Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stretching Your Wings

Advanced training is the ticket to taking your flying to the next level

FLIGHT BAGS: What The Pros Carry

Advanced training instills a high level of knowledge and experience in pilots. As they evolve, their experience reveals what’s valuable in the cockpit, and what’s not, and that change is reflected in their flight bags. Pilots love to carry a lot of gear. We thought it would be fun to ask real pros what they carry in their bags. Each pilot has his or her own favorite items. Here’s what a few highly experienced professional pilots carry.

Bill Cox
International ferry pilot and aviation journalist

Sporty’s Flight Gear bag
• Lightspeed Zulu headset
• 2 Mike Barker Air Chart System books
• NOS approach plates for California, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona
Flight Guide for quick reference
• Phil McCandless’ Quiet Technologies Halo Tubephone system as a backup
• Garmin GPS 196 with beanbag mount
• 3 different-sized Mini Maglite flashlights
• spare AA and AAA batteries
• small forehead Coleman “miner’s” light

The miscellaneous stuff lining the floor or tucked into the pockets includes three or four small and rectangular AOPA sun shields, three ballpoint pens, an AOPA poncho, an old E6B whiz wheel and Jepp Techstar flight computer, a couple of those yellow Air Aids, a mini writing pad, a stopwatch, a spare wristwatch, a Leatherman utility tool, a small Canon G9 digital camera, an extra pair of sunglasses, a tiny bottle of Dramamine (for queasy passengers) and a baseball cap from LoPresti that reads “Life is Short—Fly Fast” above the bill.

My international flight bag adds a satphone, a portable Icom VHF radio and a Humminbird marine radio, plus a bunch of other stuff I hope I’ll
never need.

Finally, on every flight, I bring along a miniature bear named Bennie given to me by Peggy Pilot to remind me that there’s someone waiting at home.

Ty Frisby
Aerobatic competition pilot, renowned CFI and corporate pilot

ASA Pilot Bag
• Peltor 7000 Pro GT headset
• Maui Jim Kapalua sunglasses and, for backup, Ray-Bans
• Smith & Wesson Tactical LED flashlight with white and red lights
• L.A. TAC VFR chart
• L-3/L-4 IFR chart
• Southern California approach plates in ASA binder
• ASA VFR Kneeboard
• IFR Flight File from Tom Rubin Enterprises
• pens (1 black, 1 red, 3 blue), 2 mechanical pencils and an eraser
• ASA cup-style fuel tester with metal probe
• Gerber Clutch with pliers, screwdrivers, tweezers, etc.
• gum
• Thermos-style coffee cup with cam seal
• 20-ounce, stainless-steel water bottle with O-ring seal
• Jepessen Professional Pilot Logbook

I use a minimalist approach. I fly between 1,000 and 1,400 hours yearly, and I hate lugging around unnecessary items. As a flight instructor at Sunrise Aviation, I could fly a J-3 Cub, a Cirrus G3 with Perspective and an Extra 300 all in the same day. At my second job, flying King Airs, the charts are provided by the company, but the flights last up to five hours, making the water bottle and coffee cup the most important personal items.


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