This guest post was written by Wright State University student and SC&A researcher Brody Beaver.
Located in the Wright State University Special Collections and Archives is a fascinating piece of history that is still similar to today’s aviation field. This flight logbook from 1912, owned by Charles Wald, records his experiences and learning how to fly with the Wright Brothers. Wald recorded his flights and interactions with Orville Wright and other aviation pioneers.
Starting my flight training in the summer of 2016, I purchased my first logbook and record every hour of flight time accumulated. I find it fascinating to hold something similar to the pioneers of aviation, creating a vivid image of what it was like back in 1912. The Archives always have artifacts that inspire my curiosity, encouraging me to learn more about it, like the logbook. It was interesting to identify the similarities between my personal and Charles Wald’s logbook, both containing the aircraft identification number, length of flight and the remarks section. Since aviation has developed over time, the two also have differences, such as, the type of piloting time and conditions of flight. Everyone should know that the Special Collections and Archives is a resource for research and an outlet to connect with the past.
For over a century, military and civilian pilots from around the world have been using logbooks to record their flights. Wald’s 1912 logbook reminds everyone, some aspects of aviation have slightly changed over the course of 115 years. Today’s logbook is more in-depth, but without it, pilots would be unable to confirm the amount of flight hours and training obtained. Flight logbooks also help pilots reminisce cherished memories, remembering the day aviation began, earning their pilots license, and adventuring to new destinations.