How does the ACARS feature work?

RB Logbook offers you the option to make a picture of the ACARS / OOOI terminal display in the cockpit. This image will then be processed and the app will extract the following information, if available:

  • date
  • departure airport
  • arrival airport
  • out / in times
  • off / on times

This saves you time and you also keep a clear reference image attached to the flight.


How to take an ACARS photo

The ACARS option can be found on the flight edit screen, in the header bar there is a camera icon.

To use a photo, either select an existing one from the gallery or take one on the spot.

The photo can be taken at any time, but for the image processing to work, the device must be connected to the internet. If the device is not connected, the user will be prompted once the flight is opened.


Is the information always correct?

No, unfortunately we cannot guarantee that. Therefore always check the information that is extracted carefully. If the photo is of poor quality, it may be that the text recognition fails for one or more fields. Note that we analyze all incoming photos with our machine learning model, so even though it might fail at one time, maybe a while later it will work.

Some tips to take a good photo:

  1. To have the biggest chance of success, make sure the display is properly readable (some displays can be really filthy)
  2. Make sure there is no reflection on on the display or as little as possible
  3. Take the photo from a straight angle
  4. Make sure it is zoomed in, but make sure the entire screen is visible with a small border
  5. There are a lot of variations in the way ACARS displays are formatted. Not only can you scan the display, but you can also try scanning the receipt.

If you encounter a case where the display is not interpreted properly at all, you can also send the image to customer support. We can then further tweak our image recognition software so it will handle that particular  variation of ACARS images better.

When changes are needed, you can correct the times and airports on the preview screen before importing. Even when you have to do this, there are still advantages to making a photo:

  1. It's still faster to simply correct one or more fields then to enter all data manually, especially since a lot of pilots take a photo of their ACARS display anyway;
  2. The photo stays attached to the entry. Whenever there is doubt about a certain flight, it can be easily brought forward;
  3. With each photo, we improve our machine learning algorithm, so more photos will work correctly.


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