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What should you bring with you if you’re about to take flight? Besides the basics, pilots should also consider packing some of these accessories that every aircraft owner needs:
If you fly during daylight hours, you will need a sun visor to block out the sun. Most aircrafts are designed with some type of sun visor, but the one that’s in your plane may not offer you the level of protection that you need to see clearly. In fact, the visor that is in your plane is probably made out of fabric. Although fabric visors work well when they are brand new, they begin to break down after prolonged exposure to the sun. Be sure that you find a sun visor that will hold up over time so you don’t have to worry about being blinded by the sun in the middle of a flight.
Portable Smartphone Charger
Pilots are always on the go, which means their smartphones often begin to run low on battery when they need them the most. It’s important to have a charged cell phone with you at all times as a pilot, so make sure that you have a portable smartphone charger with you. It’s recommended that pilots use a cell phone case that doubles as a charger so they can keep it with them and attached to their phones at all times. When you notice your battery is beginning to run low, simply turn on the phone case and allow it to recharge your phone regardless of where you are.
You also have the option of bringing a power bank with you, which is a separate accessory that you can plug into your phone when your battery starts to run low. Power banks are compact, so you don’t have trouble fitting one inside your flight bag.
It’s hard to enjoy the incredible views from above when you have to focus on flying your plane, which is why a GoPro camera is a great accessory to have with you in the cockpit. Many pilots mount the camera behind them so they can capture a pilot’s view from the cockpit. Once they’re safely on the ground, the videos that they recorded on their GoPro devices can be transferred to the GoPro app and stored for as long as you’d like to hold onto these memories.
Sitting in the same position for an extended period of time can become uncomfortable, but there’s not much you can do about it when you’re thousands of feet above the ground. Make your trip more comfortable by bringing along a seat cover to use on the seat inside your aircraft. There are many different kinds of seat covers, but the most popular type is made out of sheepskin. Why? Sheepskin is surprisingly durable, so it will hold up well even if you log a lot of hours in the air. It’s also a breathable fabric, so sitting on a sheepskin seat cover won’t make you overheat during the hot summer months. If you don’t already have a sheepskin seat cover, make sure you buy one before you take your next trip.
Do you plan on flying at night? If so, it’s important that you bring a flashlight with you in the cockpit. Even if there’s a light inside your aircraft, it’s often not strong enough for you to clearly read charts or checklists. These lights can also fail if the bulbs burn out or if your plane has an electrical problem. Instead of straining to see what’s in front of you or worrying about what to do when the lights won’t turn on, bring a flashlight so you have a back-up.
The type of flashlight that you bring is also important. It’s recommended that pilots bring a red LED flashlight as opposed to a white LED flashlight. White LEDs do provide a lot of light, but white light can interfere with a pilot’s vision. If a pilot is exposed to a lot of white light, he may have trouble spotting hazards or seeing other aircrafts outside his window, which is why it’s best to avoid this type of flashlight. Red LED lights do not have this effect, so if you can, bring this type of flashlight with you in the cockpit.
Motion Sickness Medicine
Any pilot can develop a case of motion sickness while in the air, so it’s best to keep a packet of motion sickness medicine with you at all times. However, be sure that you choose the type of motion sickness medicine carefully. You will need to read the label to ensure you don’t choose a product that makes you drowsy. There are many non-drowsy motion sickness medicines available, so finding one shouldn’t be an issue. Keep a few packets of this medicine in your flight bag so you can easily reach them if you do start to feel nauseous while in flight. If you have a severe motion sickness problem, you want to bring a few motion sickness bags to have at your disposal as well.
Of course, another product that every aircraft owner needs is Bright Works aviation approved polish to remove water spots, oxidation, scratches, and other signs of damage. There are three separate Bright Works polishes that are each designed to remove different types of damage and leave a deep shine on the surface of your aircraft. Aircraft owners who use Bright Works polish can preserve the beauty of their planes and make sure that corrosion and other damage does not lead to unsafe flying conditions. All of the accessories on this list are useful, but polish is one that no pilot should go without!