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Going Direct: Logbook Fraud And ADS-B

Padding one’s logbook is probably a common practice. It might also be one that could land you in hot water with the feds.

Logbook fraud
Photo by LeoWolfert/Shutterstock

There’s a story that I’ve been following but haven’t written about because it doesn’t seem to concern the segment of aviation we mostly write about, which is personal flying. But, I’ve been thinking a lot about it. It has to do with the FAA’s attempt to broaden its ability to keep electronic records on pilots. It’s chilling and could lead to all of us being under the microscope through a new regulation that’s going through the approval process. They’re, in essence, trying to build a better regulatory microscope to keep an eye on pilots.

One of the things I love about flying and that you love about flying, too, is that we’re not under the microscope. That if I want to, I can fly from Oshkosh back to the East Coast in a small plane and talk to exactly two tower controllers along the way—the one who bid me adieu from OSH and the one who cleared me to land back home in Bridgeport. I’m terrible at logging flights. I’m terrible at recordkeeping in general, so I’d give it even odds that anything made it into my logbook for that trek, and let me be clear that I had as my goal not talking to anyone. It was an arbitrary and perfectly legal exercise of my freedom to fly and of my freedom from oversight. I filed IFR the very next flight, I’m sure, and I strongly encourage you all to at the least make use of flight following…or not. It’s totally your call. Again, that’s what I love about flying. It’s all about freedom.

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