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Is there certain gear that people consider "must-haves" for a private pilot? Specifically, a new pilot or student pilot.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by GdD, Carlo Felicione, fooot, Pondlife, Gerry Nov 19 '18 at 23:35

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this as it is opinion based. $\endgroup$ – GdD Nov 19 '18 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD I would say that it could become opinion based but also could go the other way and have some general answers. It wouldn't be hard to say something like "Access to an airplane" as a must-have for example. $\endgroup$ – dalearn Nov 19 '18 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ Taking that logic it becomes too broad @dalearn. Access to an airplane, money, limbs, half a brain are all essentials. $\endgroup$ – GdD Nov 19 '18 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD Yes, it can become too broad but it doesn't have too and easily could turn out to end up with several common-sense answers that are not too broad in scope. $\endgroup$ – dalearn Nov 19 '18 at 20:56
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Get a good headset and a decent mobile device that can run a charting app. I use my Moto4 with Avare.

Download The Airplane Flying Handbook -and- The Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge from the FAA site (both free). Also download the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) for private pilot airplane.

The only books that I usually recommend people actually purchase are the aircraft manual and a written test study guide from ASA, Jeppesen, Gleim, or King.

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Flight bag. Sectional for the area to be flown in. Headsets usually, to protect hearing, if not to hear ATC better. POH if not in the plane already. Kneepad for taking notes, something to write with. Water. That's a bare minimum list, for a casual flight in a known area.

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  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't say most of those were must-haves. I've never owned a flight bag, for instance. (And got my PPL in the '70s.) Headphones if you're renting, and the rentals don't come with them; otherwise they're part of the airplane. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Nov 20 '18 at 5:42
  • $\begingroup$ For casual flying in a known area, assuming uncontrolled (class G) airspace, so far I haven't needed to write anything down in-flight. I agree that a way to make notes in-flight can be beneficial if you're flying under, or potentially under, ATC control. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Nov 20 '18 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ Sunglasses might also be useful. $\endgroup$ – Simon Richter Nov 21 '18 at 18:16

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