Search the words “aviation logbook” in the app store and you’ll find a wide variety of apps that provide digital logbook capabilities right on your iPad. Pilots love these apps, since they allow you to enter flight times quickly on an iPhone or iPad, and all the data is backed up securely in the cloud.
What’s been missing up to this point though is an app that offers the same capabilities for aircraft owners, to track individual aircraft tach/hobbs time and maintenance records right on the iPad. A new app called Black Box Aviation recently hit the app store and does just that, allowing you to easily maintain and backup your aircraft records right from your iPad.
Black Box Aviation is designed to create maintenance records that are searchable, easily shared, securely backed up in the cloud, and that contain more robust information than traditional paper. The app has three core features:
The logbook portion of the app is a place to create and store entries for airframe, engine, propeller, avionics, or APU maintenance. Logbooks stored in the app can be shared with maintenance providers electronically in order to minimize the risk of losing records during transport.
Logbook entries created within the app can have pictures attached directly to individual work items, diminishing the mess of parts approval forms or any question about what work was accomplished. Maintenance personnel can sign entries and send them to an owner for review directly within the app. There are also built-in folders for 337 forms, AD logs, discrepancy logs, and tracking forms. Paper logs can be uploaded so that old and new records will be stored together in the cloud.
The app’s network is built to connect maintenance providers with aircraft operators in a way that benefits everyone in the community. Maintenance providers can advertise their services and expertise. Owners can search for shops or services, read reviews, and even leave a review when they have an exceptional experience. Operators can share records with a shop prior to and during a maintenance event, as well as messaging directly within the app during maintenance.
Searchable records are a major benefit of electronic logbooks, making it simple to find information quickly. Black Box Aviation has gone one step further by also making it possible to search all of the records that are created by its users, and then displaying them without any personal information so that privacy is protected. Once the app collects some data, the goal is to make it easier to troubleshoot and identify common problems, and to catch trending maintenance issues early in order to save time and money.
The app is fairly new so the search results are pretty slim at this point, but this will be a handy feature once more pilots and aircraft operators start storing their records in the app.
There are no catches here–the app is completely free and there are no subscriptions to buy. You’ll notice a few advertisements at the top of the screen, but they don’t seem to get in the way. You can download the app here: Black Box Aviation.