The Cessna 172 is the most popular flight training aircraft. Photo courtesy of Nicole Lund.
Many students begin flight training without the proper materials. There are several tools that are necessary to have when beginning flight lessons. The following guide will help students be prepared when starting flight training. Private pilot training is fun but challenging at times. Having the necessary tools will help you stay on top of your training. These items will help you be prepared when starting lessons.
A headset is one of the more important purchases when beginning flight training. Most flight schools charge a headset rental fee. This money is better spent purchasing your own. Headsets come in many varieties. The dual plug is the most popular headset plug for flight training aircraft. Headsets can vary from $100 up to $1,000. If you plan on continuing training beyond the private pilot's license, investing in a high-end headset is the way to go. Although not necessary, noise-canceling headsets are one of the best options in the long run to protect your hearing.
Bose and David Clark are two popular aviation headset companies. Photo courtesy of Nicole Lund.
Logbooks come in paper or digital forms. Many employers like to see a paper copy, however, keeping a digital logbook as a backup is a great option in case the paper one gets lost. Digital logbooks are also better at calculating total flight hours. Make sure to keep your paper logbook neat with omitting-colored pens and sloppy handwriting.
Many pilots end up transitioning to a larger, professional logbook after filling up their first logbook. Photo courtesy of Nicole Lund.
3. A flight bag
Many students start flight training without a bag to hold their logbook, headset, fuel strainer, etc. This is an easy way to lose items. Many websites, such as Sporty's, sell flight bags. However, even an old backpack will do the trick if trying to save money. Make sure to have something to hold your items and any paperwork your flight instructor might hand out.
4. A notebook
Ground school is a necessary portion of flight training. Unplanned ground can easily happen if the weather becomes bad or if maintenance cancels a flight. Keeping a notebook in your flight bag is convenient for taking notes during ground lessons. This will also show your instructor that you are eager to learn.
5. ASA Private Pilot Oral Exam Guide
This book is a must for student pilots approaching their checkride. The book will help students prepare for the oral portion of the checkride. You will want to read through it twice. The first time highlighting important information and the second time focusing on the highlighted items.
Having these tools with you will also leave a good impression on your instructor. It is easier to teach a student that shows up to lessons prepared and with the tools necessary for success.