Is this a dumb idea?

bronco21016

I know H.T.M.L. (How To Meet Ladies)
I posted in airline pilots since I figure this idea I'm tossing out there really is only going to apply to those that fly primarily 121.

I want to create a web-based electronic logbook with native apps for mobile platforms (iOS, Android, WinMobile)

This obviously isn't exactly a new idea. The area I feel many electronic logbooks fail, and any logbook in general to be honest, is in the area of data entry. It's slow, annoying, and because of the human element is prone to error.

To fix this I want 2 key features...
- Schedule importing
- Time entry via ACARS 'OOOI' reports

Schedule importing has been done but ties into the ACARS part.. stay tuned...

You pull up to the gate at completion of the flight and whip out your smartphone. You fire up the native app and click a snapshot button. It brings you to your device's camera with a box where you line up the screen of your FMS similar to how you would line up a QR code scanner. You snap a shot of the screen and it pulls the times using OCR (optical character recognition) and auto fills a flight log entry with the times, flight number, city pair based on your current location, time, and what you were scheduled to fly. All fields are editable with all of the other standard fields for registration, approaches, instrument time etc. I feel like for 80% of flights (regional pilot perspective) you would simply need the snapshot and based on your schedule etc the app would have everything auto-filled with zero additional user input.

Of course many of the standard features of other logbook software would be available such as...
- Manual entry
- Import/export
- Graphs, diagrams, and export formats to the heart's content
- Duty time tracking

The logbook would be tailored to 121 pilots (because of ACARS feature) with a focus on ease of use and being multi-platform (Win, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, WinMobile). The primary app would be web based accessible from any web browser, complemented by native apps for mobile OSes for offline (in-air) use. Web based allows online backups and accessibility anywhere with internet and the ability to have all information seamlessly and transparently shared across all devices. This also means that 100% of the time you have the most updated app without having to buy the app for all of your devices with each new version (LogTen).

Maybe someone will steal my idea or maybe everyone thinks its stupid. Either way even if I don't make bank off this I just wish one of the other billion logbooks out there would add this feature. Anyone have input? Thoughts? Worthwhile feature?
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
I think it's a great idea.

Might even cattle-prod me back into keeping a logbook.

Make a "kickstarter", get some funding and make it happen before the zombie apocalypse.
 

smack300

Well-Known Member
Do it. I don't even fly airlines and I would use it. Not sure what for, but I would find a way.
 

ClearedForOption

French Computer Programmer and Systems Monitor
I like it... and I just dropped an iTunes gift card and 60 clams on Log Ten Pro so I can finally enter the digital age. Just make sure that you can import your data from other logbook programs please. (and that you can take a picture of the OOOI after it has been printed out too... i.e. print it out as you are grabbing your gear to run for your commute home)
 

ClarkGriswold

Non Nutritive Cereal Varnish Engineer
Good idea but I think the Coradine guys ( Logten) browse these forums and will probably have it next week now! But that is a very good idea!
 

Screaming_Emu

Joe Conventional
I think another good option would be to go into your company scheduling software and import your schedule AFTER it has been flown. At Surejet east, our times update right on the page. Would love to be able to import my flights from there after the fact, add in landings, actual, etc and be done with it.
 

bronco21016

I know H.T.M.L. (How To Meet Ladies)
I think another good option would be to go into your company scheduling software and import your schedule AFTER it has been flown. At Surejet east, our times update right on the page. Would love to be able to import my flights from there after the fact, add in landings, actual, etc and be done with it.
I thought of that as well. My personal preference is to input the data right away because I know I'll never write down the approaches or actual or anything if I don't.

I wish I had more technical expertise. I can do some basic nerd work like admin a server and setup a simple website. Maybe I should investigate Kickstarter and get some programming knowledge on board.
 

bronco21016

I know H.T.M.L. (How To Meet Ladies)
Probably wasn't the best idea in a public forum. Like I said though, if someone else does it I'll probably buy their software. I'm not exactly capable of doing this on my own I don't think. I just wish LogTen wasn't platform locked and wasn't so much money every time a version came out. I'd much rather pay a yearly subscription of ~$50 with small incremental updates so I don't spend $150+ every time they do a major update.
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
I think another good option would be to go into your company scheduling software and import your schedule AFTER it has been flown. At Surejet east, our times update right on the page. Would love to be able to import my flights from there after the fact, add in landings, actual, etc and be done with it.
This would actually be pretty easy to do. The simple way would be to log in, scrape the website, format it as a CSV that imports cleanly into whatever electronic log you use, and add it.

I would even write such a thing for you all. This is what I do in my day job. One question though - is there generally a way to get this data from most airlines (there probably is - the company needs to keep track of it to calculate pay). I imagine that block time/city pair/flight number/date should be everywhere, but some things obviously just aren't tracked.
 

ClearedForOption

French Computer Programmer and Systems Monitor
Good idea but I think the Coradine guys ( Logten) browse these forums and will probably have it next week now! But that is a very good idea!
I hope so! Because I just bought the software. - I'm inputting my past flight data, and will buy the iphone part when i'm caught up. (In fact - if they are lurking coradine (Noah) feel free to PM me and I can send you a screen shot and photo of the printout of our OOOI times for addition to your app. :) )

I would even write such a thing for you all. This is what I do in my day job. One question though - is there generally a way to get this data from most airlines (there probably is - the company needs to keep track of it to calculate pay). I imagine that block time/city pair/flight number/date should be everywhere, but some things obviously just aren't tracked.
All of the important stuff - Tail numbers, flight numbers, crew... are (at least at all the airlines I worked at) in Sabre. The 'crew tracking' online version that most have access to. Also in FLICA... the online trip trading/schedule swap/bidding website. Also owned by Sabre now, I think.
I think another good option would be to go into your company scheduling software and import your schedule AFTER it has been flown. At Surejet east, our times update right on the page. Would love to be able to import my flights from there after the fact, add in landings, actual, etc and be done with it.
 
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