Gadgets and Gear for Pilots

You have to have gadgets, the more the merrier.  Here are the gadgets that I've introduced to my flying so far.

Lightspeed Zulu Aviation Headset
In my research and test against the Bose A20, the Lightspeed Zulu's were the best choice.  They are invisible to you when flying and make the noise just disappear.  I was better able to focus on flying the plane and enjoying the overall experience.

The Bluetooth integration with the iPhone 4 and sound quality are exceptional.

See the blog entry that discusses this great headset.

GPS Flight Logging - Garmin Edge 305

One of the best gadgets I bought for my bike some years ago, is the Garmin Edge 305 bike computer.  This device wirelessly measures your speed, GPS speed, location, cycle track, cadence, heart rate, distance, incline and descent angles, can take feeds from power meters and much more.

However it is now no longer the cool bike computer to have, so many folks have upgraded to the newer colour Garmin 705 and 805 models.   Admittedly I fit that group too, but only because this baby stopped working after two trips up the Gibb River Rd on my mountain bike.  However it magically started working again, but by that time I'd bought the new 805.

So, this GPS now lives in my headphone case in the back of the plane.  When I get my headphones out, I just hit start and when finished hit stop it when I put them away.  The data it collects I'm finding becomes a great learning tool post flight and it is also great for creating cool pictures for your blog.  See this post on 3D GPS Flight Track Log Visualisation for what you can do with the output.

In Flight Video Recording - GoPro HD Hero

This little camera has to be one of the best HD sports / action cameras around.  It has full 1080i HD video and a super wide angle with infinite focus.  The resulting video is stunning, smooth and engaging, even when it is bumpy.

A little over a year ago I invested in one to use on my jet ski and yet to be finished offroad buggy (Edge Barracuda).  With a "coupon" I landed it in Australia with every mount they had for about $320 AU.   I use it very regularly, such as mountain biking, swimming with the kids, jet skiing, a fast car ride or more recently, videoing my flying lessons.  Using the suction cup mount, the GoPro joins us on most of my lessons.  So far only one small clip has been put on YouTube, but over the longer term, it will be used more and more (most likely solos).

It is already useful to take friends and family flying from the safety of the lounge.  However once I've got my GFPT done, I can video them during a practice wing drop or on that cross wind approach into Rotto.

The one thing that this really is missing is the ability for an external mic input though.  The next gadget in the post is a special adaptor cable which will allow me to record the ATC (Air Traffic Control) communications during flight.  Either directly to my iPhone or to a Digital Voice Recorder.

Pilot Bag to hold your gear

I'm using this Medium Soft Leather Bag from   Its got enough space for your gear and gadgets, plus books etc.

It does have its drawbacks in relation to its quality, but you can read about those in the post called Soft Leather Pilot Bag.