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I lost my logbook, now what?

Posted by on August 18, 2008 13 Comments Category : Flight Instructor Blog Tags : ,

I just received an email from Scott, asking about what to do when you lose your logbook:

In previous years I have accumulated approx. 30 to 35 hours in student training in the air, either with my instructors or by myself, Unfortunately I have lost my log book. What should I do ? Both of my instructors are still in my area, can they help?

Hi Scott.  Sorry to hear about your logbook, that stinks.  As a pilot, I have two recurring nightmares.  The first one is where I totally forget about a scheduled flight until about an hour after it is supposed to leave and the second nightmare is losing my logbook. You are in a great position in that you have less than 40 hours accumulated so it won’t be nearly the chore it could have been, if say you had like 4,000 hours.

Jeppesen Professional Logbook

There are several ways to copy your logbook once it has been lost or destroyed by using other paper records of the flights, no matter what stage you are in your flying career.

1) Your flight Instructors. Your flight instructors will have their own personal logbook that has records of the flights that you flew with them.  You could ask your flight instructors for copies of the pages where you flew together.  You could easily use that in a new logbook.

2) Your flight school. The flight school should have both financial records and aircraft records of the flights that you lost.  You should contact the flight school and ask for a copy of the aircraft hobbs records.  Usually the hobbs will record the name of the instructor and student so it should be pretty simple to track down these records if you have a general idea of when you flew.

3) Canceled Checks.  I remember one of my flight students would jot down the flight time and aircraft registration number in the notes portion of his check.  If something would have happened to his records,  it would have been a simple matter of flipping through some old checks to duplicate his logbook.

4) FAA Form 8710. When you go to take your checkride you will fill out a form 8710 which is basically your airman application form.  Near the bottom of the form you will fill in a table that documents your flight hours and experience.  You can easily duplicate a logbook from this information.  In fact, that is one of the purposes of that form.

5) Company Records. If you are a professional pilot you can use company records to help duplicate your logbook.  I often make records of the company forms I use in the aircraft and keep them handy in the event something would happen to my logbook.

6) Electronic Backup. There are many options when it comes to logbook software and online pilot logbooks. One of the best electronic logbook programs is Logbook Pro by NC Software. One of the nice things about Logbook Pro is being able to export to many different formats for both printing and storing.

Good luck Scott with your logbook. I hope that you continue your training and that you find a solution to help prevent this in the future.  Be sure to…

Fly Safe.


  1. Todd on Aug 18, 2008

    I too have nightmares that include losing my logbook. Is it better to have photocopies than just an electronic copy? I was not sure if it was important for any FAA reasons to have proof of CFI signatures and signoffs.

  2. Stephen on Aug 21, 2008

    Thanks for that blog posts and the suggestions regarding electronic backups. I think thats what I need to do…! Just in case…

  3. instructor on Aug 21, 2008

    Glad I could help Stephen!

  4. Dan on Oct 22, 2008

    So I just started instructing for a new company. One of my students had lost his logbook a while ago and has a few hours. The old instructor is gone… is there anything I can do?

  5. instructor on Oct 22, 2008


    The first thing that I would try and do is to track down the Hobbs record for the airplane(s) your student used. It should list the student / instructor.

    If that doesn’t work, I would approach the accounting dept for the flight school / FBO. Most of the time when the FBO cashier swipes the credit card they will put the Tail Number of the airplane in and how many hours.

    It might take some “outside-the-box” thinking, but when an airplane flies a tree dies right? So records of those flights must be somewhere!

    Good luck.

  6. Joe Morrissey on Oct 27, 2011

    I too lost mine. I had ~ 220 hours as private pilot ending in 1979. I left some paperwork including in storage with a friend and is now not find-able when I want to get back into flying. I am gleaning some good info here. Any more ideas?
    My original instructor is still available to me, but post license is what I am wondering about. I can remember some of the flights like 32 hour RT trip to Acapulco, but many trips are not readily recalled.

  7. Joseph L Morrissey on Oct 27, 2011

    Thank you for the help. I too lost my logbook in 1979 with 220 hours accumulated. I would like to get back into flying and realize that I exist to the FAA but will have to guess at some of the trips. One trip Des Moines, to Acapulco totaled 32 hours so that helps. any other ideas?

  8. abdelnaser alqadumi on Mar 02, 2012

    im holding acomercial lisense since 1995 and my scond logbook was stolen i have 680 hours about 400 hours missing in the scond book i dont know what to do

  9. Adam Silverthorne on Aug 08, 2012

    Check out Pilotica.com for a free online pilot logbook.

  10. Joepilot on Jan 28, 2013

    I seem to have misplaced my logbook in the last move ( I move a lot) and am unsure of what steps to take. I have app. 3800 hrs of total time, mostly all 135 time, and was told that I could use old company records and my previous medical application records. Some of the companies I worked for are no longer in business. I have a new job starting next month that requires me to do an ATP combo 135 ride for initial issuance. If I show up with old training records and company logs would this suffice?

  11. Joshua Wilson on May 15, 2013

    I recently lost my logbook and I’m getting ready for my checkride and the FBI i started with years ago is long gone but last year i made a electronic copy of my whole log book including cfi and cfi numbers is ther a Afa David that i can have a cfi fill out to cout for my 40 hrs so i don’t have to refly them my current cfi has reviewed my whole logbook in the past

  12. Justin Oliphant on Jul 03, 2014

    I lost my logbook years ago and now I’m in a position in which I can afford it. is there anyway I can get any hours back from 8 years ago?

  13. Paul Davidson on Nov 21, 2014

    Great article. Thanks for the info, you made it easy to understand. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a FAA form 8710, I found a blank form here http://goo.gl/pjJsm7. This site PDFfiller also has some tutorials how to fill it out and a few related forms that you might find useful.

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