Thinking about starting your flight training son? That’s awesome! Pursuing your pilot certificates are an exciting and big accomplishment. Here are a few things I highly suggest to get your flight training started.
1) What Headset to get?
The most popular headsets I’ve seen so far are David Clark and Bose A20’s. These headsets range from roughly $500 to $1100! I found a cheaper headset for $200 on Amazon and they have worked well for the past 2 years. If you buy from a less known company or brand lookup the reviews and choose wisely. Don’t go to cheap. As they say, you get what you pay for. If you have the funds to go for high quality do so. I’ve used the Bose A20 once and the quality is definitely worth the price in the long term.
2) Flight Bag
What better way to carry your flight things around in then a stylish flight bag? There are a wide range of flight bags out there with different compartments to satisfy your item holding needs. I would highly suggest that you start off with a smaller size bag. The picture of the flight bag above is the first one I bought. Overtime you will begin to accumulate many things in your bag and it’s best to keep it simple and limit your bag size till you truly need something bigger.
3) Knee Board
Originally when I started my flight training I wasn’t sure how necessary it would be to get a knee board. I waited quite awhile to get one but then soon learned this is one item you should never forget to bring to every flight lesson. The answer is, VERY necessary! My flight school doesn’t let you start off with a IPad for cross countries, which means your lugging around Nav logs, weight & Balance sheets, sectionals, chart supplements, etc. Do yourself a favor and get a knee board too keep all of your important planning papers organized! I currently use a King School Trifold IPad knee board and it’s literally the best ever! But if you wish to start with the metal single plate board, it’s also a really great one to use.
Once you start logging flight time you need somewhere to put it! There are several different types of log books but the main purpose is to keep track of your flight time, sim time, endorsements, etc. Stay in FAR 61.51 (Pilot logbooks) compliance!
5) Red Flashlight
According to FAR 61.109 Aeronautical experience, “a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating must log at least log… 3 hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane…” Night flying is so wonderful but takes a minute to adjust to. Certain procedures change a little but a major must have is a red flash light to equipped you for successful night operations. A red light is used to preserve your night vision far better than white light. My personal suggestion is to buy at least two in the event one is damaged or stops working.
If we look back at FAR 61.109 it also states “ 3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments.” In order to comply with this requirement your going to need a view limiting device such as a hood or Foggles. These simulate instrument conditions and direct your view to your instruments only instead of looking outside the flight deck.
7) Books, Charts, and Maps
Here are a few books I would highly recommend looking into getting:
- Private pilot Jeppesen
- FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (digital or hard copy)
- FAA Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (digital or hard copy)
- Gleim Test Prep – Private Pilot
- VFR Sectional
- Your aircraft Information Manual
- Valid Chart Supplement
8) E6B or electronic or electronic E6B flight computer
An E6B is a flight computers used for flight planning to help you calculate fuel burn, wind correction, time en route, and other critical items. While you are airborne, your E6B can be used to estimated fuel burn, calculate ground speed, and updated estimated time of arrival.
9) FAA Medical
There are three types of medicals you can get.
1. First Class
2. Second Class
3. Third Class
Each class permits different operation privileges that you will soon learn in your training. Look for an AME (Aviation-Medical Examiner) in your area. I Highly recommend when you go to get a medical get the highest class (1st class) medical to see the requirements the AME will expect to receive that medical.
10) Flight School for your needs!
Are you ready to kick your flight training off? The flight school you pick will structure the foundation of your flight career. They will be your connections into the inner industry and your foundation to fundamental flight operations. You can go Part 61 or Part 141, they both have their advantages and disadvantages but it all depends on your learning needs. Before you pick a flight school, look up the price of attendance/ rentals, success rate if available, credentials of the schools instructional staff, aircraft fleet/ on- sight maintenance, and talk to current students (if permitted). These are all important steps to picking the best school for you. Always remember that when you pick a flight school and flight instructor, the majority of the time their values on safety, checklist usage, and skill development will become your structure as a pilot. This can be a stressful decision to make but do your research and you will be just fine!
Best of luck starting your flight training!