Monday, May 21, 2012

Custom Flight Bags by Brightline

BrightLine is now introducing the FLEX Flight Bag System.  This is the first custom flight bag system ever produced in the aviation industry.  This manufacturer has listened to customer feedback and suggestions from pilots for years and, as a result, has developed this new concept to meet every pilot’s needs.

What this new system means is that customers can now customize their own flight bag to meet their specific needs and hold their gear.  No need to panic! Five new Brightline preconfiguredflight bags of various sizes are also available and the original and best-selling Brightline (now the B16 Contain) is still on the market and available for sale but it has been redesigned for the FLEX system.

The FLEX systems starts with the ever popular standard Front Bag and allows pilots to custom make their own bag and by either adding outside pockets,  inserting one of three different size core center sections and finally, adding outside end caps to finish it off.  Not only can pilots make this bag to meet their needs but the option is there to reconfigure it when needs change.  You can even switch around sections based on any situation. 

The FLEX system components are:

Front Bag – The starting point of most configurations.  Originally designed to hold 2 headsets and has a divider shelf.  Comes with Main Handle, Shoulder Strap and interior divider shelf.

Rear Bag – Designed to hold paperwork but can also hold a 13” laptop, change of clothes, or anything else of the like you need to fit.  Has a nylon strap on top that can act like a handle

Center Section 2 – Narrow so designed specifically for laptop use.  Can carry 13” laptops, iPads and documents.  

Center Section 5 - Designed specifically for IFR pilots.  It has top and rear access along with a divider shelf.  The B10 Classic is good for VFR to light IFR flying but if you add this section, you can now carry IFR Binders, clipboards and your laptop or take it off if flying VFR

Center Section 11 – Designed to carry a lot like extra binders, laptop.  Good for overnight trips. Recommended for law enforcement or medical fields.   Comes with handle and shoulder strap.   

Front & Rear End Cap – Zips onto exposed front& rear center sections of bag.  Front cap has 3 sections to hold smaller items. Rear end cap finishes exposed part of bag and can slip in items into zippered area.

Side Pocket Alpha – Holds Hand Held Radio or water bottle

Side Pocket Bravo – Two half height compartments.

Side Pocket Charlie – Pocket compartment and three pen slots

Side Pocket Delta – Double wide side pocket

Given the choices, all expertly designed to meet a pilot’s need, the new Brightline FLEX design truly provides a custom gear management system.   Whether you are doing a cross country or going on a camping trip, this bag’s functionality and gear management knows no bounds and will keep your gear organized.  It works for every pilot now and can continue to meet their needs and efficiently store their gear in the future. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Why Every Pilot Must Have a Kneeboard

Pilot kneeboards are a vital piece of equipment on every flight and a very worthwhile investment for many reasons. It primarily lets pilots keep their paperwork in one place and stay organized in the cockpit during flight. It is not only hard but also unwise to flip through your flight bag to grab what is needed when flying! From a safety standpoint alone, this is a worthwhile are very reasonably priced investment. A kneeboard is a handy tool that holds charts, pens, flashlights, flight computers, maps and more in place and on your knee. They are designed to strap onto the leg to provide a hard surface to record relevant information and communications during flight.

There are a few distinct styles on the market so choosing one is basically a matter of personal preference and need.

Simple kneeboards are available for both VFR and IFR pilots and are made of brushed aluminum with a clip on top. They have rules and regulations silk screened on the boards themselves. With a Velcro strap, these boards comfortably rest on the knee with a wide elastic band. They are flat and the metal clip at the top holds charts, maps or paper in place.

If you’re looking to hold more gear, the trifold kneeboard is a good choice. They come in standard or long length and allow for more organization since the sides fold out and provide pockets on either side of the center clipboard. Like a mini briefcase, the three panel jacket allows for plenty of room for charts and more.

There are a couple of Military kneeboards on the market designed by Hendricks and Flyboys. Both are extremely versatile and well designed. Hendricks trifolds have padded backing so it straps comfortably to your knee. For fighter pilots, the 9G Plus features a negative G strap. Flyboys kneeboards work well for general aviation and military pilots alike and feature 7 eyelets that secure checklists or flight guides. These are sized to work with every military bases spacing. This kneeboard can be personalized as it can be embroidered with your name in any color and style. This is a great feature and makes for a great pilot gift.

More recently, the iPad kneeboard cases have become more popular. They are designed for use in and out of the cockpit. Made of durable Ballistic Nylon, the hard cover folds over to protect the screen. The leg strap is adjustable and can even be used to strap to a car headrest or fitness machine for video viewing.

Looking for something small and simple? Pilot chart leg straps don’t have a clipboard but instead are basically a Velcro strap. It is a simple tool that keeps your NOS book or chart firmly strapped to your leg with a clear plastic strap over the top of your materials so you can still clearly read them.

It’s clear to see why a kneeboard is an essential item that keeps pilots safe, organized and focused in the cockpit.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Benefits of Pilot Training Kits

Whether you’re just starting flying lessons, are preparing for the FAA exam or are renewing an expired license, Pilot Training Kits provide value to aviation students for a number of reasons.  We’ll explore that further but, in a nutshell, each kit is professionally and specifically designed for a particular license or endorsement and all the books and supplies needed for core aeronautical knowledge are included. 
Buying the required pilot supplies and materials individually can be costly, especially if you are just starting out.   Couple this with the cost of flying lessons and it’s best to take an economical approach to your newfound hobby or career goal whenever possible.  Purchasing the kit recommended by your flight instructor or flying school can save you dollars as well as ensure that you are totally prepared with all the correct materials for each lesson. 

There are many manufacturers of pilot training kits and the best known and most established include ASA, Jeppesen and Gleim.  Be sure to follow the recommendation of your flight school so that you are in sync with your class – there is a kit available for every rating, including Helicopter Pilot Training.   Personalized training kits for flight schools are available to meet specific training needs or if some materials seem to work better in your experience.  This provides the option to mix manufacturer’s materials or particular supplies if some are preferred over others.  Please contact us directly and we will be happy to work with you to meet your specific needs. 

The contents of each kit vary with the license or endorsement but typically include a number of ground school books in order to prepare for the FAA Knowledge exam, oral and practical exams as well as the flight test or check ride.  Typical materials include FAA materials such as a FAR/AIM, textbook, syllabus, test prep book, oral exam guide, practical test standard requirements, and various pilot supplies appropriate to the training level and requirements.  For example, Private Pilot Training kit supplies typically include a logbook, plotter and flight computer.  Most kits even include a flight bag which is a great way to keep organized.

Recently, the trend has been moving toward kits which replace traditional ground school books with digital download in an eBook format.   This is a great solution for both instructors and students looking for an updated training solution.  These have arrived on the market recently are definitely becoming more popular.   Included in the box is a Redeem Code in order to access and download for use.  These can typically be downloaded on your PC, Mac, tablet, iPad or mobile device.  Prior to purchase, it is important to ensure that the download is compatible with your operating system and the minimum technical requirements are clearly provided on each product description.

It is clear that the easiest and most economical approach to gaining your license or that next endorsement is through pilot training kits.   They contain all the FAA books, texbooks and test prep materials you’ll need to prepare for success.