Normally I keep very good notes and records of everything I do professionally, but for some unknown reason I didn't write many notes on my first few mountain flights. After a few weeks went by, I got around to hand-written logging the flights while reviewing the flight vids. How much did I not remember? My vid editor allows me to add time-dependent notes throughout the vid files, which I did each flying evening, otherwise I would have lost many small details. Of course and the highly-valuable apre's flight video debriefings.
I've found that the vid flight debriefings, if done within seconds of landing, greatly add to the value the flight vid, even if reviewed months after the flight.
When I was over at Blue Sky a few weeks ago, I noticed David Botos making notes of every flight, after every flight. That lit a candle (duh) and so now I've been doing the same, then adding to those notes while reviewing the flight vids in the evening or the next day.
I've been writing the logs in a large pocket-sized note book. Those log books that u$$pa sells are not fit for even the birds.
Details I usually record in addition to the location, date and times are
LZ altitude, wind strength and direction, temps
What I would like to start recording in addition are as follows:
Launch altitude, wind strength/direction/gusts, temp, pressure, and DA just before launching.
LZ altitude, wind strength/direction/gusts, temp, pressure, and DA just after landing.
Cloud types and base altitudes
Recent weather fronts/highs/lows
Atmospheric activity and feel at varying noted altitudes (narrated recording should help with this)
Pilots' names who fly with me
As mentioned on another thread, I just ordered an audio recorder a'la J.Deitch to allow better in-flight commenting and narrating. I hope it's use will lend more precision to the logs.
I'm tempted to begin a digital log via Excel as I can type much faster than I can write, and editing is much easier.
Either way, I need to improve my flight log recording.
The ushpa doesn't say much at all about flight log keeping but I did find this passage:
When you travel outside your local area, your rating card tells pilots at other sites that you have shown a level of competence in your flying. Your instructor’s name is on the card too, along with any special skill signoffs you may have. All of these things give other pilots a reference point to estimate your ability. Together with your flight logbook, your rating card establishes your credibility as a responsible, skilled pilot.
(https://www.ushpa.org/page/ratings-and- ... troduction
This leads me to another conclusion about good log keeping. I have access to many great flying sites all within about four hours' drive, most closer. Many of them have restricted to very-restricted LZ's. Being a newcomer to the sport, a good, thorough log at the ready would better help local pilots judge whether I should fly at their sites within the present weather conditions.
Flying my agile, versatile, Super-Falcon (I love this ship!), I've learned that so far I am able to put her down well where-ever I want to in varying, reasonable weather conditions, RLF or not. And I've found that adding to my flying site repertoire helps immensely in developing my flying skills and confidence. Being able to communicate my skills in the form of recorded logs to others prior to flight may go a long way in gaining access to more challenging sites as well as gaining new, more-experienced flying buddies.