4.12. Record keeping for flight activities

The law in most countries is not mandating the type of information that needs to be recorded and stored.

In analogy to manned aviation the following needs to be considered: logbooks for pilots, aircraft flight logs (especially useful when multiple pilots use the same drone) and maintenance logs (to help with scheduling preventive maintenance and periodic overhauls).

Many drones systems also allow mission plan data and actual flight data to be stored (flight data recording). The company should have a clear policy as to whether such data needs to be kept and if so, for how long and in which form.

Record keeping should allow the company over time to identify component weaknesses and establish reliable maintenance schedules.

Record keeping also helps to improve discipline and compliance by creating transparency and improving auditability of flight activities.


  1. A lack of records makes statistical analysis and problem identification difficult and slows down continuous safety improvement efforts.

Audit Steps

  1. Review samples of available records and evaluate them for completeness in terms of information per flight as well as completeness of flights.
  2. Review the company practice on storing flight data records.
  3. Review samples of pilot logbooks.


drone audit program index