What are people using for Builders Log these days?  I searched this site for it; there was mention of KitLog Pro about a year ago. Is that still relevant? What about making your own blog or website? ( thru Google for example ) How about good old fashioned paper note book and pictures?

Do the inspectors electronic records or do they want paper?

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Comment by Kevin Lippert on September 5, 2014 at 12:09am

Check out the builders log I created with Google Sites https://sites.google.com/site/n902klzenithstolch750/home

The main photo is a stock photo, my project is not started, just order my CH 750 kit last month.  If you have Google and would like a free template of this site for your own use, send me a note.

Comment by Dr. Allan B. Stuber on January 24, 2012 at 6:12pm

I had the FAA come and inspect my CH-750 in March 2010..   The inspection guidelines says keep records of any format that will validate the airplane was amature built.   I chose pics which I presented as a power-point slide show.  Starting with unloading the kit out of the truck  from Mexico, Mo. , to the airplane seen in this pic (14 months later ) ready for inspection.  There were 450 pics with a few words (below the pic) describing what was being done.  It was fun and I have it all on a jump drive and do talks at hangar meetings..My wife, friends, helpers, grandkids and even a friends dog are in the pics and brighten the show.      Have fun,   Al

Comment by Chris Craver on January 3, 2012 at 9:59am

Thanks to all for their thoughts and experiences. I'll decide what I'm going to do soon.

Comment by Jim B Belcher on January 2, 2012 at 2:54pm

AC20-27,Certification and Operation of Amateur Built Aircraft, states the following:

7.h. Ensure You Understand the Need To Properly Document Your Project. It is
important to document the entire fabrication and assembly process from the beginning to
the end, in a continuous and sequential manner. This is because, at the time of
certification, the FAA is required to ascertain whether the amateur builder(s) fabricated
and assembled the major portion of the aircraft. Making this finding requires adequate,
sufficient, and credible documentation. This documentation should clearly show who
performed the task(s), when and where the tasks were performed, depict the methods of
construction and quality of workmanship, and document the use of commercial and
non-commercial assistance. Examples of documentation and methods that can be used
include the following:
(1) The Amateur-Built Aircraft Fabrication and Assembly Checklist (2009);
(2) Comprehensive builder’s logs in any format, to include photographs of all
the steps included in each of the listed tasks in the Amateur-Builder Aircraft Fabrication
and Assembly Checklist (2009), materials and techniques used in construction, as well as
dates, locations, and detailed descriptions;
(3) Photographs/video/DVD;
(4) Drawings and engineering specifications;
(5) Kit manufacturer’s data, when necessary;
(6) Relevant documentation (for example, plans) and references (for example,
handbooks) used;
(7) Documentation concerning any commercial assistance used, including
(8) Documentation concerning any non-commercial assistance used;
AC 20-27G
(9) Part inventories and histories;
(10) Receipts and catalogs; and
(11) Logbook entries.

Note that this is an advisory circular. It is not binding on the FAA, it is just their suggestion. It IS a good starting point, and at least has the force of being their advice.

You may be able to get by with less, but unless you talk to the specific person doing the inspection, it is difficult to know. One comment I have heard is that DARs would really like to see photos of you doing the work, as opposed to just photos of the work.

Me, I'd write my FSDO, and get their position in writing. If they say to use AC20-27, you at least have something you can hang your hat on. If not, they may take the bait and tell you what they do want. I don't believe the DAR will go against what the FSDO tells you.

Be a little wary of EAA's advice. While they represent a great deal of experience, and can tell you what others have done, their advice has no legal force with the FAA. I do look for the EAA's ideas, but I'm sensitive to the limitations on their comments.

For my project, I used a video camera on a tripod to capture me doing the work. I extracted stills from this for the log. I used Kit Log Pro, because it forced me into a format that captured all of this information in computer file form. I've been very happy with it. But it's the content that matters, not the specific media.

And, if you want a copy of AC20-27, you can get it free at the FAA website.

End of sermon, the ushers will now pass the hat. ;)

Comment by Roger Wibbels on January 2, 2012 at 9:53am
My inspector simply wanted a copy of the CD with my build pictures. I took about 80-100 during the build.
Comment by Thomas Richardson on January 2, 2012 at 7:49am
It's seems that every DAR is different. Mine never asked for or looked at a log. (701). He did ask me several questions that I think we're designed to satisfy whether or not I did the actual build. He had also studied up on the plane itself which made it a lot easier. A friend of mine however just went through an exhaustive inspection process on his 601/650 that lasted for 6 1/2 hours. Different DAR. Knew nothing about Zenith or the plane in question, and ultimately threatened to fail it because of using nyloc on the cables. Would only pass it after my friend promised to come back and use teflon instead. Not sure if that means tape, spray, or what.
Comment by Dave Gardea on January 2, 2012 at 7:34am
Chris, I took a lot of pictures of my build and posted to a web site with comments. When it came time for my airworthiness inspection I took my laptop out to the hangar with a local version of my project site up on my laptop. The fellow from the FAA seemed interested in viewing several of my build pics, particularly those with me in the photo. I had heard this somewhere along the way, so I had invited the wife out to garage often to take pics.
Comment by Paul Sanders on January 2, 2012 at 12:08am
I do keep a notebook which is my "official" record, I use it to create the blog. I also have two google documents online where I track time and money spent. I might be a bit over the top in all this but I am only able to work at weekends and I think this keeps me "connected" while I am away from home.

Frank is right, let the blog get behind and it is almost as much work to get it up to date as it is to do the work!
Comment by Frank A Pisz on January 1, 2012 at 11:44pm

Hi! This is my first "real" plane project and while I haven't seen anyone else doing so, I elected to use PowerPoint to create my builder's log.  I take the photos, transfer from camera to PC, then select the ones to be used for the log and copy/paste on a Powerpoint slide.  You can put one or several pictures on one slide and you can include a short write-up with the slide describing the activity, hours, etc.  I keep a back up of the file on a flash drive which is kept in the hard copy log book.  Hardest part is not to let too much time lapse in between log book entries, you tend to let that part of the project slide when you are happily building.

Comment by Mark Maltais on January 1, 2012 at 5:38pm
I use a notebook and keep track of what I've done and time spent. I use a simple MS excel spread sheet for keeping track of costs. I'd love a simple dedicated program as well though.

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