It can be daunting to figure out everything you need when you first begin flight training. When I first decided to pursue a pilot’s license I researched various ground school courses and chose the Sporty’s Complete Private Pilot course on DVD. Looking back, I might selected a more all inclusive kit. While you might think you’re paying more overall, it’s nice to have everything to get you going. This deluxe kit from Sporty’s is fairly complete and will get you going quickly. Keep in mind that I am also training Part 61, so your needs may vary. Also note that I am not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or shops selling this gear. This is just what I use in my training.
When I initially began ordering my educational materials and tools I thought I might hold off on a flight bag. I wasn’t transporting a headset to/from the plane, etc so why would I need a flight bag? Big mistake. It only took me about a week to realize a flight bag is a priority. My next thought was maybe I’ll buy a “cheaper” bag and then upgrade as my needs progress. I had seen the Brightline bag and considered it, but was trying to be cost conscious early in my training. Then I decided I would rather buy the best and only have to buy once. This bag is incredible. There’s a dedicated spot for just about everything you can think to carry. In the future I might create a dedicated a video detailing my flight bag contents. Until then, just know this bag will carry just about anything you need during an average flight. Everything below (and more stuff) is in mine.
Bose A20 Headset
It’s hard emphasize the importance of a comfortable headset. I’ve only worn a handful of other headsets prior to owning the Bose. They are pale in comparison. The A20 is comfortable, excellent at canceling noise and stays put. This was key for me, because situating the other headsets and/or straining to hear them is a distraction I do not need in the cockpit.
I currently have a three camera setup that consists of a Nflightcam+ for over the nose video, panel audio, and gps, a ContourHD used to capture the pilot seat, and a GoPro Hero HD camera that I move around to various third angle locations. They are all capable of capturing HD footage at 1080p. However, I have them all set to shoot at 720p to improve capture times, save space on my hard drives and improve performance in post production. All three cameras capture to 16Gb memory cards (SDHC in the GoPro, MicroSD in the other two). All three cameras and their mounts are stored in my flight bag along side my headset.
As I prepare to begin some night flying, I realized I need a good dual color flashlight. Having a red beam is important for maintaining night vision in the cockpit. I chose the Smith & Wesson Captain’s
Flashlight, purchased from Sporty’s. This flashlight is quite a bit bigger than I anticipated, and does not fit in the outer pouch that I had intended to use for a flashlight on my flight bag. It does fit in one the lower zippered pockets, but doesn’t provide as much easy access as the velcro pouch. I was able to use the additional strap loops on the bag to attach the pouch included with the flashlight to the side of the bag.