What’s in your flight bag?
|My flight bag and it’s contents|
A pilot’s flight bag is a very personal thing. Some things we have to carry by law but there is plenty of scope to pick out those things you just can’t do without on a daily basis whilst flying. Here’s my list of things I just can’t do without!
1) The bag itself – Mine’s a bicycle courier style bag with a single large pouch to house the big items and two smaller zipped pouches, one inside and one outside. It’s about the maximum size I could get and still be able to store it under the pilot’s seat in the Porter.
2) iPad – As a pilot there’s plenty of waiting about (for weather, refuelling, loading etc) so this handy gadget keeps me busy in those idle moments. It also has GPS which could be handy should the aircraft’s decide to throw a wobbly.
3) Bose headset – Noise cancelling a must in the noisy cockpit of the Porter.
4) Passport – You never know when you might end up in another country.
5) Commercial pilot’s licence – Indonesian of course along with my radio and medical papers.
6) SAS survival guide – Handy pocket book should the worst happen.
7) Pocket survival kit – Standard issue military spec. kit to which I’ve added a mini-Maglite torch, butterfly stitches and antiseptic wipes. The aircraft has a much larger and more extensive kit stored behind the front passenger seat.
8) Raybans sunglasses – Used daily to protect my eyes from the hot, tropical sun.
9) SPOT GPS tracker – Used to send out distress signals of my exact location. Although all our aircraft all have a built in ELT and are tracked by satellite, this is my own hand-held device which utilises a different satellite network. More details here.
10) Notebook – My little reminder of various things like airstrips, minimum en route altitudes between places, frequencies etc.
11) Spare glasses – Being short sighted I usually wear contact lenses, so I am required to carry a second pair of glasses should an issue arise.
12) GoPro spare battery – Although single battery is good enough for a day, I do occasionally forget to charge it up so a backup is always handy to have.
13) GoPro remote control – So I can start and stop recording at will (saves hours of boring cruise footage to edit).
As well as all the above, I always carry a Leatherman on my belt along with my trusty Lumix GF-1 camera and a pen to fill in the aircraft’s paperwork after each flight.