Close this search box.

Good Logs Account for Good Value

The value of a logbook extends past the practical value of having aircraft maintenance documented. When logbooks are in order it shows a potential buyer the quality of stewardship of an aircraft. Even if maintenance is complete, if the lgobooks are not orderly it can be difficult for a potential buyer to see how much an owner cares for their aircraft.

Logbooks are not just a record; they are a reflection of an aircraft’s health, history, and value. I am not an expert in aviation mechanics or logbook management. I am however an expert in what buyers want to see in logbooks. Here’s why treating your aircraft’s logbook with the care it deserves is vital.

Logbooks: The Lifeline of Your Aircraft

Think of your aircraft’s logbook as its medical record. Just as doctors rely on accurate health records to diagnose and treat patients, aviation professionals use logbooks to assess an aircraft’s condition and history. Organized and detailed logbooks make it easier for mechanics and potential buyers to vet an aircraft’s status, ensuring greater confidence and being able to command a higher value when sold.

The Value of Organization and Accuracy

Keeping good logbooks means recording every detail meticulously. This includes tracking the installation and condition of limited-life products, cataloging instruments and extra equipment, and noting the tachometer and Hobbs meter readings, along with the dates of all entries. Additionally, the front of the logbook should feature dates, and copies of Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) and Form 337s, which detail major repair and alteration records, should be included. It’s also crucial to document Airworthiness Directives (ADs) with the dates of issue and resolution. If boroscopes or any internal (spars etc) scopes are completed, keeping images on a thumb or cloud drive adds a great deal of confidence.

Separate Logbooks for Different Components

For clarity and thoroughness, maintain separate logbooks for the airframe, each engine, the propeller, and avionics. This segregation helps in pinpointing issues and maintaining detailed records for each critical component. Aircraft, each engine, each propeller, and an avionics book are recommended.

Security and Accessibility

While keeping logbooks safe is essential, they should also be accessible for updates and reviews. Some owners opt for a comprehensive binder with pockets to store all related documents, including weight and balance records, airworthiness certificates, registration history, and receipts.

The Consequences of Missing or Poor Logs

A lack of complete logbooks doesn’t necessarily indicate a low-quality aircraft, but it does increase the likelihood of unexpected issues. Recent maintenance records are particularly crucial; they provide predictability and can significantly influence an aircraft’s market value. If you acquire an aircraft with missing logs, starting a diligent record-keeping process can enhance its resale potential.

Logbook Maintenance as Part of Aircraft Care

Good logbook hygiene is an integral part of aircraft maintenance and should never be postponed. Regular updates, organized entries, and clear historical records can substantially impact an aircraft’s value and reliability. Furthermore, consider rotating mechanics periodically. Each mechanic brings a different perspective and experience, which can lead to the identification of varied potential issues, ensuring a comprehensive review of the aircraft’s condition.

Changing Things Up

Even a trusted and experienced A&P or IA can suffer from tunnel vision in regards to looking at specific potential issues in an aircraft. For this reason, it is wise to look to various resources for annual inspections every couple of years. Many aircraft owners have someone they enjoy working with and trust with their lives, asking that trusted mechanic for a reference for a new perspective is a wise move, a good mechanic will respect this ask and not hold it against the owner.

Receipts and Ransom

Keeping receipts, tucked into an envelope for your aircraft can help substantiate any work that was not properly documented and provide reinforcement of value.

An old mechanic told me recently that a logbooks had been help for ransom, Emphatically stated it actually happened, the perpetrator wanted money in exchange for return, it takes all types.

Weight and Balance, Airworthiness, and Registration

A copy of these key elements should be kept with logbooks so that anyone exploring the aircraft for use, rental or purchase will find these handy and keeping a second copy makes good sense.


Remember the trapper keeper? If you grew up in the 80’s like me you remember this iconic school supply. Now there are 3”+ binders fixed folio with folders and pockets that can be securely zipped closed. You can get one here and get started on good logbook hygiene.

Performing this exercise of organizing all of aircraft data in one consolidated space will help ensure understanding anything that may be missing and help the user understand logbooks in general which will help in future purchases.


In conclusion, meticulous logbook maintenance is a testament to the care and attention given to an aircraft. It builds trust, ensures transparency, and enhances the value of your asset. While keeping up with logbook entries might seem demanding amidst busy schedules, remember that this practice is a crucial investment in your aircraft’s longevity and value. After all, in the aviation world, the logbook is not just a document—it’s a legacy of the care and diligence invested in an aircraft’s life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sell Your Aircraft Quickly
// Plane Easy //

complete this form to download your free guide to selling your aircraft.

Complete this form to buy or sell.
// Plane Easy //

Maintain Contact