In a recent article, I suggested making
better use of the remarks
section in your pilot log book. For
many years I entered only basic, required
information such as the route flown on
that particular day. Later on, I
began writing a few details of each
flight, some of the things that were a
bit unusual. Also, the reason for
the flight was noted on most of them.
Moving freight, transporting someone,
photo flight, bug survey, glider towing
.entries of that nature, and of
course pleasure flying, all show up in
that column. Unfortunately, all my
notes are very brief, and therefore
difficult to draw memories from.
A couple of things jump out at me
numerous times when I read through the
pages. The first is the names I
. names of passengers
carried. There are plenty of
unfamiliar names, people I cant
recall anything about. I have no
idea who they are. All pilots will
have similar entries. We cant
know everyone who has ever flown with us
of course, but Id be willing to bet
just about every one of those people will
remember us! Flying must still be
an awesome experience to the non-pilot,
just like it was for me before learning
to fly. Pilots will remember their
first flights, and even the name of the
person that flew them that day. The
fact that were still flying is
tribute to the wonderful experience given
to us by the man or woman who was
responsible for our first flight.
You never know when youre making
The second most common entry in my book,
is serious weather, particularly wind,
and how it was a big problem for me.
Some of the notes include
turbulence bordering on extreme,
dangerous, even deadly, and some
described as flying a plane
thats like a cork in a
Jacuzzi. Most of it
occurred while working, certainly not on
pleasure flights. Im a
fair-weather flyer. If I
dont have to go, and if
theres any doubt, I wont.
In retrospect, its too bad I did
not make use of all the space offered in
the log book, and fill up that space with
the notes for stories and memories.
When I see bush strips
entered, theres nothing to describe
the little fix-it jobs using a file on
the prop to remove the gravel nicks.
Or having the foresight to carry a siphon
hose for when the pump in the fuel cache
barrels breaks down. I learned to
keep it simple when I needed to depend on
refueling off airport. Theres
nothing to break when you carry a hose
and a couple of 5-gallon gas cans.
I may never know the name of a helicopter
pilot who talked me through some forty or
fifty miles of very bad weather one day.
As I flew about ten minutes behind him,
his directions on the radio guided me on
when to turn, climb or descend, and got
me through some heavy scud I accidentally
blundered in to. I probably owe my
life, or at the very least, the safe
outcome of that flight to him. But
I never wrote his name in my log book.
There were many days, even nights
Ive spent waiting out weather
during unscheduled stops at tiny,
unfamiliar airports. I remember
doing it, but neglected at the time to
write any details in my log book. What
an opportunity for memories, and perhaps
some good notes for these articles.
Ive slept on lumpy couches inside
flying club buildings. There have
been countless hours sitting in deserted
airport shacks reading old magazines.
And Ive also met some pretty
interesting people at places like that
. but again, only few details
Pilots, young and old, low-time and
high-time, should take notice of this.
Too many stories and memories are lost
from my career. But I do make use
of the log book space now. And
its not too late for other pilots
to do the same. It requires very
little time to enter details, however
minor. You never know when you will
appreciate having them. You may not
want to get too personal or add anything
incriminating, but dont be afraid
that youre putting trivial,
unofficial information in that book.
Its yours, and its easy to
buy another when this one is filled.