There are drone pilots who meticulously believing in logging their flights. While, there are some who see no merit in doing so. Which is the right approach? Does Part 107 make it mandatory for you to log your flights? And, which is the best and easiest way to log your flights. Read on to find out as we dive into each of these topics.
This is the first question that drone pilots ask us. And the answer is clear – NO. You are not required by the law to log your flight data at all. However, does the FAA recommend you keep a daily flight log? Absolutely. Check out this excerpt 7.3.5 from Advisory Circular 107-2.
“Recordkeeping of documented maintenance and inspection events reinforces owner/operator responsibilities for airworthiness through systematic condition for safe flight determinations. Maintenance and inspection recordkeeping provides retrievable empirical evidence of vital safety assessment data defining the condition of safety-critical systems and components supporting the decision to launch”.
Moreover, if you need a Part 107 waiver at any time, having a drone log will help greatly. Check out Section 107.7-
“A remote pilot in command, owner, or person manipulating the flight controls of a small unmanned aircraft system must, upon request, make available to the Administrator: . . .(2) Any other document, record, or report required to be kept under the regulations of this chapter.”
Clearly, Part (2) of Section 107.7 refers to flight logs.
Apart from airspace safety, logging your flight data has other uses too. Namely –
This is another question that drone pilots often ask us. Many folks cite data security, data sharing and ease of use as reasons for maintaining paper logs. Let us delve into each of these reasons to see if there is any merit to them.
“We may share any information we receive with vendors and service providers we use to help us provide and improve the Service.”
But at the same time, Airdata does not share your personal information.
“We do not rent, sell, or share personal information about you that we collect on the Service with other people or unaffiliated companies for their direct marketing purposes, unless we have your permission.”
We recommend going over the fine print carefully before you take a call.
Data sharing is far easier when you use an electronic log over a paper log. You can easily print out your data when you need to. Ease of use is another huge advantage of using electronic logs. Your flight data is uploaded automatically and actionable insights are available for viewing in an easy to understand format.
All your flight data is already stored on your DJI drone. Once you connect your drone to DJI Assistant, you can download an encrypted file. This encrypted file needs to be sent over to DJI for encoding – which typically takes two days. If you want a non-cumbersome and visually appealing way of accessing your data, we recommend using an electronic log or software. Drone U recommended software for this purpose is Airdata. Some data that you can access when you use Airdata –
This data can prove to be invaluable, particularly when you are flying in high risk conditions.
A detailed battery analysis will highlight parameters such as longest flight time, highest battery temperature and potential battery life. So, if you have switched to carbon fiber props, you can get a detailed insight into how much flight time you are sacrificing for greater speed.
Sensor Maps can prove to be particularly useful when flying in areas with heavy interference. A color coded sensor map will help you identify areas with good, fair and poor signal strength. This data can be particularly useful for planning subsequent flights.
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