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

Luke Lambard
Airline pilot with a major carrier, and owner/pilot of a Christen Eagle

Purdy Neat Thing by Luggage Works
• Clarity Aloft headset
• small logbook
• SureFire flashlight
• medications (in case I get sick on the road)
• reading material for layovers
• checkbook
• ear plugs
• hot sauce (for airport food)
• Maui Jim titanium sport wrap sunglasses
• iPhone (with ForeFlight app)

I’m a big fan of simplicity. The less, the better. The PNT (Purdy Neat Things) duffel I carry is probably 10 years old and still in great shape. The only downside of luggage bags for general aviation is that they’re heavy—not a big deal on airliners, but in an RV-4, could be a big issue.

I know that a lot of my GA students get bogged down carrying a lot of trivial stuff. Not that it’s all bad, but as the years go by, I find myself carrying just three things religiously—headset, logbook and flashlight—and that’s about it.

ForeFlight on my iPhone takes care of all of my GA preflight briefings and files all of my instrument flight plans. I use it religiously.

Lori MacNichol
Bush pilot, aviation safety instructor and owner of McCall Mountain Flying Seminars

Self-made flight-bag vest weighing 5.8 pounds
• 406 PLB
• satellite messenger
• 2 lithium batteries
• signal mirror
• laser light
• compass
• one-hand-operable flashlight
• emergency blankets (1 silver, 1 orange)
• knife
• utility tool
• water-purifying tabs
• orange surveyors’ tape
• Prepared Pilot Pocket Pack
• 2 large plastic garbage bags
• fire starters (matches, lighter)
• $100 bill
• deck of cards

I wear my flight bag in the form of a vest. As my old friend Sparky Imeson often said, “If it’s not on you, it’s considered camping equipment.” I can tell you from experience, that statement is fact!

I advocate that when you fly in the backcountry, you must prepare to exit your aircraft and make do with what you have on your body.

Visit for an expanded list of contents and tips on using survival gear.


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