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A New Logbook

I sat at my desk in my home office leafing through a couple of months worth of kneeboard notes and entering the flights in my logbook. I confess I tend to get lazy about logging my flights. Sometimes I'm only prompted to do it to show flight currency. It's not enough to make the flights—you also have to log them! I filled a page and turned to the next. It was an endorsement page! I had just filled a logbook.

It was a small, arbitrary thing with no real significance. I won't get any certificates or ratings or special commendations for filling a logbook. It's not as though logbooks contain a standard number of entries, so "number of logbooks filled" isn't a meaningful measure of experience. But still, there's something satisfying about it. It's a milestone of sorts.

Aviation has all kinds of formal rituals, such as soloing an airplane and getting your shirttails cut (or getting a bucket of water over the head for soloing a glider!), passing a knowledge test, or the big one, passing a checkride. But there are also lots of little, informal rituals and milestones, like flying with your first passenger, flying in for a pancake breakfast, sitting around the FBO doing some "hangar flying", going to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh—or filling a logbook.

The next morning I drove to the pilot shop at the airport across town to pick up a couple of items. As I checked out, the woman behind the counter smiled and said, "New logbook! That's fun, huh? Means you're flying a lot!"

"Yes, ma'am!"

She was right. It is fun!

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