The Mac Logbook: LogTen Pro Reviewed

LogTen Pro 6.0 Review

With Apple’s return to the forefront of the computer world came this elegant logbook from Coradine. Now in its sixth version, LogTen Pro has become one of the biggest names in the electronic logbook market.

I received an evaluation copy of LogTen 6.0 and have logged time on the system for a few months, and I’ve used the iPhone app for about four years. In that time, I’ve formed a few opinions on this pilot logbook.

Read on for my review of Coradine LogTen Pro.

Pros:

LogTen Slice and Dice filters

LogTen’s “slice and dice” filters help you isolate specific types of flight time. This really helped me double check my 8710 form.

LogTen has been around for a while and Coradine is always coming out with improvements. Today, it’s a full-featured solution for all sorts of pilots. As such, it offers options for military, airline, charter, private and student pilots. To keep things simple, LogTen provides simple profiles, called “roles” that customize the logbook layout to your needs.

LogTen Pro automates the process of logging flight time. With a little configuration, I was able to teach the logbook to always log SIC, Cross Country, Turbine and Multi-Engine time when I fly a CRJ. It also knows that the Cessna 172 gets logged as Single-Engine PIC time. All I need to do is enter my total time and the software does the rest. Pretty cool.

Coradine took the automation one step further by automating night flight. If you choose to log flight time by block-time (what time of day did the flight start and end?), then the logbook will compute the actual night hours flown according to that tricky civil twilight rule.

LogTen Logbook Report Page

Screenshot of a PDF file generated by LogTen mimicking my paper ASA logbook including page-by-page totals.

The question of currency and legality is answered on the “radar” page. It shows how many days are left for your night, day and instrument currency. For professional pilots, the radar can be set up to show how many hours are left per the FAA’s flight time rules, like the classic 30-in-7 problem.

Like a good neighbor, LogTen has importers and exporters that make it easy to switch to or from another logbook. This is also an excellent way to backup your flight time.

I should also mention that the iPhone, iPad and desktop versions of LogTen are completely independent. You don’t have to buy the desktop version to make full use of the mobile versions, but I would recommend it.

Cons:

CFI Signatures in LogTen

Your flight instructor can sign the iPhone or iPad touch screen for endorsements. I’m not sure this is going to catch on with everybody, but it’s pretty clever.

At first glance, LogTen is a little complicated. That’s a byproduct of having such a full-featured logbook: there are just so many options. My advice is to use one of those general roles from the preference page and only add the logbook options that are in your paper book. You probably don’t need to keep track of airline duty times or military night vision goggle totals.

Syncing mobile and desktop versions of your logbook is simple, but it could be easier. As of version 6, you can sync wirelessly through any WiFi network. But we’d really like to see some sort of cloud syncing and online backup feature. That’s probably not a big deal and I expect Coradine is already working on changing this.

The desktop version of LogTen pro has a nifty auto-fill feature that’s meant to speed up data entry. Sometimes it works wonders. Sometimes it doesn’t. If you’re transferring lots of data by hand, watch for this — especially when entering airport identifiers.

Summary:

Flight and duty time trackers go graphical. At a glance I can see when I’m in danger of busting the 30 in 7 or 100 in a month rules.

No matter what you need in a logbook, LogTen can do it. Better yet, it doesn’t get all cumbersome and database-y, so you don’t have to be a computer scientist to work the thing.

Quite honestly, LogTen Pro is the best electronic logbook that I have used. It’s pro-pilot features always keep me one step ahead of crew-scheduling while keeping the task of maintaining a logbook efficient and simple. The schedule importers preload all my work trips into the logbook and pop up in my iCal calendar.

For the GA flying in my life, LogTen allows me to update my logbook while tracking those important rental-pilot things like tach time or Hobbs time.

LogTen is capable and surprisingly simple to use — it just take a little configuring out of the box. I do wish cloud-syncing was supported, but I can wait for that. It’s biggest drawback: LogTen runs on Apple systems only, so Windows and Droid users are just out of luck, but this is a must-have for every iPad and Apple minded aviator.

The verdict?  LogTen Pro gets a 5 out of 5.

LogTen Pro retails at $99 (Desktop), $79.99 (iPhone + iPad), $59.99 (iPad only), and $29.99 (iPhone only).

What are your thoughts and experiences with LogTen or other electronic logbooks? Please share your opinions in the comments below.


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About the author
Pat Flannigan is a professional pilot and aviation blogger. He has been flying for fifteen years and is currently working as an airline pilot in the United States.

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