Well, OK, nearer the truth is, we open up Excel, write a few equations that usually fail (for no apparent reason). wonder why every tutorial we see doesn't actually solve our particular problem, close the program and go and do something more rewarding (going to the pub, walking the dog, going flying, eating our own feet etc)
However, we need to keep a log of our flights (particularly if you have a PfCO) and it's a good habit to get into for anyone that's flying R/C aircraft and drones.
I was talking to another drone pilot a couple of days ago and the subject of flight logs cropped up in the discussion, I showed him mine and he asked if he could have a copy. 'No problem' I replied, 'buy me a beer and it's all yours'. He then suggested that (with a few tweaks) other people may also find it useful. So, if you are one of those 'other people' read on
It's a great way to keep all of your flight data in one place and generate a couple of useful reports.
All you need to do is input the data from each flight: date, time, location, weather, duration of flight, which battery you used and any notes that are relevant. There's also a page for batteries where you can keep all the relevant info (serial number, purchase date, battery ID number and add dates when the battery was charged
From that info, along with your flight log the spreadsheet will display (on the summary page) the number of flights in any given month, total flight time for the month and average flight time. It will also display your battery usage; how many hours each battery has been in the air, how many flights it's done and how often it's been charged allowing you to judge when it needs any maintenance.
Examples below are for illustration purposes
Once you've opened the file, you will see there are three tabs at the bottom 'flight info', 'batteries' and 'summary'
On the flight info page there 7 named columns:
Date: Time: Location: Weather: Duration: Battery: Notes
enter dates in the following format dd/mm/yyyy
enter times in the following format hh:mm:ss
(this is to ensure maximum compatibility accross different formats/platforms)
Location, weather, and notes are for either text or numbers and are for your info only
The battery column provides data for the summary page (see below)
You can record up to 999 flights in the year (apparently, my original 500 wasn't enough!)
The top left cell is left empty to add your logo and there's space to add a scanned signature making a self certified log ideal for you PfCO application/renewal
The batteries tab/page allows you to keep track of your batteries
With 10 columns pre-configured you can allocate a number to the battery, enter it's serial number and it's purchase date
Below that are columns to enter dates when you charged the battery - the total number of charges is displayed in the summary page along with other useful information
The top left of the page will duplicate your company logo from the flight info page.
The summary tab/page is where we put all the info in one place and will automatically add your company logo from the flight info page. along with the name and PfCO number you, entered
Under the flight summary heading we break down the number of flights each month, the amount of hours you've spent in the air and the average duration of flights. At the bottom of this section, we keep a running total. You don't need to enter any data in this section - all the figures are based on the flight info page
Secondly we have detailed use of all batteries - again, you don't have to enter any 'new' information here but if you have usage info from 2016 and 2017 you can enter it manually and it will be included in the totals on the right hand side.
There really isn't one - you can download the 'blank' Excel version by clicking on the 'download xlsx' button below and start using it straight away, if you don't have Excel and would like an ods version (universal/open document spreadsheet) which will work with Libre Office, Open Office or older versions of Excel which may require you to do a little tweaking in your own application as they all work slightly differently click on the ods button - I've tested it with Google docs and it seems to work perfectly OK. If you need a version for a particular piece of software, drop me a line and I'll see what I can do.
If you find this useful, great, it's completely free for your personal/business use (single user) with no watermarks, limits, advertising etc and just one restriction - all I ask is that you don't redistribute it either on it's own or as part of a collection without my asking my permission. If you want to use it commercially as part of a package, get in touch and we can discuss rates.
This spreadsheet (like all of our software/checklists etc) is 'buy me a beer (or a coffee, Pepsi or orange juice etc) ware'
if you are feeling generous you can click on the Paypal 'donate' button (opens a new window) and send me a donation of 50p, a couple of quid or whatever you like/can afford which I promise to invest wisely into our local economy.
There really is no pressure though, I just hope it's useful for you and saves you a little time with your paperwork
Please note.....Once you've downloaded the file and had a read, you'll need to delete all the information on the flight info page and the batteries page - you'll also need to clear all of the manually entered data on the summary page for batteries in 2017. All of the info in the spreadsheet is included for illustration.
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