Why is it important to keep electronic backups?

Electronic Backups

For aircraft, the value is in the logbooks. If logbook entries are missing or lost, it can be almost impossible to know what maintenance has been performed on the aircraft, or if the aircraft is even airworthy. The aircraft can be grounded indefinitely, and operators often incur a heavy cost and time lost to reinstitute airworthiness.This also affects the aircraft’s resale value. If the aircraft’s history is unknown or missing info, the risk to a potential buyer is far too high, and the value of the aircraft decreases significantly. Whatever your maintenance tracking process entails, multiple backups are critical to protecting your aircraft’s value and the operation’s success.Here are a few simple ways that you can back up your files starting today:

  • Scan logbook entries: Scan each logbook entry you create after they’ve been signed. This will give a solid electronic copy of the physical logbook. Save as an image or PDF file for the most effective file size.
  • Store copies in cloud storage solutions and a local hard drive: Using services like Dropbox or Google Drive allow you to upload documents and access them from anywhere. The main benefit is that you’ll have access to them from anywhere as long as you have internet access. Keeping an electronic logbook copy on a local hard drive will ensure access without the need for remote access. Even storing a copy on a mobile device is good while traveling.
  • Create a physical copy: For operators creating paperless logbook entries, printing out a physical copy is recommended.
When relying on external vendors (i.e. maintenance tracking) for data storage, double check to make sure they’re doing everything possible to ensure the security and availability of your data. Ask the following questions when assessing providers:
  • What measures do you have in place to secure my data?
  • How do you back up my data? Do you have internal storage or only rely on outside vendors to store my data?
  • If your system goes down, how will I get access to my data?
  • Have you ever dealt with security breaches? How would you handle it if one happened?
If data security is important to you, then make sure all your requirements are met. Internal storage, top tier data security, and multiple backups are minimum requirements. It’s very common to see companies only relying on external storage vendors such as Microsoft Azure. These services are great, but can limit access to critical data if their service is interrupted or goes down. Dedicated in-house servers and geo-replication of data provide multiple ways of accessing data, ensuring your data is safe in any circumstance.
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