to nearly 7mb!

I like the idea for more currency measures, so will probably implement something similar.

Cheers.
mr_rodge is offline   Reply
Old 21st Mar 2011, 16:27   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Further south of the River
Posts: 276
That's still a modest size for an Excel file rodge. I don't think you need worry about calculation speed until you have got a few thousand hours in your log, and by then you will be using a much faster PC
Sallyann1234 is offline   Reply
Old 14th May 2011, 09:24   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: nr London, UK
Age: 34
Posts: 36
Mr rodge, this is a fantastic spreadsheet . Is this still the latest revision?

Thank you for sharing it and well done for developing it. I will do my best to offer feedback once I start populating and using it.
CruiseAttitude is offline   Reply
Old 14th May 2011, 14:38   #6 (permalink)
jxk
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cilboldentune, Britannia
Posts: 560
This spreadsheet looks excellent, I've used my own much simpler version for some time. It does seem to me that insurance companies need to know even more details of your flying times by: cross country, aircraft type, tailwheel time etc.. and as someone has said already times in the last 90, 28, 5 days for AAIB reports.

My only trouble is I started flying 30+ years ago, long before spreadsheets, and would dearly love to put all the contents of the numerous logbooks into it, including the names of the people I have flown with for nostalgic reasons. But couldn't face all that typing!
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Old 14th May 2011, 22:27   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 490
I wouldn't worry about file size slowing things down. I have 5000+ hours and use a pivot table to extract the data I want and it still runs quick enough.
Droopystop is offline   Reply
Old 14th May 2011, 22:31   #8 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: South of England
Posts: 1,368
Speaking personally, I prefer to use a database (not Access by the way) and code the outputs using Excel.

But then I'm a sad old Oracle developer....!
robin is offline   Reply
Old 15th May 2011, 08:38   #9 (permalink)
Pompey till I die
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Guildford
Age: 42
Posts: 784
I wish my Garmin GPS did something like this

Strange that aviation GPSs don't automatically log times. Press the screen for start up, blocks off, take off, landing etc then view it all later when filling in your book.

It's my most common mistake, forgetting to log the time of something.
PompeyPaul is offline   Reply
Old 15th May 2011, 10:46   #10 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, USA
Posts: 827
My Garmin 296 automatically logs flight times, and the start and end airfields.
Katamarino is offline   Reply
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