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Pilot Supplies

Overwhelmed by the selection of pilot and aviation supplies on the market? Trust the reviews below for to find the best general aviation products on the market.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Buyer’s Guide: The Active Pilot’s Flight Bag

Consider one of these exciting new products

garmin gpsFlight bags have certainly changed over the years, but what has changed most is what today’s pilots consider “must have.” My first flight bag was a military flying suit with pockets everywhere, each stuffed with some necessity.
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Handheld Avionics

Using portable gadgets to fly safer

handheld avionicsI’m sold on the concept that using portable avionics in the cockpit will make the flying experience safer and more convenient. As a flight instructor, I teach in aircraft with large differences in avionics, ranging from the latest and greatest in glass panels to ships with no radio or electrical system. Regardless, it’s always comforting to have my trusty Garmin GPSMAP 496 along for the flight to help with situational awareness and to have the latest weather at my fingertips.
Thursday, February 1, 2007

Great Handheld Gadgets!

Glass-cockpit functionality in a carry-on package

Great Handheld GadgetsMost airplanes in the general aviation fleet were built more than 20 years ago and have old-fashioned “steam gauge” panels that induce glass-cockpit envy among pilots who get a peek at the latest flight decks from such companies as Avidyne, Chelton and Garmin. Fortunately, there’s an amazingly simple cure: A wide range of carry-on gadgets are available that provide glass-cockpit functions in a handheld package. In this issue, we briefly cover more than a dozen products that span the gamut, from simple digital E6B computers to full-function portable multi-function displays!
Friday, December 1, 2006

Face Weather With More Confidence

The Garmin 396 is a powerful handheld weather tool

Face Weather With More ConfidenceThe trip was to be a long one: Watsonville, Calif., to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was supposed to take about eight hours, but the weather conspired to lengthen the trip to almost 10 hours. We planned to make one stop in Denver for refueling. It was typical western summer weather, which meant expectations of thunderstorms from midday on, so the Rockies were going to be problematic from a weather standpoint. As it turned out, so was much of the remainder of the trip.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

TKS Ice Protection

Flying year-round becomes a possibility with the TKS Ice Protection system

TKS Ice ProtectionPublishing an aviation magazine can be a lot of fun, especially when the assignment is to refurbish an airplane like a 1982 B36TC Bonanza, our most recent project plane. If you’ve been reading Plane & Pilot over the last few years, you’re probably familiar with this plane from the August and September 2003 issues. At that time, we pulled the best equipment on the market to retrofit the 20-year-old aircraft. The idea was to showcase all the emerging technology for high-performance, piston-engine aircraft.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

High Test Flying

Here are two products that might change your attitude about altitude

High Test FlyingI’m fortunate to be able to fly a late-model Bonanza B36TC. At a recent American Bonanza Society convention, I was given a demo ride in the Rocket Engineering B36TC converted Pratt & Whitney PT6-A-powered TurbineAir.



Thursday, September 1, 2005

Chelton's Magic Boxes

The future of instrument flying is here and now

Chelton's Magic BoxesBefore they were booted up, the Chelton boxes in the Malibu Jet Prop we tested looked like any number of other newer panel configurations. Almost every new airframe manufacturer is putting glass into the cockpit now with a primary flight display (PFD) in front of the pilot and a multi-function display (MFD) right next door.
Sunday, May 1, 2005

10+ Most Useful Cockpit Gadgets

A buyer’s guide to the latest must-have gear for aviators

10+ Most Useful Cockpit GadgetsAlmost every pilot searches for the right tools to make any flight a safe and enjoyable one. Whether it’s a gizmo that enables us to enjoy that short $100 hamburger flight or a portable piece of equipment that can save us baggage space during long cross-country treks to the backcountry, we’re always in need of that extra-special something that will make our trips a whole lot easier and the ride a whole lot more fun.
Sunday, August 1, 2004

Mastering The Panel-Mounted GPS Part 1: VFR Use

Bendix/King, Garmin, Chelton? At first glance, they all seem so different, but are they really? It turns out they have a lot in common.

Learning to use even one of the modern IFR-approved GPS maps, let alone several of them, is challenging. Understanding the capabilities of a device requires as much class time as learning how to operate it. The how can be very different from unit to unit, but the what is surprisingly similar.
Monday, March 1, 2004

Buyer's Guide: The New Headsets

Whether it’s passive or active, this year’s models offer plenty of “oomph” for your ears

lightspeedOver the last decade, headsets have become a mainstay for almost all aviators. A continuing flow of information on potentially damaging noise levels has led to greater headset use, and any doubt we may have had can be challenged by an idle conversation with an older pilot who has experienced hearing loss due to a lack of hearing protection. Cockpit noise not only can result in damage to the eardrum, but high ambient noise also can cause pilots to experience fatigue. Whatever the reason for wearing headsets, few people now argue against their merits.
Sunday, February 1, 2004

Buyer's Guide: Gotta-Have-It Cockpit Gear

A few pieces of equipment make cross-country flying easier and more relaxing. Here are suggestions on what to bring to make far-reaching flights pass in a flash.

Believe it or not, there are still lots of pilots out there who are flying without a GPS. There are many portables, such as the Airmap 500, Garmin 196 and 295 and the Skymap IIIC, that will not only make flight navigation easier, but also help you find a friend’s house, a favorite restaurant or the best fishing spots around town.
Thursday, January 1, 2004

Reader's Choice Awards

Thursday, January 1, 2004

Emergency Locator Transmitters

How they work and why things are about to change

Like most of you, I've been flying with one or another ELT for years, hoping I'd never have a reason to use one. In truth, I took them for granted, assuming the technology would save my life if it ever became necessary.
Wednesday, November 30, -0001

Headsets: Choosing The Right Tool

Technology and individuality drive this year’s headset selection

Headsets: Choosing The Right ToolThe year 2013 brings with it subtle changes in the headset world. Aviation leader Peltor has been bought by 3M Corporation, and their aviation line has all but disappeared.