Flight Bag Detox: How to Streamline Your Pilot’s Flight Bag

Lifestyle are cluttered with rubbish!

Our inboxes are loaded with email. Our don overflow with: yard equipment, kid’s toys, cars, bicycles, boxes. Our cupboards are stocked with ingredients so infrequently used that we cringe at the thought of how long they are yet to been inside! letenky

This hoarding has also passed into other parts of our lives, including aviation. Jet pilots love their gizmos and toys. There are multiple sites to discover them and it seems like we can’t get enough. Yet on top of the flight planning tools, routing equipment, and required magazines a flight bag can get jam packed with random “just in case” toys. 

For example, check out their comprehensive list I found in a web forum that a pilot actually carries! This individual says,

“I carry around a lot, maybe too much. In no particular order”:

Spare CR123 battery packs
IFR Clip-on hues
Microfiber cloths (one for sun glasses, one for interior windows/windscreen, one for exterior windows/windscreen)
IFR Timer
Spare pens/mechanical pencil
Spare spare pens/mechanical pencil
Fat sharpie sign
VFR Sectionals/TAC
IFR Approach Plates (Florida)
Emergency rations (CLIF Bars)
Leatherman Multi-purpose Application
Fuel keep
ICOM Radio
Voice-recorder (for CVR setup)
Logbook (As a student, my school requires us to hold them with us. )
Yoke Clip (in case the plane is not equipped with a chart clip)
ACE Components “Little Black Book”
Intercoms sytem recording cable (for CVR setup)

And he won’t stop there!!! He programs to add:

Sigtronics 4-place lightweight intercom
11″ air travel bag module (for overnight)
An additional 6″ trip bag section (so I will carry my wife’s headset)


Yes, I realize that this man (I’m unsure we should packaging him a male since his flight bag sounds more like a purse! ) carries WAY more than the conventional aviator and almost all of us choose to lower down on the no essentials. But, let’s take a moment to think about what we typically carry in our trip bag. Write down a set of everything, from your headset to the sort of gum you munch on. Take a moment now and we’ll come returning to your list in a little bit.

Privately I keep things simple.

I use the 80/20 principle every-single flight. Intended for an in depth article on the 80/20 basic principle, check out Pareto Rule

Simple explanation: Identify the 20% of equipment in your flight bag that you use for a majority of the necessary air travel tasks. (Throw out the rest! )

Yes, in an emergency a few tools tends to make life easier, but I love to play the odds and wish for the best. My personal Scout Master’s neck abnormal vein would be popping away right now if this individual know’s I neglect the motto “BE PREPARED”… Wow well!