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18 Things You Should Always Carry In Your Flight Bag

We surveyed students, instructors, and airline pilots to list some "must-have" items for your flight bag. Here are our top recommendations...

1) Flashlight

Whether it's for preflight, a cockpit backup, or postflight, always carry a good flashlight in your flight bag.

2) External Battery Charger

The last thing you want is to have a phone or EFB die mid-flight. Keep a charged external battery in your flight bag.

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3) Headset

Don't forget to pack your headset, although your bag might not be big enough to fit everything plus the case!

4) Spare Headset Batteries

If you have a noise-canceling headset, bring spare batteries along.

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5) Sunglasses With Case

Keep your sunglasses in a case inside your bag so you don't scratch them up.

6) Sanitary Wipes

Have you ever thought about how many pilots touch every part of the cockpit on a daily basis? Avoid getting sick by wiping down the plane once in a while.

Swayne Martin

7) Band-Aids

Stick a few band-aids into your bag in case you cut yourself.

8) Pens

Every pilot has a pen type they love. Keep a few in your bag for scribbling notes or doing quick math.

Swayne Martin

9) Small Notepad

What's the point of having pens without paper? Keep a small notepad in your bag. Even better, if you use ForeFlight, use the scratchpad (more on that in #10!)

10) Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)

Don't forget to leave room for your EFB. Using applications like ForeFlight will make your planning and flying safer, not to mention easier.

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11) Napkins

Stick a few napkins into your bag for spills or unfortunate nose-mishaps!

12) Pack Of Gum

Every pilot should carry a pack of gum in their bag. No one wants to smell taco-breath for hours in a small metal tube.

13) Winter Gear - Hat And Gloves

If it's winter, make sure to have a pair of gloves and a hat ready to go.

14) Delay Gear - Headphones And Eye Shades

It could be bad weather or a broken airplane. Regardless, delays and long waits are a natural part of living a pilot's life. Keep some eyeshades and headphones in your bag to rest in the FBO or crew lounge.

Swayne Martin

15) Emergency Snacks

Never leave without some sort of emergency snack, like power bars, granola, or nuts. Packaged foods are the best because you can leave them in your flight bag for a rainy day.

16) Water Bottle

Clip a water bottle to the outside of your flight bag, or find a bag with a water bottle holder.

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17) Phone Charger

Trust me, you don't want your phone to die on the road. Always keep a charger nearby.

18) DC Power Adapter

Many GA airplanes have DC power ports, and you should consider buying a USB adapter so you can charge your EFB or phone in-flight.

Swayne Martin

Keep Everything In The Same Place, Every Flight

The key to never losing your belongings as you travel is to develop a pattern for where everything goes. If each item has a specific spot in your flight bag, you're more likely to notice when something is missing. Plus, it'll make it a lot easier to find something quickly.

How do you organize your flight bag? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at swayne@boldmethod.com, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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