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Totals Prior to Logbook Tips and Tricks

Some of you are migrating to Safelog after many years of flying and don't particularly want to take the time to put all of your past flying in. This is understandable.

Safelog features a place (look under 'setup' -> 'totals prior to this logbook') (the exact wording may be different) where you can put all of your totals prior to Safelog in one place.

However, because it doesn't have all the details, Safelog can't really do analysis on this, unfortunately.  It can't incorporate it into certain reports, printouts, totalizers, etc. as well.  This is because if we tried to do this, inherent ambiguities in the underlying data could cause incorrect data to be displayed in the output.

However, there is a workaround that you can use to make Safelog do the analysis you want. You will want to be careful with this and we stress that such action is not supported (in other words, we will not provide tech support for such activity), but by being careful and smart, you can nevertheless get Safelog to do the analysis you want (that is important to you).

Here's how:

Instead of making one big "totals prior to this logbook" entry, actually log your data as past flights. For example, let's say you started logging actual flights in Safelog as of Jan 1, 2005 but had 100 hours in Cessna 172s and 200 hours in Boeing 737s before that.

What you could do is log a flight for Dec 31, 2004 of 100 hours in a C172 and another of 200 in a B737. Now Safelog's analyzer will be smarter and can correctly show your C172 and B737 totals, including all individually logged flights.

Where it gets a bit tricky is in something like this: let's say you logged your C172 hours as a single flight as such:

PIC: 100
XC: 50

Now Safelog is Tasked with finding out how many night XC hours you have flown (for example, when it is filling out an FAA 8710-1 form for you). How many night XC hours from the example flight above? It's not possible to tell. It could be as few as 0 or as many as 25. (Note: for real individual flights, this could a problem too, though in practice the variation tends to be small.)

So, what should you do to get around this?

Well, you could, for example, log three flights then for your Cesnsa time:

Flight 1: PIC 25, NIGHT 25, XC 25 Flight 2: PIC 25, XC 25 Flight 3: PIC 50

And Safelog's analyzer will work better as it will be able to make better judgements. Of course, these three flights might then have their own problems on some other dimension of analysis. So to be more accurate you might want to split this into more than three..

The key point here is at such: the more data you put, the more accurate Safelog is likely to be. Anytime you put less than full flight data, Safelog's analyzer may have to make some guesses and assumptions that might not be 100% correct. Therefore, if you do this method of trying to get meaningful analysis out of aggregated past flights, just be aware of the pitfalls and limitations to this approach.

In other words, be judicious and smart and you can use this trick to get the more out of Safelog without needing to enter in all your past data.

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