Essential Accessories for General Aviation Pilots - Image

Essential Accessories for General Aviation Pilots

People Love Their Tools and Gadgets, and Pilots are No Exception. Even More So, Some of the Accessories are Essential for General Aviation Pilots.

No, it’s not just pilot’s glasses. Any serious pilot we know has a set of accessories they use for every flight. All of them have collected their accessories individually along the way, but the essential tools and gadgets are almost the same for every general aviation pilot. That’s why we have come up with an Aviation Bundle for Pilots that ticks all the checkboxes and can be easily ordered in our online shop.

But What Are the Essential Pilot Accessories?

These are tools and gadgets that facilitate the pilot’s work and tasks, allowing them to focus on the important things at hand. Remember: Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate. Some pilots spend ages finding out what accessories they need. It is not too difficult, though, as almost all pilots end up acquiring the following items:

  • Pilot Logbook
  • Flight Book Organiser
  • Pilot’s Kneeboard
  • Apple iPad
  • RAM Mount
  • ForeFlight
  • Aviation Headset

We will briefly talk about their individual purpose/function and our recommended model(s).

Pilot Logbook

The pilot logbook is arguably the most important item for a pilot because it is where you record all your flights, including date, time, departure and destination, aircraft type, flight time, number of landings, operational conditions, pilot functions, endorsements, check flights, and remarks. It’s basically an accumulation of your flight experience and is legally required by aviation authorities. Pilots also log simulator time, as it counts towards training.

We highly recommend acquiring a high-quality pilot logbook that is in compliance with the aviation authorities. We recommend the Professional (European) Pilot Logbook from Jeppesen. These have good quality and comply with FAA and EASA requirements. Make sure to acquire the correct version for your area.

Note: We are aware of digital logbook solutions, but we recommend having a conventional pilot logbook too.

Flight Book Organiser

A flight book organiser is essentially a small bag to store your essential documents like a logbook, flight crew license, radio license, medical certificate, passport, and fuel or credit/debit cards. It’s not a big deal, but we found it very handy to have a small bag with all essentials. This is particularly true when you often fly away and need those documents and cards for security checks (to get back to your aircraft), airport fees, fuel payments, etc. We recommend the lightweight Docubag from DESIGN 4 PILOTS.

Pilot’s Kneeboard

Another product from DESIGN 4 PILOTS we recommend is their Piccolo kneeboard. A kneeboard is basically a small clipboard strapped around the pilot’s upper leg to hold maps, approach plates, flight logs, and pencils. There are kneeboards available to hold tablet computers too, but we found these are not particularly user-friendly—especially in rough air and tight flight decks, and in aircraft with a control stick as opposed to a yoke. The reason is that usually the hand that controls the stick rests on the upper leg, which obstructs the view of the tablet and might unintentionally interact with it. Instead, we recommend tablet mounts from RAM Mounts—more details below.

Apple iPad

The development of powerful tablet computers has changed the way we do things, not only in general but also in general aviation. Nowadays, a tablet is a must-have item in a general aviation aircraft. Even the airline industry—which is typically slow to adopt modern technologies—has switched to electronic flight bags (EFBs). For general aviation, your tablet in combination with a corresponding app is essentially an EFB.

There are several brands and models available on the market for both tablets and applications. That said, the best combination of tablet and application/software is Apple’s iPad and ForeFlight’s Mobile EFB—more about ForeFlight further down.

In terms of iPads, we recommend either the latest generation iPad Mini or 11” iPad Air. Both are good options for general aviation pilots, but we prefer the iPad Mini because of the limited space in a general aviation aircraft cockpit. Make sure you buy an iPad with a minimum of 128GB storage and Wi-Fi + Cellular capabilities. The Wi-Fi + Cellular option is required to have built-in GPS capability, which is essential for geo-referenced charts—a game-changer for situational awareness, particularly in instrument flight rules (IFR) operations.

RAM Mount

Of course, you need to make sure to safely secure your iPad in the cockpit. The safest and most convenient way to mount your iPad/iPhone is to use mounts from RAM Mounts. RAM Mounts provide rugged and high-quality mounting systems for all kinds of applications, including aviation.

We recommend their RAM® EZ-Roll’r™ cradle for iPads with a medium RAM® Double Socket Arm in combination with either a RAM® Twist-Lock™ Suction Cup Base, RAM® Yoke Clamp Base, or RAM® Drill-Down Dashboard Ball Base.


There are several great mobile applications available to help you be more efficient and safer. ForeFlight is our absolute favourite application for general aviation pilots. There are other applications available with similar purposes, like SkyDemon, but only ForeFlight offers the complete package for both visual (VFR) and instrument flight rules.

Note: ForeFlight is only available for iOS, not Android or other operating systems

ForeFlight not only facilitates flight planning, including route and fuel planning and weight and balance calculations, but also can be used to conveniently file flight plans. Additionally, it includes all aeronautical maps and charts—all based on your subscription—and can be used for in-flight planning. Their geo-referenced charts, live traffic, and weather information—in combination with third-party appliances—are real game-changers in flight operation and situational awareness.

ForeFlight Plans and Accessories

We recommend acquiring the ForeFlight Mobile PRO PLUS plan for your geographic region (USA, Canada, Europe, Australia). There is no need to subscribe to any Jeppesen charts as all information and charts are freely available and provided by ForeFlight. The only benefit of Jeppesen charts is their standardisation of published information from the respective aviation authorities to a common Jeppesen format. This is helpful to find the information faster on any chart but is not required when thorough flight preparations are done before each flight.

Another appliances that may be beneficial to acquire are the portable devices from ForeFlight marketed as Sentry™ (US) or ADL devices from Golze Engineering (Europe) to have access to live weather data usually not available when above/outside phone signal coverage.

Another (free) application that comes in handy is AeroWeather. This application is a user-friendly and convenient way to access aviation weather data (METAR/TAF) from any airport. This can be done in ForeFlight too, but we found that it is easier to open AeroWeather to check the weather when ForeFlight is not already open. There are a bunch of other useful applications available to make life a bit easier too.

Aviation Headset

We recently wrote a blog post about aviation headsets—specifically about the Bose A30 and David Clark DC ONE-X aviation headsets. In a nutshell, you have to decide between passive and active headsets, Bluetooth functionality, electrical connectors, and brand.

Passive and Active Aviation Headsets

  • Passive Noise Reduction Headsets: These rely on physical materials to block noise. They are simpler and more durable but can be heavier and less effective at higher frequencies.
  • Active Noise Reduction Headsets: These use electronic technology to cancel noise, offering superior noise reduction and comfort. However, they are more expensive and dependent on batteries.

Bluetooth Functionality

Bluetooth functionality in aviation headsets enhances the overall flying experience by providing wireless connectivity. This allows for hands-free communication, audio streaming, and integration with electronic flight tools.

Electrical Connectors (Plug Options)

In general aviation, there are primarily three types of connectors used for aviation headsets: Standard Dual General Aviation (GA) Plugs, REDEL 6-pin Connector by LEMO, and U-174/U Connector, the last one being mainly used for civil helicopters and military applications. The LEMO connector provides the benefit of being able to supply power to your aviation headset for Bluetooth and active noise reduction functionality.

There are adapter cables available to convert between these plug types when the “wrong” connectors are present in the aircraft. For instance, if an aircraft has only GA dual plugs but the headset uses a LEMO plug, an adapter can be used. While adapters allow for compatibility, using them with LEMO plugs means losing the external power supply feature, thus requiring the use of batteries.


Several companies offer aviation headsets, including Bose, David Clark, Lightspeed, Sennheiser, SL, Telex, and Tomcat. However, not all provide the same level of quality and functionality.


Although many companies may offer quality aviation products, we are only interested in top-notch aviation products. Therefore, we recommend either the Bose A30 or David Clark DC ONE-X aviation headsets with LEMO plugs due to the convenience of an external power supply. An adapter cable can be used to connect to aircraft with Standard Dual General Aviation (GA) Plugs or U-174/U Connectors installed.


Having the right accessories can significantly enhance the efficiency and safety of general aviation pilots. Our recommended essential accessories include:

  • Pilot Logbook: We recommend the Professional (European) Pilot Logbook from Jeppesen for its compliance with aviation authorities and high quality.
  • Flight Book Organiser: The lightweight Docubag from DESIGN 4 PILOTS is ideal for keeping essential documents organized and easily accessible.
  • Pilot’s Kneeboard: The Piccolo kneeboard from DESIGN 4 PILOTS is perfect for holding maps, flight logs, and pencils, especially in tight flight decks.
  • Apple iPad: We recommend the latest generation iPad Mini or 11” iPad Air with at least 128GB storage and Wi-Fi + Cellular capabilities, paired with ForeFlight’s Mobile EFB.
  • RAM Mount: The RAM® EZ-Roll’r™ cradle with a medium RAM® Double Socket Arm and appropriate base (Twist-Lock™ Suction Cup, Yoke Clamp, or Drill-Down Dashboard Ball) is the best option for mounting your iPad.
  • ForeFlight: The ForeFlight Mobile PRO PLUS subscription is the best all-in-one solution for flight planning, aeronautical charts, and in-flight situational awareness.
  • Aviation Headset: We recommend either the Bose A30 or David Clark DC ONE-X aviation headsets with LEMO plugs for superior noise reduction, comfort, and the convenience of external power supply.

By investing in these high-quality accessories, pilots can ensure a smoother, safer, and more enjoyable flying experience. For your convenience, all the recommended products are available in our online shop. Visit us today to equip yourself with the best tools and gadgets for your aviation needs!

About Quest Aeronautics

Quest Aeronautics is a state-certified engineering office for aviation, dedicated to shaping the future of general aviation by providing innovative and cost-effective solutions to enhance aircraft performance and operations. With a focus on CS/FAR-23 and experimental/amateur-built (E/A-B) aircraft, Quest Aeronautics provides a range of services including flight testing, aircraft operations and maintenance consulting, high-quality aviation products, and tailored support for E/A-B projects. Collaborating with industry-leading partners, Quest Aeronautics is committed to delivering unparalleled support and expertise to individuals and organisations in the general aviation market.

About Author

Sebastian, the founder of Quest Aeronautics, is a driven and enthusiastic individual with a passion for aviation. Before delving into aviation, he gained valuable experience as a chemical process engineer and laboratory technician. Sebastian holds a Master of Science in Engineering and a commercial pilot licence, with several fixed-wing aircraft ratings under his belt. He has also completed an introduction course for fixed-wing performance and flying qualities flight testing at the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, CA and is compliance verification engineer for flight.