Plane & Pilot
Sunday, May 1, 2005

10+ Most Useful Cockpit Gadgets

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

Almost 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." />

7 PC ON THE GO GO The Suunto X9 wristop computer allows you to instantly access GPS functions, weather temperatures and altitude readings—all from a watch-sized unit. It also shows the direction and remaining distance to your next waypoint and calculates your ETA. Plus, it has current speed numbers, distance-traveled calculations as well as a Find Home function, just like a desktop computer.
Price: $699
Contact: Suunto, (800) 543-9124,

8 LIGHT UP Here’s a good tool to have in your survival kit—the Helios storm-proof lighter. Its high-temperature internal flame withstands up to 80 mph winds and is waterproof when the lid is closed. Plus, the piezo ignition allows for 30,000 light-ups and includes a detachable wrist lanyard so you can never lose it.
Price: $60
Contact: Brunton, (800) 443-4871,

9 TIME TRAVELER For frequent fliers, the Oakley GMT wrist-watch may just help you keep track of time when you fly in and out of different time zones. It automatically displays local time in any of the 24 time zones all over the world while keeping your home time continuously displayed on the main dial face. A smaller dial face adjusts to local time when you select a world city via a dedicated watch hand.
Price: $575 to $650
Contact: Oakley Inc., (800) 431-1439,

RUGGED HANDHELD Need to have a city-slicker toy with you while flying in the backcountry? The TDS Recon handheld computer may just be the right high-tech tool for you. It’s both rugged, with a waterproof body that meets military-standard specs for drops, vibration, and high- and low-temperature operation, and technologically advanced, with Windows Mobile 2003 capability, a 200 or 400 MHz XScale processor and a color display, that will satisfy both the bush pilot and inner geek in all of us.
Price: $1,500
Contact: TDS, (541) 753-9322,


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