December 2017

It’s that time of year again, when pilots all over the country start to think about how they can subtly leave their holiday wish list laying “carelessly” exposed where other members of the family can find it and make some of those wishes come true. As long as that list is going to include pilot stuff for you or gadgets for your airplane anyway, why not make it a win/win for everyone in the family? The people you love and fly with will feel good about giving you a gift that makes flying safer for everyone. They just need a gentle nudge and some suggestions

There are gifts that are both inexpensive and easy for the kids to find at a nearby hardware, electronics or office supply store, things they might not think of as pilot gifts, but will make great additions to your flight bag. How about an LED headlamp for hands-free operation in the cockpit? Many have both white and red lights and cost just a few bucks. An external battery and charger is a must if you use a navigation app in the air. You don’t want your tablet to die just when you need it most. Another way to cut down on the chances of a black screen is a cigar lighter USB port adaptor. (Just make sure they know whether your aircraft is 12 volt or 24).

For that matter, do you have a way to mount your tablet on your yoke or panel? Something like that may require a little more specific instruction from you regarding preference and cockpit configuration, but a variety of mounts are pretty easy to find in electronics stores, auto stores and online.

You could suggest your family considers a DVD or book on technique or a subscription to an online streaming service that offers pilots scenarios to test knowledge and skill. Or, for that matter, suggest a subscription to a flight-planning app. Why not a couple hours with your favorite instructor or, if at all possible, a simulator at your local airport? For many pilots, it’s fun to work up a sweat with those death-defying emergency scenarios knowing they’re safely on the ground. Your wish list could include an hour with a glider or hot air balloon instructor. Or possibly an aerobatic instructor who would focus on unusual attitudes. That would definitely be fun and it could possibly be a life saver. 

Near the top of many lists this year is an ADS-B-In receiver to display weather and traffic on a tablet. A lot of money, to be sure. But you could remind the chief gift-giver that it’s worth every penny for the family to fly with less risk of bumping into anything…whether it’s a thunderstorm or another airplane. Or if you really want to shoot for the moon, why not drop a hint for one of the new breed of economical electronic flight instruments that used to be available only to experimental and are now SC’s for certified aircraft? They are the height of cool and offer improved safety and reliability at the same time, while costing a fraction of what similar electronic instruments did just a few months ago.

One thing is for sure…there’s no shortage of ways to spend money on flying. And there’s no better way to spend it than to make the experience safer and more fun for everyone. 

Happy holidays from your friends at Avemco!

Email us at [email protected] and let us know what’s on your wish list!

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Marci is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing and has been with Avemco since 1986 serving general aviation aircraft owners and pilots. Marci holds a property/casualty insurance and life health license in all 50 states and has extensive knowledge of aviation insurance and the aircraft that Avemco covers. Additionally, she is active in Aveco’s loss prevention efforts developing educational programs and training for her staff. She has been a member of Women in Aviation International since 2001 and a member of the local DC chapter. In March 2015 Marci was elected to the Women in Aviation International Board of Directors and was selected as Vice Chair of WAI in 2017.

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