Flight bag essentials

10 Flight Bag Essentials Every Pilot Needs




Whether you’re an experienced pilot or a brand new student pilot, there’s gear here you’ll use on every single flight. Plus some gear you may not use regularly, but will definitely want just in case.

Here are the top ten essentials!

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1. Pilot Certificate & Medical

This one’s a no-brainer because you can’t legally fly without these. Make sure your pilot certificate and medical are always in your flight bag. It’s a good habit to develop to always check and make sure you have them with you.

2. Headset (with extra batteries if necessary)

Nothing will ruin your planned flight faster than opening your bag and realizing you’ve forgotten it.

As a student, you’ll generally be able to borrow one from the flight school if necessary.

Our Pick
Bose A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth

The A20 is one of the best aviation headsets on the market. It’s comfortable to wear for those long flights, has excellent active noise reduction, and incredibly clear audio.

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12/08/2022 12:17 am GMT

[Check out our review of the Bose A20 headset]

Headset inside cockpit

3. iPad with ForeFlight and/or Sectional Charts

And make sure you keep your sectional charts up to date.

2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB) – Silver

A tablet is a must-have in the cockpit in 2021. If you’re not sure which one to go with the Apple iPad is easily the most popular tablet on the market. The 2021 iPad is a great option. Some people also like the iPad Mini and if you really want cutting edge go with the iPad Air.

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12/08/2022 08:12 am GMT

4. Kneeboard with Pen and Paper

Flight Outfitters iPad Slimline Pilot-Friendly Compact Cockpit Flight Kneeboard

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12/08/2022 01:33 am GMT

5. Snacks & Water

Are snacks really necessities? Not always, but they can come in handy in the times you least expect.

Worst case scenario you don’t eat them and they’re already in there for your next flight.

If you’re a full-time student pilot, snacks are definitely essential.

Notice Title

Add some other nice-to-have gear from this list of the best gifts for pilots.

6. Charging Cords and a Backup Battery

It also helps when you need to charge your phone mid-flight.

7. Non-polarized sunglasses

Flying in Texas has taught us that sunglasses aren’t just nice things to have so you can look cool in the cockpit.

They are necessities without which your vision can be severely impaired when flying certain headings throughout the day.

8. Fuel Tester with Screwdriver

Besides the obvious reason, checking fuel is also important because you may get different fuel from other airports. And you want to make sure you have quality fuel to get you where you want to go

9. Flashlight

This is one pilot accessory you don’t want to skip. Whether or not you go night flying frequently, you want to be sure you have a good flashlight.

NITECORE MT20A 360 Lumens 2x AA White/Red LED Flashlight Penlight with a Keychain Light

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12/08/2022 06:18 am GMT

10. Multi-Tool

It’s always a good idea to keep a multi-tool on you or in your flight bag. You never know when you’ll need a set of pliers, a knife, or a screwdriver.

The Leatherman Wave Plus is what I carry with me. It’s well built and incredibly versatile.

LEATHERMAN Wave Plus Multitool

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12/08/2022 01:46 am GMT

Pilot Accessories

Here are a few other great items to keep in your bag or on the plane but not necessarily “essentials.”

Extra Tools

Extra tools can be a huge help in the cockpit and very handy on emergency maintenance stops. Many of these items are things you’ll collect as your aviation career goes on, so I wouldn’t consider all of these as student pilot essentials.

While a multi-tool is a great thing to always keep on you, a small toolbox full of tools could be a great item to keep in your own plane. This is especially true if you do much backcountry flying.

Survival Gear

Nobody wants to think of the possibility of needing survival items, but to be a truly safe pilot you have to plan for the unthinkable.

If you commonly fly over bodies of water, consider getting a water-activated emergency light or beacon.

There are countless survival items designed specifically for pilots that have saved lives.

Do yourself a big favor and research some of these items. Decide which are necessary for you, keep them with you, and hope you never have to use them.

Icom IC-A25C Sport VHF Airband Transceiver (COM Channels)

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12/08/2022 02:35 am GMT


And there you have it! Our top ten flight bag essentials! Now it’s important to remember, just like no two pilots are the same, no two flight bags are the same!

What other gear do you recommend as student pilot essentials?

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