Real Answers from Real Pilots

What's in the bag?

I have been reading through and I wanted to first thank the mentors for their time, the advice and answers are helping a lot with filling the time before I can get started. I’ve noticed that most airline pilots carry two bags with them when they are out on legs, as I understand it one is the flight bag with the gear they need for the job while the other is a personal carry-on with supplies for the trip. I was wondering in the mentors might share what they pack for their legs in both bags. Bonus points if you can cover what is provided by the airline, what you supply yourself, and what the airline provided but at such a poor quality your upgraded it yourself. Mainly this is to satisfy curiosity but I noticed it hadn’t been covered.

Thank You,

Carl

Carl,

Everyone obviously is different. If you’re really paying attention you’ll notice fewer and fewer “flight bags/cases” as most airlines have gone to tablets for all the manuals and Jepp charts which was what filled the bulk of them. License, medical, FCC Radio license, headsets, sunglasses, pens, highlighters, gum, tissues, flashlight (w/extra batteries), hearing protection, clipboard (w/hair headband to secure it to the Airbus “desk”), a few granola bars and some jerky can all be found in my flight case. As for my overnight bag it’s sneakers, underwear, uniform shirts, seasonal casual attire, phone charger, laptop, earbuds, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, razor, power convertor, Tylenol, Tums and Emergen-C. Think that’s about it? The flight case and uniforms are provided by the company, the rest is on you.

Adam

Adan,

Thank you for the very fast reply. I was aware of tablets taking the place of dozens of pounds of manuals but was more curious about the other gear you kept at the ready. I understand that for training you need to supply a headset, do most airline pilots keep that one till it wears out, use a company issued one so everyone is uniform, or supply their own higher grade headset? I’d imagine you use it more when your’e flying for the airlines than as a student / instructor so quality would be more important at that point.

Thanks,

Carl

Carl,

ALL airline cockpits come equipped with headsets. Usually Dave Clark’s as they make a good product and are very durable. Many pilots make the decision to get their own either for comfort or just hygiene (there are some gundgy looking pilots out there). I’ve had my Bose for decades and used them daily all during my training, instructing and time at the Regional. A good headset is just as important as a student as it is for a pro (maybe more so). As a student you’re trying to balance ALOT of skills and struggling to hear can be very detrimental. Thing is most of your larger jet aircraft are actually pretty quiet and will simply have a Telex single ear which we generally only use on climb and descent so you see less pilots with their own.

Adam

Carl,

I know your original question had to do with what’s in a pilot’s bags, but
since we’re on the subject of headsets I wanted to share something with you
that I was unaware of until I started ground school at Horizon.

I agree with Adam, invest in a quality headset. Just make sure it is TSO
approved! Some pilots in my class had $1000+ Lightspeed headsets that were
not TSO approved and had to buy a different brand before they started
flying the line.

1 Like

BOSE BOSE BOSE! :slight_smile:

Adam

Carl,

When I was an instructor I used a cheaper brand of headset, it served me well and I had no complaints. At the airlines I have always used the company issued ones and had no problem with them. At United we use the little ear plugs that only go in one side, we do not use the “hot-mic” feature to talk to each other.

I have never been a fan of the Bose as they are very expensive, can hide the noises that a failing engine can make, and generate a strange side tone that drives me nuts, but that is just me, a lot of guys love them.

Chris

Thanks for the input. I was drooling over the Bose headset but not sure I wanted to splash out 8x what another one would cost.

Carl