7 things I can’t fly without

May 13, 2014

When taking off into the wild blue yonder, every pilot packs the flight bag full of goodies to ensure he’s prepared for anything. There’s essential items and the not so essential items that we all pack in there. Everyone’s different and space and necessity will generally determine what is taken and what’s left behind. One thing is for certain though, no one ever knows what anyone else takes with them.

I’m now going to run through 7 key items that, necessary or not, I simply can’t fly without.

One: The trusty iPad
I don’t know about you, though my iPad is loaded up with every aviation app known to man. I may not be proficient in using them all, but they’re there none the less. The main app I use on the iPad is OzRunways. Many pilots have differing opinions on which EFB is best, though for me, OzRunways is easy to learn and use. In flight both the iPad and app run flawlessly, battery life is great and the moving maps truly are a miracle invention. I also use the iPad for flight plans, weather briefings and navigation planning.

Two: Flight Computer
I don’t need to tell you how vital this guy is. From basic wind corrections to complex 1 in 60, even the modern VFR pilot can’t live without a flight computer. There are many brands and different styles though, I started with the Jepp and I’ll stick to it. I also find most text books refer to the Jeppesen model as well.

Three: AIP and ERSA
With the advent of the iPad, these publications are nearly gone the way of the dodo, however, I still don’t have enough faith in technology and always carry the physical books as well. The AIP probably isn’t as important as the ERSA for in flight referencing, though as it is the bible, I still like to take it with me just in case.

Four: Go Pros and Audio Recording Equipment
This one is completely cosmetic. No operational requirement what so ever one might think, though for a blogger like me, this kit is essential. I generally carry 2 go pros with spare batteries for each, an electronic voice recorder and headset adapters to record audio. I either use both the GoPros simultaneously for different angles or use one as a back up on long flights where 2 batteries just won’t cut it.

Five: Headset
Probably the most vital item I carry. Forget this one and you’re not going anywhere. I’ve tested a few different headsets, though the one I use is the Bose A20. As you’ll read in my reviews, the noise cancelling is awesome and the audio clarity is other-worldly. With more and more technology being packed into these crazy pieces of kit, on thing you can’t forget is spare batteries or you might find yourself with an expensive pair of David Clarks half way through your flight.

Six: Charts
Again, even though my iPad is chock full of maps, charts, guides and all things nice, I still carry maps for each area that I’ll be flying in. This isn’t just good sense either, it’s a requirement of CASA to have back up maps (I think only for charter etc, but still good for VFR pilots to err on the side of caution). I generally always have a VTC for any control areas I’ll be entering, a WAC for navigating and generally even a VNC to be safe.

Seven: Kneeboard
I’ve always been a bit of a nerd when it comes to having the latest and greatest and even though my instructor thought I was crazy, I had a kneeboard on my lap from day one. I’ve always used the Jeppesen VFR kneeboard and it has proven to be quite handy, however, now that I’m doing longer distance navigations exercises, I’ve switched over to the Pooleys Flight Board. I just find it has more room and is better at storing maps etc.

Well there you have it. The 7 items that I could not fly without. Let me know what your 7 are in the comments section below. I’d love to know.

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