Thanks to electronic logs and document storage, gone are the days of pilots lugging around heavy flight bags. However, you can still expect to bring along certain pilot supplies to use on every flight. Whether you’re an experienced pilot or you’ve recently acquired your private or commercial license, there’s an important list of tools you’ll want (and need) to fly!
Some supplies are essential while others are nice to have—just in case. Regardless, staying well-prepared aids in a safe and smooth flight! In the content below, we will define the top ten pilot supplies to always have on hand to prepare you for long flight times and layovers.
The Top 10 Pilot Supplies to Always Have on Hand
#1. Pilot’s License, Photo ID, & Medical Certificate
First and foremost, you cannot fly without your pilot’s license, government-issued photo ID, and medical certificate. These documents and certificates are legal requirements to always have on hand as a pilot! Therefore, keep these documents accessible in your flight bag so you can stay organized and easily retrieve them for security checkpoints.
#2. Flight Bag
One of the most basic yet essential items you need as a pilot is a flight bag. Depending on your flying schedules and routes, you’ll want to consider a small or large flight bag for holding pilot and medical certificates, headsets, charts, and devices, among other miscellaneous items.
Equally as important as your photo identification and pilot license, an aviation headset is also a must-have pilot supply to always have with you. Having a proper aviation headset is crucial because it is your primary means of communication during flight.
Therefore, you need a comfortable headset with a proper fit, high-quality audio speakers, a microphone, and noise-canceling features to eliminate irrelevant background noise. Don’t forget to also pack spare batteries for your headset!
#4. Digital Tablet
Another must-have in our top ten pilot supplies list includes some form of digital tablet! Digital tablets and handheld devices such as an iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ make it simple and easy to access navigational charts, logbooks, and supplemental digital documents. Therefore, equip your tablet with the proper charting and navigation apps like ForeFlight and SkyDemon to significantly benefit your flight experience.
#5. Kneeboard Case
A kneeboard is an old-school yet essential pilot supply to always have on hand for every flight. The accessory straps to your upper thigh and allows for hands-free use of navigation apps and charts during flight. It’s a functional yet lightweight tool that even enables you to charge your devices while in use. There’s also a convenient space to keep pen and paper!
#6. Non-Polarized Sunglasses
Non-polarized sunglasses are among the top ten necessary pilot supplies to ensure proper vision and reduce eye fatigue throughout daytime flying. Therefore, as your vision is one of a pilot’s most valuable assets, be sure to invest in a non-polarized lens. Doing so allows you to effectively see readings from instruments that have anti-glare filters!
#7. Handheld Two-Way Radio
Communication is another non-negotiable essential during your flight, and although your primary communication source is your headset, sometimes…things happen! Therefore, we highly recommend carrying a handheld two-way radio for backup because a lack of communication may lead to problematic and dangerous situations. Additionally, be sure to also pack charging cradles, cables, and a spare battery in your flight bag.
#8. Fuel Tester
During your pre-flight checklist, you’ll want to check for fuel quality. Therefore, we recommend adding a fuel tester to your inventory of important pilot supplies.
A fuel tester allows you to check for water or solid contaminants in your aircraft’s fuel since you may get different fuel from other airports. This compact, lightweight tool is easy to use, fits discretely into your flight bag, and often comes with a reversible screwdriver attachment.
#9. Snacks & Water
Stay prepared for long flights and layovers by having a few snacks on hand, along with a water bottle or two. Although snacks may not seem like an essential pilot supply, being hungry or thirsty during a flight can potentially affect your cognitive and decision-making skills. With long flight times, layovers, and delays, you’ll be thankful for high-protein snacks that sustain your energy when a meal isn’t an option.
#10. First Aid & Other Emergency Supplies
A first aid kit keeps minimal cuts and scrapes under control while giving you peace of mind during more series emergencies. Although first aid kits are not suitable substitutions for real medical treatment, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive kit and the knowledge of how to use the tools inside to provide basic medical assistance when necessary. Other emergency pilot supplies to include in your first aid and emergency supply kit include a flashlight and a pocketknife.
Experience First Class Aircraft Services with J.A. Air
Now that you have your flight bag packed with our top ten pilot supplies to always have on hand, it’s time to consider other aircraft services to aid your aviation!
At J.A. Air Center, our knowledgeable, licensed, factory-trained team provides superior workmanship with attention to detail and quality for things like aircraft maintenance, detailing services, refurbishing, and avionics installation.
Not only will your aircraft look and fly its very best with our services, but you’ll also feel confident that our first-class customer support will adequately handle all of your needs. Pack your pilot bag and contact us today!