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Student Pilot equipment



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 25th 04, 09:20 PM
John Stevens
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Default Student Pilot equipment

I'm a new student pilot (no aviation career plans) and am wondering:
What things should I buy for myself? Headset, logbook, calculator etc.

What makes sense to buy now and what should I wait on until I've flown
a while? What would make my training easier and more productive? Pilot
courses, simulator etc.

Any advice would be apreciated.

John
  #2  
Old May 25th 04, 09:45 PM
David Megginson
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John Stevens wrote:

I'm a new student pilot (no aviation career plans) and am wondering:
What things should I buy for myself? Headset, logbook, calculator etc.


Don't go too crazy, because you'll need your money for lessons right now.
Spending like a drunken sailor should wait until after you have your PPL.

You might appreciate having a handheld GPS in your flight bag later on when
you do your solo cross-countries, just in case -- you might be able to
borrow one from your school or another pilot, but make sure you know well
how to use it in advance, because you won't want to have to figure it out
later if you're flying around lost. Once you have your license, you'll
definitely want a good aviation handheld GPS like the Garmin 196 or 296 or
the Lowrance units, since the avionics in rental planes are often marginal,
but again, don't spend that money yet unless you have a lot to spare.

Having your own headset is a very good idea, but stick with an inexpensive
(but comfortable) PNR headset for now--if you buy an ANR headset later,
you'll have the PNR as a passenger headset, so it's not a waste. I still
use my PNR headset with foam earplugs underneath, and it does a great job.

A clipboard that straps to your leg is nice, since you won't have to worry
about dropping it. I also keep the pencil tied to it with a string, so that
I can just pull it up again if I drop it. You probably don't have to worry
about one of those fancy, multi-fold boards -- you just want something with
a leg strap and a spring clip at the top to hold paper.

For flight planning and calculations (when you get tired of the E6B), the
CoPilot program for the Palm Pilot is both excellent and free, and Paul
Tomblin has a free, customizable online database. If you already have a
Palm, or know someone how has an old Palm III or Palm V sitting in a drawer,
this is the way to go.


All the best,


David
  #3  
Old May 25th 04, 09:52 PM
Earthquake McGoon
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You'll need a logbook. And a headset - unless you really enjoy using
something that's been on someone else's head and 1/8" from their mouth. And
an E6B (manual or electronic or both). And a plotter. A kneeboard is handy,
too. Sectonal charts, airport/facility directory ... it never seems to end.

A lot of the stuff (not expensive things like headsets) typically comes with
the Cessna, Jep or other PPL course kits. Your school/instructor may prefer
one kit over the others. The E6B that's included with these is typically the
cheapo paper kind - not good for the long run.

Talk to an instructor first - you probably won't need all of this right
away.

Consider subscribing to rec.aviation.student as well if you haven't
already - lots of help there.

-0-


"John Stevens" wrote in message
om...
I'm a new student pilot (no aviation career plans) and am wondering:
What things should I buy for myself? Headset, logbook, calculator etc.

What makes sense to buy now and what should I wait on until I've flown
a while? What would make my training easier and more productive? Pilot
courses, simulator etc.

Any advice would be apreciated.

John



  #4  
Old May 25th 04, 09:59 PM
Bill Denton
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Default

Isn't there something in the FAR's that requires a student to obtain a
Sporty's catalog and order everything in it before taking their first
lesson?



"John Stevens" wrote in message
om...
I'm a new student pilot (no aviation career plans) and am wondering:
What things should I buy for myself? Headset, logbook, calculator etc.

What makes sense to buy now and what should I wait on until I've flown
a while? What would make my training easier and more productive? Pilot
courses, simulator etc.

Any advice would be apreciated.

John



  #5  
Old May 25th 04, 10:00 PM
Dan Truesdell
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Default



Earthquake McGoon wrote:

[ snip ]
The E6B that's included with these is typically the
cheapo paper kind - not good for the long run.

[ snip ]

I still have (and use) the paper one I got with my Jep study course in
'79. The guy who administered my IFR written made fun of it. Hey, it
still works. A knot is still a knot :-)



--
Remove "2PLANES" to reply.

  #6  
Old May 25th 04, 10:22 PM
Peter Duniho
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"John Stevens" wrote in message
om...
I'm a new student pilot (no aviation career plans) and am wondering:
What things should I buy for myself? Headset, logbook, calculator etc.


Most pilot shops and many flight schools will have some sort of "starter
kit", with a variety of things useful to a new pilot. The kit will usually
include:

* copy of the FARs and AIM (possibly in the same book)
* copy of the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards (PTS)
* plotter (basically a ruler calibrated in chart miles, with a
protractor in the middle)
* "E6B" circular slide rule (the ones found in starter kits will be
cardboard, but you can buy nicer metal ones too)
* possibly a logbook
* possibly some sort of textbook

These are all things that would be useful to a new pilot. If I were buying
the stuff separately, I'd get the ASA FAR/AIM publication, the PTS, a
plotter with a rotating protractor, an E6B, a logbook (of course), and
William Kerschner's Student Pilot Flight Manual.

There are other authors with good student manuals out there, I just haven't
used them so I can't recommend them. The FAA also publishes a couple of
very useful books (the "Airplane Flying Handbook", FAA-H-8083-3 and the
"Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge", AC 61-23), which you can
usually find at pilot shops. There are, of course, many other books that
will be useful as well. These are just the basics to get you started.

I'd say for now, get any decent logbook you can find, one without too many
pages. Until you've been flying a bit and logging your own time, you won't
really know what you want in a logbook. I like a logbook that has columns
for the types of flying I do, plus pages in the back for various
endorsements.

If you don't see yourself using a circular slide rule, a calculator will
fill in just fine for most things. IMHO, you don't even need to get one of
the fancy "electronic E6B" calculators, but lots of people do like them.
They certainly make the wind correction calculations easier. I happen to
like my manual E6B just fine, and it never needs batteries.

You'll also want a headset. Depending on your budget, you could go with a
Flightcom under-$100 model, a few hundred dollars will get you an expensive
passive headset or an inexpensive active noise cancelling headset, and for
$1000 you can get the top-of-the-line Bose. Everyone has their own opinion
as to which is best, so the best thing to do is try them on yourself. Make
sure the shop where you try them has an intercom so you can actually hear
what the headset sounds like, and if you can wear them somewhere noisy, even
better for testing how well they suppress the noise.

Personally, I got an under-$100 Flightcom model when I first started out,
and I think that was an appropriate way to go. The headset was pretty good,
given the price. After that, I got a couple of Peltor passive headsets,
which I really like. When I moved up to the ANR realm, I wound up with
Peltor's noise-cancelling model, which I don't like quite as much as their
passive headset, except that it does of course cancel noise, just not
cleanly. Maybe their more recent release is better.

I like the price/value for the Lightspeed noise-cancelling headsets, but
they are not reversible -- the left earcup has to go on your left side and
vice a versa -- which means you can't choose which side to wear the mic and
cord (depending on which side of the plane you're sitting on, where the plug
goes, and how your seatbelt fits, you may find you want that option...I know
I do). I've been eying the Sennheiser ANR model, because of their close
ties to Peltor and because it looks like a pretty good headset. Of course,
if money were no object, I'd get the Bose, in spite of what some people say
about it.

When you get further in your training, night flying will come up and you'll
want a couple of flashlights. A larger one for preflighting the airplane in
the dark, and a smaller one to use in the cockpit. I prefer white light for
preflighting, but in the cockpit, green or red allow you see almost
everything you need to, and without messing up your night vision as easily.

Finally, a bag to carry it all around in. You may not even need one of the
specially made pilot bags, but you'll at least want *something* to keep it
all together.

Hope that helps. You really ought to check out the rec.aviation.student
newsgroup if you haven't done so already. It's much more appropriate for
questions specifics to people just starting out learning to fly.

Pete


  #7  
Old May 25th 04, 11:14 PM
Peter Gottlieb
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Default

t's not free, it's $20.


"David Megginson" wrote in message
.cable.rogers.com...

For flight planning and calculations (when you get tired of the E6B), the
CoPilot program for the Palm Pilot is both excellent and free, and Paul
Tomblin has a free, customizable online database. If you already have a
Palm, or know someone how has an old Palm III or Palm V sitting in a

drawer,
this is the way to go.



  #8  
Old May 25th 04, 11:23 PM
Teacherjh
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Default


I'm a new student pilot (no aviation career plans) and am wondering:
What things should I buy for myself? Headset, logbook, calculator etc.


Don't buy much. Yet. And don't buy a GPS. Learn to fly first. Then learn to
fly better.

Headset: Get an inexpensive one for now. While you're taking lessons, see if
you can borrow different kinds every now and then - you'll learn what you like
and what you don't. Reward yourself when you get your license (and can then
carry passengers) with a nice headset, and that way your passenger will have
your old one. I started with an AvComm for about $100. It was fine, and now I
have a DC noise cancelling one for myself, and the AvComm for my passenger. (I
also have a plain old hearing protector with a cheapie headphone for a third
passenger, who can use the hand held mike to talk)

Logbook: I prefer paper. You don't need equipment to read it, and it never
crashes. Copy or scan the pages every now and then, and keep the copies in a
safe place. Somebody steals your stuff, you will still have credit for your
hours. (happened to me). Look at the columns they supply. I like to see (and
wish mine had):
# inst appr
takeoffs and landings, day/night (you need to log TAKEOFFS AND landings at
night for night currency)
category and class:
SEL
High performance
Complex
Tailwheel (not used yet)
MEL (I don't use that, I don't expect you will)
conditions of flight:
DAY VMC
DAY IMC
NIGHT VMC
NIGHT IMC
Hood (simulated instrument)
type of time:
flight simulator (if you use them - I don't)
Cross country (I use it only for 50nm)
As flight instructor (I don't use this)
second in command (safety pilot time with another pilot practicing instrument
stuff)
Pilot in command
Total duration of flight

I also like to see extra columns for stuff I'll think of later. Mine lacks
some of the above, so I used the blanks to fill in.

Look at the amount of space for "remarks and endorsements" for each flight. Be
sure it's generous. You'll use it.

If the columns are shaded, or the pages are colored, it won't copy or scan as
well.

Calculator: Get one of those old fashoned E6Bs with the wind thing on the
back. Learn how to use it. Don't be afraid of it. It doesn't need batteries,
and lets you do stuff at a glance with no buttons to push (or push wrong).

GPS: Don't. It will make you dependent on gizmos. You need this like a
broken leg. Learn pilotage. Learn VORs (yes, they will be around). Learn
dead reckoning. Learn how to navigate with nothing but a chart and a compass,
1000 feet above the ground. It will save your butt one day.

Portable NavComm: Don't bother. Not yet. If the trainers are that scary,
don't fly them.

Plotter: I like the kind that has the wheel you can rotate to match the
lat-lon lines on the chart. Makes plotting really much easier. However, the
one piece kind is also fine. Your call. But you'll need one.

Fuel sampler: Depends on where you are learning to fly. Some places leave
them in the plane. But you show up at the airport and it's not there, then
what? The kind with the screwdriver is handy sometimes. I have the kind with a
separate lip to catch spills - it's nice. However, I like to drain lots of
fuel (it sometiems takes a lot for water to show up) so a GATT jar is another
nice option (though it takes up more room in the flight bag) I just drain four
or five samples, takes a bit longer.

Clipboard: I just use an ordinary clipboard, with a thinnish clip (so it fits
in my flight bag). I use it to hold my flight log, and to lay my charts on top
of. It also has my checklist. I'd like to modify it (put a clear plastic
thing on the back) so that the checklist is always visible if I flip the thing
over - it has airspeeds, emergency procedures, etc. It might be nice if it
strapped to my leg so it didn't slip off, but then I wouldn't be able to pick
it up easily. Velcro? Fly around first, see what you think and how you use
it.

Flight bag: Start out with a cheapie. See how you use it. I like the kind
that has two separate compartments for headsets, and is divided into several
compartments for the kinds of things I carry.

Lighted maginfier: Well, I'm getting old and it's real handy. Your milage may
vary.

Flashlights: Several. Ordinary. Two AA battery. Also I carry a cylume stick
just in case.

Calculator: (weight and balance). A tiny cheapie I got free. Or just pencil
and paper.

FAR/AIM, but you won't be carrying that with you. Ditto other books and such.

Jose


--
(for Email, make the obvious changes in my address)
  #9  
Old May 25th 04, 11:23 PM
David Megginson
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Peter Gottlieb wrote (about CoPilot):

t's not free, it's $20.


It's free -- after much hesitation, Laurie Davis finally agreed to allow an
optional contribution of $20, but it's not required (even morally) and you
get the same program either way.


All the best,


David
  #10  
Old May 25th 04, 11:58 PM
Jay Honeck
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Headset: Get an inexpensive one for now.

My first headset cost $7. (And, no, it wasn't that long ago -- t'was
1994...)

Ebay can be your friend for used headsets. Try 'em!
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"


 




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