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FAQ > Safelog Pilot Logbook
Automated night calculation?

Safelog features automatic, flexible, and accurate night calculation. Safelog features fully automated night calculation feature that will suggest the correct night value for you. It's a nice, time-saving way to get a more accurate logbook. Safelog uses altitude-independent, great circle calculations calculated to the second as is industry standard. This yields what is generally universally considered to be a reasonable and accurate tally of day/night time.

Exactly what you need for night calculation to work depends on your specific logbook format, but the minimum is usually:

  • The date of the flight
  • Departure and arrival airports/locations for must have latitude/longitude values. Safelog has these built-in for essentially all world airports.
  • Departure and Arrival times (either flight or block). These can be either in local time or GMT (Zulu) as we use the official IANA time zone database to precisely calculate each time zone polygon for all locations on Earth (both current and historical).

Safelog will then suggest calculated day and night times if you have corresponding destination day/night destination fields setup to accept this. Safelog will smartly calculate day/night fields, including derivative fields such as day/night takeoff/landings.

Safelog can either auto-calculate day/night values and insert them automatically or "suggest" them for you to then verify/click in. You can set this under Setup ... Field Suggestion and Auto-Linking.

Customizing Day/Night Calculations: You can specify the exact rules that you want for day/night calculation under Setup... Times and Dates. Specifically, you can fine-tune the calculations for such things as:

  • standard/civil/nautical/astronautical dusk/sunset/sunrise/dawn
  • fixed or variable standard offsets in addition to the above (as required by some regulations / operators)
  • static sunrise/sunset times (required by some operators)

Bulk Day/Night Calculation/Re-calculation? Yes, absolutely. Go to SafelogWeb.com .. Other Tools .. Mass Actions. You will find a number of tools there including the ability to re-calculate day/night times, takeoffs/landings, and more.

Auto-night calc based on airline/roster import? We've got you covered! Many airlines/companies that export to Safelog via our various importers send day/night data automatically. If yours does, Safelog will place such imported values into corresponding correct places in your logbook if you have them set up. If yours doesn't, then there are a few choices. The first is that you can always go into the bulk day/night calculation settings tools mentioned above and run the rules of your choice on the imported data. Because these are bulk tools, you'd only need to run them from time to time. This is a recommended way as it allows you to fine-tune your exact calculations. The second way is that in the case of some operators, we can auto-compute these as your data comes in. Because of various differences and nuances between operators, we often need to fine tune this on a per-operator basis. We've already done this for several airlines far and above even what several roster intermediary firms do. However, if you don't see this for your airline. please let us know and we'll do what we can. Again, however, we remind you that it is imperative for your roster system to provide actual flight and/or block time start/end data and locations for the flight as without this calculation is impossible.

Time Zones? Yes! Safelog fully and dynamically integrates the IANA international standard time zone database. This means that Safelog's auto-calculations of day and night times will be maximally correct for your date of flight. This also means that Safelog can do correct and accurate GMT to local time (or vice versa) conversions for any spot on earth for any flight date, worldwide.

Don't see the night calculation option, action, or feature that you expected to see? Safelog can only calculate night times if your logbook configuration provides it sufficient data to do so. For a given flight, this means having a known lat-lon place of departure and arrival and, crucially, some time-of-day information (normally flight and or block time start and stop). Without these, it is impossible to calculate day/night times. If you don't see the night calc features you were looking for, maybe you haven't turned on time of day fields for flight and/or block time start/stop? These can be found under Setup ... Airline Pilot Options.

Troubleshooting Day / Night Calculations

  • If using a mobile device, sync to ensure that you have the latest IANA time zone polygon data. This is helpful in a place where time zone boundaries have recently changed.
  • Check to make sure that you have the required "source" data fields. This means not just arrival and departure airports, but also time of day fields for flight and/or block start/stop. In some cases, Safelog can also compute this based on a start time and duration of flight (as the stop time is then implied), but it's better if you provide explicit start and/or stop times.
  • If you are using custom airports, make sure that you have Lat/Lon coordinates set for them in Safelog. If you go to SafelogWeb.com and click on "airports", you'll see an error warning (!) next to airports that have issues, including, often, missing coordinates. It is recommended where possible that you use the airports that come from our PilotNav.com master airport database.
  • Check to make sure that you have a valid destination field. If you have no "night cross country" field enabled, then Safelog can't suggest this, even if you have all the pre-requisites.
  • Go to setup .. field auto-suggestion and linking to set whether you want auto-calculated day/night values to be instantly filled in to flight records or if you want them to be just suggested for you to confirm/click-in manually.
  • If you are missing a lot of day/night values, use the automated bulk tools under SafelogWeb.com .. Other Tools ... Mass Actions.
  • When importing from third party rostering systems or logbooks, it's important that not only your source has time of day start/stop fields (such as block off / block on or flight time start / stop), but that you actually import these into Safelog. To do this, you need to make sure that the corresponding fields are enabled in Safelog. For this, go to SafelogWeb.com .. Settings .. Airline Pilot Options and turn on Block and/or Flight Time fields as appropriate. Then, when you import your data, make sure that you have the fields mapped from your third-party source to Safelog. If you have already imported some data and have not done this, your best course of action is to:
    1. Go to Other Tools .. Mass Actions .. Delete flights to delete the flights that you have imported without the time of day values.
    2. Go to Setup .. Airline pilot options to turn on Flight and/or Block fields as necessary.
    3. Go to Import/Export .. CSV import or Import/Export .. (The Roster Importer of Your Choice) to re-import the data. If your import goes via the CSV field matching process, make sure that you correctly associate the flight / block time time-of-day fields (once you do this once, it will normally remember this for the future). Re-import the data.
    4. Check your logbook to make sure that the time of day fields have indeed been imported and are in your Safelog logbook.
    5. Go to Other Tools .. Mass Actions .. and have Safelog calculate whatever night time fields or values you are after based on now having the time of day data to work from.
Related Issue
Time Zone Handling?