Having the right tools will make your life as a student pilot a lot easier. But which gear do you need and how do you decide what to buy?
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One of the most important things you will need as a student pilot is a proper aviation headset. Not only does it help you to communicate with your instructor and ATC, it's also crucial to protecting your ears. You will spend a lot of hours in the cockpit of a piston engine airplane, having a decent headset will make these hours a lot more comfortable.
For students, price is often a major factor to take into account when deciding which headset to buy. Here are a few headsets that offer great value for their price!
Faro G2 ANR Premium Pilot Aviation Headset with Mp3 Input
The Faro G2 ANR is the G2 PNR's bigger brother, with active noise reduction. For about $200 more, you get noise reduction up to 52dB for the quietest cockpit and most comfort.
The G2 PNR uses two AA batteries that provide up to 30 hours of active noise reduction, depending on the environment. The headset will continue to work as PNR when the batteries run low or die.
If you are looking for an ANR headset but not willing to spend $500+, the G2 ANR gives you the most bang for your buck!
Kore Aviation KA1 Series PNR Pilot Aviation Headset
Kore Aviation's KA-1 is the perfect aviation headset for all: pilots, passengers, instructors, student pilots, flight schools and more. It provides maximum comfort with ultra-soft gel ear seals, clear sound with exceptional noise reduction, durability built to last and luxury you can feel with the highest-quality materials at the best value price. Designed, engineered, and manufactured by pilots and headset experts with over 30 years of experience, KORE AVIATION guarantees quality with a 5-year Manufacturer's Warranty serviced in Pilot Care Centers located in the U.S.
$159.99Buy now on Amazon
Based on our own experience, these are some of the headset models we recommend:
To transport all these tools and keep everything organized, a good flight bag is essential. Your headset, books, charts and other tools will follow you wherever you go, a good flight bag will not only make your life easier, it will also protect all the precious and expensive gear you bought.
These are some of the best flight bags you can find as a student pilot and we heard a lot of good things about them!
Flight Outfitters The Lift Travel Bag
Perfect for travel in tight spaces, the Flight Outfitters The Lift Travel Bag will carry all your essential items. Though this bag is small, it features both external and internal pockets and plenty of open room to pack a powerful storage punch.
You can read our review of the Lift Flight Bag here!
Jeppesen Student Pilot Bag
A great first bag for the student pilot. Features include: outside pockets, removable shoulder strap, double zipper opening, reinforced bottom, PVS backed 600 denier poly. Size: 10 inches x 5.5 inches x 17 inches.
ASA VFR Tri-Fold Kneeboard
For the pilot who needs to carry more, this folding kneeboard provides maximum storage space, encourages cockpit organization, and serves as the pilot's desk during flight. The left panel has ample room for small books, papers and items that don't fit elsewhere. The center panel holds the kneeboard under clear plastic with a pen/pencil holder and buttonholes on either side — allowing a pilot to fold back one or both panels with the leg band. The right-hand panel contains a clear pocket for easy map viewing, and the elastic leg bands Velcro® closures fit any leg size comfortably. Black nylon with embroidered silver wings logo. The kneeboard is 6-1/2" wide x 9-1/2" high.
ASA KB-1 VFR Kneeboard
ASAs Color E6B Flight Computer
Icom IC-A14 VHF Air Band transceiver
Making radio calls often causes stress and discomfort to student pilots, listening to ATC conversations can be a great help to improve your own radio skills. The Icom IC-A14 is one we personally own and recommend!
The IC-A14 is the ideal flight companion for the student pilot. This radio practically pays for itself by saving pilots both engine hours and fuel during preflight communications with the tower.
Yaesu FTA550L Handheld VHF Transceiver w/Li-Ion Battery
$286.94Buy now on Amazon
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Aviation In-cockpit Bundle
Garmin has announced an aviation-specific addition to the VIRB action camera family - the VIRB Ultra 30 Aviation In-cockpit Bundle. Offering several new accessories tailored to capturing rich, high-definition footage in-flight, the VIRB Ultra 30 Aviation In-cockpit Bundle includes a VIRB Ultra 30 waterproof action camera with the power to shoot stunning ultra HD footage at 4K/30fps. VIRB Ultra 30 contains a suite of new features, including voice control, an intuitive LCD color touchscreen and one-touch live streaming. Built-in 3-axis stabilization and enhanced connectivity with a variety of Garmin products combine to provide pilots with a premier action camera tailored to capturing superior in-flight footage.
Digital Audio Recorder Adapter for GA Aviation Pilot Headsets
Perfect for recording your ATC calls and instructor's feedback to use for debriefing and learning!
$47.43Buy now on Amazon
Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook
Flying is fun, and with Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook, learning about flying is now fun, as well.
If you want to learn to fly, or even just learn about what makes a plane fly, you’ll find this lavishly illustrated, fast-paced book to be the best available guide. Written in a clear and witty style, the Private Pilot Handbooks contains more than 1,200 illustrations and photos that are a standalone education about why we can fly.
Studying for your private pilot oral and knowledge exams? Everything you need is in this book. It’s not just a beginner’s book—it’s a comprehensive and useful reference resource for private and even professional pilots. As one flight student said, “This handbook explains why things are the way they are, in a way that’s easy to understand. I learned lots of things in Rod’s book that I had not read ANYWHERE else, despite years of reading aviation literature.”
Rod Machado's Complete 'Digital' Private Pilot Collection
Enjoy Rod Machado's private pilot products as a digital collection for 40% off! This collection gives you all the study material (and more) needed to begin your adventure at learning to fly and becoming a licensed private pilot. And, for a LIMITED TIME ONLY, you'll receive one of Rod's popular aviation eLearning courses to make your experience even more enjoyable. This special will last only a very short time. Don't miss this LIMITED opportunity!
$199.95338.70Buy now with 40% off
Pilot's Pocket Handbook
ASA Private Pilot Kit - Part 61
ASA student pilot kits provide the books and supplies a student pilot needs to complete training at an exceptional value.
The Part 61 and 141 student kits ensure that FAA regulatory requirements are met, and are the perfect training solution for both instructors and students. For students taking flight training courses at a smaller flight school or through a freelance instructor, this Part 61 Student Kit includes everything they'll need, packaged in the ASA Pilot Briefcase.
The Complete Private Pilot by Bob Gardner is the primary textbook for this kit, and the top-selling ASA FAR/AIM and Private Pilot Test Prep books are also included to assist in preparing for the FAA Knowledge Exam. The Practical Test Standards, Private Oral Exam Guide, and Visualized Flight Maneuvers for High-Wing Aircraft help take students through their Oral and Practical exams. Also in this briefcase is a fiberboard E6-B flight computer and Ultimate Rotating Plotter for all flight planning, and a Standard Pilot Logbook for keeping track of flight time.
ASA student kits bring pilot training to a new level, providing one-stop-shopping for the student and instructor. Personalized student kits for schools are always available through ASA's Personalized Aviation Custom Kits (PACKs) program, and we are happy to work with schools to develop customized kits to meet their specific training needs.
FAR/AIM 2018: Federal Aviation Regulations / Aeronautical Information Manual (FAR/AIM series) paperback
Now includes the new "Remote Pilot" and "Unmanned Aircraft Systems" regulations (drones), 14 CFR Parts 48 and 107!
The 2018 FAR/AIM book contains complete and up-to-date information from Titles 14 and 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 and 49 CFR) pertinent to General Aviation, Sport Pilots and Flight Instructors, combined with the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), and a free email subscription service for you to receive updated information as it is released by the FAA. Convenient handbook-sized 6" x 9" format.
$15.9917.95Buy now on Amazon
Private Pilot Test Prep 2018: Study & Prepare
Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge: FAA-H-8083-25B (FAA Handbooks series)
$21.6824.95Buy now on Amazon
Understanding Weather - Rod Machado's Interactive eLearning Course
Rod Machado's interactive eLearning course on Understanding Weather is precisely the course you need to help you make sense of the basic weather concepts you either missed or never quite understood in ground school. Presented in Rod's highly popular Laugh & Learn training style, this 5.5 hour course will have you feeling a lot more comfortable about the environment in which you fly. Why? Because you'll see the connections between abstract weather concepts and how these ideas apply to real-world flying. You'll be amazed at how much you'll learn with this unique eLearning format. And you'll be even more amazed at your ability to understand the weather information presented in your next weather briefing. Understanding weather shouldn't be hard, but it is for way too many pilots. Rod makes difficult concepts easy to understand and fun to learn. For the cost of about one hour's worth of advanced dual flight instruction, you'll receive 5.5 hours of highly educational and entertaining weather training. You won't be disappointed.
ASA Private Pilot Virtual Test Prep
ASA Flight Timer 2 - Digital Aviation Flight Timer
$37.21Buy now on Amazon
Garmin D2 Bravo Pilot Watch
Jeppesen Pilot Logbook
Crafted with durability and a highly-functional design, Jeppesen's Pilot Logbook has become an industry standard - made to go the distance. Large flight-time spaces arranged in accordance with FAA regulations and 520 flight entries ensure plenty of note-taking. And "easy-on-the-eyes" green pages resist ink bleed through. Bound in a scuff-resistant cover. Measures 8" x 5 1/4".
Aircraft Fuel Tester
Fits all quick-drain valves and has an adapter for recessed drains. The transparent cylinder is 6" long with octane color-coding molded in the side. Also included is a screwdriver blade with both Phillips and slotted heads.
What's your favorite student pilot gear? Do you have good/bad experiences with any of the gear above? Or did we forget to include anything else that could be helpful? Let us know in the comments below!