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.
9 Hands-off lighting.
Headlamp, hand-held flashlight, bike light or table lamp, the Photon Fusion LED Light does it all. Auto shutoff, a strobe, three levels of brightness and four colors of light are just a few of the many features of this versatile, water-resistant light.
Resource: Photon Fusion LED Light, (877) 584-6898, www.photonlight.com
10 Save yourself.
In case of a forced landing, the Two-Man V.I.P Survival Pack becomes a potential lifesaver. The 20-pound kit includes first aid and shelter equipment, fire and cooking supplies, signaling devices, food and water, and other emergency devices.
Resource: Two-Man V.I.P. Survival Pack, (877) 4-SPRUCE, www.aircraftspruce.com
11 Entertain yourself.
Music can make long cross-country trips literally fly away. The iPod MP3 Player stores up to 10,000 songs, fits in a shirt pocket and is lighter than two CDs put together. Slim earpieces slip under a pilot’s headset.
Now, you can hook your entertainment system into your headset with The Muse from PS Engineering. The circuitry decreases the volume whenever the radio or intercom becomes active, so ATC calls won’t be missed.
Price: 20 GB iPod MP3 Player, $499; The Muse, $199.95
Resource: iPod MP3 Player, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com; The Muse, (800) 427-2376, www.ps-engineering.com
12 Have a seat.
Relax at your destination with the Travel Chair Ultralight Arm Chair and enjoy an after-landing beverage while resting it in the built-in beverage holders. The chair opens and folds in a flash and weighs just over six pounds.
Resource: Travel Chair Ultralight Arm Chair, (800) 426-4840, www.rei.com
13 Work with the wrist.
The T1 Flight Computer Watch from Torgoen can be used to calculate time, distance and speed equations, or any other mathematical conversion in a snap. Choose between a black or white mineral crystal dial, and stainless steel or leather strap.
Resource: T1 Flight Computer Watch, (201) 560-0101, www.torgoen.com
14 No messing around.
Designed to work for men, women and children, the Travel John could prevent a major mess in the cockpit. The urine is instantly turned into gel, preventing it from leaking or spilling, even if the bag is punctured.
Price: $5.95 for a three-pack
Resource: Travel John, (800) SPORTYS, www.sportys.com
15 Entertain your passengers.
Sharper Image Design’s new Personal Entertainment Center is a book-sized portable machine that lets your passengers choose from several features, such as a movie on DVD, sports on TV, music on CD, news on the radio and any of 20 relaxing sound-soothing functions.
Resource: Personal Entertainment Center, (800) 344-4444, www.sharperimage.com
16 Take a closer look.
Nikon’s Eagleview Zoom II Binoculars gives a crystal-clear, close-up view of any points of interest along the route with 8X to 24X magnification. They work great with or without eyeglasses.
Resource: Eagleview Zoom II, (800) 426-4840, www.rei.com
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