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I get asked regularly about what products I use/ what is in my flight bag that I would recommend. I wanted to make this page to share and help you quickly find everyday items that you will use during your flight training and beyond!
Everything on this page, I have used myself. I may get a small commission for some of the items you see here – at no extra cost to you. They are in no particular order – just the order that they came out of my flight case! Hope you find the items useful!
Flight bag Item #1: For your ATPL questions – get a REALLY GOOD pencil: Pentel A3 120DX mechanical automatic pencil 0.5mm A300 black barrel
For your ATPLs, having a really good pencil will make life a lot easier for any of your subjects that require plotting or drawing (Gen Nav, Flight planning, Performance etc). This is the pencil that I used and straight away, the accuracy of my work improved.
Flight bag Item #2: A decent torch: Linkax LED Torch LED Flashlight Adjustable Focus Handheld Flashlight Super Bright 800 Lumens Pocket Torch Zoomable and Waterproof Camping Outdoor Torch 3 x AAA Batteries Included
You will need a torch for your night rating. I still have this torch in my flight bag and has been going strong for 3 plus years now! I used it during my flight training when I was doing any night flying or got back late and I now use it for my walkarounds at night on the B737!
Item #3: iPhone/ iPad charger: iPhone Charger MFi Certified Aioneus Fast iPhone Charger Cable 2M Lightning Cable Nylon Braided Lead Charging Cable for iPhone 12 Pro Max Mini 11 pro max X XS XR 10 8 8 7 Plus 6 6s 5s 5 SE iPad-White
I used my iPad as an EFB during pilot training for ForeFlight and Skydemon. My phone was also a backup. The aircraft that I did my hour building in had USB ports for charging devices, so that was handy.
I liked being able to go to any airfield and be completely self-sufficient in terms of not needing wi-fi etc as I had a 4g iPad and could also tether to my phone. Particularly when it was warm, the battery on my iPad struggled to last a full day during a long day out so don’t forget your charger!
Item #4: Not in my flight bag but… This is the joystick I use for flight sim: Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Precision Joystick – Black
I got this joystick to help with my Multi-Engine Instrument Rating G1000 cheap sim setup at home. I didn’t want to go mad and spend thousands on flight sim equipment and I still use the joystick today!
Item #5: Hi-Vis! Blackrock Men’s High Visibility Waistcoat Yellow EN471 Class 2
Get two hi-vis vests and keep one in your flight bag as I guarantee you will lose/ forget one. If you are ever flying with passengers, then your spare will go to good use!
Although this hi-vis is slightly more expensive, it does have a zip which is more robust when wearing it over a coat or on those windy days.
Item #6: Cheap clip board: Rapesco VSTCB0L3 Clipboard – A4 (Blue)
If flying an aircraft with a yoke, instead of a stick, then you can save yourself lots of cash by getting a standard cheap A4 kneeboard. This is what I used during hour building and for my CPL. I got a cheap stopwatch and stuck it onto one corner along with a pen holder! Before my airline went paperless, I continued to use this kneeboard and still keep it in my flight bag!
Item #7: Pen holder for your kneeboard!: Triple Metal Pen Holder with Pocket Clip for Notebook and Clipboard with Spring Fits Almost All Pen Size
This is the pen holder that I used. It is a great way to convert a cheap and cheerful clipboard into a high end flying kneeboard!!!
This is perfect for writing on your map. I laminated my Radio Telephony template and would write my clearances down for zone transits, basic services etc. on my laminated sheet and then wipe it clean and back in my flight bag at the end of the day.
Item #9: Calculator: Casio FX-83GTPLUS Scientific Calculator
I was useless with my CRP-1 & CRP-5 flight computers and much preferred using a calculator to calculate mass and balance, fuel etc.
Item #10: leak proof Coffee cup: Contigo West Loop Autoseal Travel Mug, Stainless Steel Thermal Mug, Vacuum Flask, Leakproof Tumbler, Coffee Mug with BPA Free Easy-Clean Lid, 470 ml, Gunmetal
For all the early mornings and lates nights, this is something that I can’t live without – tea! This worked really well for me as it is leak proof so can go into your flight bag and you don’t have to worry about it leaking.
Item #11: Leak proof water bottle for your flight bag: Invool Leakproof Sport Water Bottle 1 Litre
For those long days, this is one of the best water bottles I have ever had. It does not leak, and is easy to open and close without spilling your water everywhere!
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Item #12: Face-mask: 50 Pcs Disposable Face Masks
I keep a pack of these in my bag and don’t have to worry about remembering each time I go flying!
Item #13: Headset: David Clark H10-13.4 Headset & Case
I have used both David Clark H10’s and now have a Bose A20 headset. Depending on how much flying you are doing, the H10’s are perfect as a budget option, but if you want to push the boat out, you will not be disappointed by the Bose A20!
A set of batteries in my Bose A20 headset tends to last around 40 hours. I keep a few spare sets of batteries in my flight case.
Item #15: Pilot LogBook – CAA & EASA Compliant
I keep both my electronic and paper logbook going. Some aviation authorities do not accept electronic signature for P1(S) time that has to be countersigned.
Item #16: Notebook: Pukka Pads A4 Metallic Jotta Wirebound Notebook (Pack of 3), White
These are the notebooks I used during my ATPL exams. You may want to find something slightly smaller for your flight case as not to have to carry too much unnecessary weight.
Item #17: Camera: Go Pro Hero8
If allowed and it is safe and legal to do so, don’t forget your camera! I had a go pro, and thought it was excellent!
Item #18: Pens! Paper Mate ComfortMate Ultra Retractable Ballpoint Pen
Ideally, a retractable biro is best!
Item #19: Sunglasses (Non-polarised): Ray-Ban New Wayfarer RB2132 C55
Get a decent pair of sunglasses. Do not make the mistake that I made initially and purchase a pair of polarised sunglasses as you will struggle to see the displays properly, particularly if flying glass cockpit.
Every day items
This section covers the ‘normal items’ you would need to have with you every day:
- Passport/ Identification
- Spare glasses (if you use)
- Fully charged electronic devices (iPad, phone etc)
Check out my best selling Pilot Training Guide on Amazon for all the best information to save you money (in your flight bag!!) and time during pilot training.
Please leave a comment in the section below if you have any questions on any of the above or you have something in your fightback you find really useful that I could add. I would love to hear from you!
Kudzi Chikohora is a B737 captain with over 3,000 hours of flying in Europe. He holds a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, is a chartered engineer, and is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Kudzi completed his pilot training via the self-funded modular pilot training route and created kcthepilot.com to share pilot training and aviation content.