We don’t need to pack the bags as the pilots do but as living daily in the aviation world, we should know what is important for a pilot and what’s not. Some of the things are company provided and some things pilots have to purchase.
Let’s know everything point by point and in detail…
1. PILOT’s BAG
When it comes to choosing a pilot’s bag, mainly pilots don’t buy the cheap one. If they can afford an $800 mobile phone, they can expect a certain reliability as they use it on a daily basis. So be smart and buy the reliable one and invest in a decent bag as you’re going to be using it fairly often over a long time. There are some pilots who have had their bags for over 25 years. But if you decide to buy the cheap one you might as well buy two of them, as you are going to be using the other one for spare parts.
DOES SIZE OF THE BAG MATTERS?
Yes, the pilot’s bag size matters. The pilot’s bag should not be too big and not too small. It depends on the airline the pilot is flying.
Boeing cockpits are less spacious than Airbus cockpits, so pilots have to make sure that it fits next to their seat, because it is difficult for the pilot to move often as they constantly want stuff out of it.
If you’re planning to become a pilot in the General Aviation industry, a carry-on bag will do the job, but if you are planning to become an airline pilot make sure to get a pull trolley because you’ll be walking miles and miles through terminals and around the airport aprons.
Now let’s talk about the items that are there in the pilot’s bag…!
So, as you can see in the picture👇
These are all the gears a pilot needs while flying.
We will get to know about each of them in the order of their usage by the pilots.
2. PILOTS EMPLOYER ID
Pilots never set off to work without their employer id
3. AIRPORT ID
4. A VALID PASSPORT
5. PILOT'S LICENSE
6. MEDICAL CERTIFICATES
medical certificates and all other necessary documents required by the company or by law.
Pilots always keep them in a safe folder or a booklet and it is highly recommended for the pilots to keep at least one copy of all the documents at home.
7. A CLIPBOARD
During briefing, pilots have to print out their crew briefing sheet, the flight plan, the general deck relation if the pilot is staying over in a non-Schengen country, and pilots have to keep all these documents together, so they always have a clipboard.
Pilots always keep important procedures and the abbreviations on their clipboard for a quick search and to practice the memory items for example. And the clipboard is not in Metallic, because it blocks the X-rays and they have to open their bag every time they go through security checks.
8. A HIGH VISIBILITY VEST
When Pilots have to step out of the aircraft onto the airport apron, they have to wear a high visibility vest. There are so many vehicles moving around an airplane, and you won’t believe how many accidents happen on a daily basis. They don’t look good, but pilots will have to pay a fine for not wearing the vest and it would look worse.
9. EARPLUGS/PROPER EAR PROTECTION
Pilot needs either earplugs or a proper ear protection for the outside check. Pilots can’t use their hands to cover their ears because they need their hands for the walk around, signing papers, settling the refueling panels etc. Pilots are subjected to so much knowledge during a pilot’s life, so they have to be wise and protect their ears.
10. A FLASHLIGHT
Pilots carry a decent flashlight, most preferably pilots use an LED flashlight as they are lightweight and with good batteries. They last very long.
Why don’t pilots use the light of their mobile phone? Because the top of the vertical stabilizer on an Airbus A320 is nearly 12 meters high, so it is difficult to see that much height using a mobile light.
11. DISINFECTANTS WIPES
Pilots thoroughly swipe the part of the cockpit they use the most as we never know what kind of bacteria could be hiding in their instruments.
12. CUSTOM MADE EAR PLUGS
Pilots don’t necessarily need custom-made ear plugs. If the aircraft is damn loud then it can be used.
13. A HEADSET
Pilots carry a decent headset, not of the low quality because it is also a lifetime investment, so it needs to be high quality. They have a noise cancelling headset. It is lightweight, reliable and much more.
14. SPARE BATTERIES
Pilots have to have spare batteries for either their headset or their flashlights. Difference between a well-prepared pilot and a pilot is the amount of spare batteries he carries.
15. EFB (Electronic Flight Bag)
Depending on the operators, pilots may get an EFB, an electronic flight bag. Many companies provide with the Apple iPad, in the iPad pilots get all the necessary charts of any airport in the world, such as all required performance calculations software, documents and mannukas needed either for the briefing and the flight.
16. CHARGER AND CABLE
As pilots use EFB throughout their flying, they also bring a charger and the cable.
17. A PEN
As pilots get startup clearance, they need a good quality pen because it will be worse for the pilot when he gets the startup clearance and his cheap pen cut out on him. Then it will not be good for the pilot to blame his pen in his read back to the ATC control that he shall repeat his message. Also, during cruise pilots do regular fuel checks and due to the constant pressure change many cheap pens just quit their job.
18. A PAIR OF SUNGLASSES
When pilot is up in the air, he needs a pair of sunglasses. This is surely the most important thing. Sure, cockpit have blinds which reflects most of the sunlight, but if the pilot is flying southbound for a few hours directly towards the sun and with the clouds reflecting the sunlight then the pilot will be happy to have a good pair of sunglasses, it is useful to protect their eyes. Pilots don’t wear polarized sunglasses.
19. A NOTEBOOK
Pilots always carry a little notebook with themself to make a few notes, for example if the pilot is flying into airport with special taxi routes, noise abatement regulations or special entry procedures in two different countries and therefore pilot make a little notes in their notebook and prior every approach briefing they look up on their notes to see what is so special about the country or the airport. Of course, pilots get airport charts, and they can get all the data from the chart, but it is good to be ahead of the game.
Last but not the least, pilots always carry their Logbook to keep track of their flight and flight hours. Pilots now don’t necessarily have to bring it as they can now log all their flight hours digitally but pilots have to have some kind of record of their flight hours with you in case of the SAFA ( Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft) inspection.
Now, there are some items which pilots keep as their personal emergency kit. It is not necessary to carry on board, it depends on personal preferences.
21. NOSE SPRAY
Nose spray can quickly relieve the pain in case they have a clogged nose prior to an upcoming cold.
22. Some pilots carry extra pairs of underwear, a t-shirt, toothpaste, and toothbrush because they never know where they might land at the end of the day.
23. Some pilots also bring some cash as a safety and some bring their own food if they have flights without layover.
So, these are the things which a pilot carries in his/her bag while flying to make their flying smooth and happening.