An Introduction to Flight Bags

A flight bag, sometimes called a pilot bag, is a piece of luggage used by pilots to store their extra gear. Like most types of luggage, flight bags are equipped with an array of organizers and exterior pockets for storing devices and smaller items. Though a pilot could easily use a standard carry-on bag, flight bags are frequently designed specifically to store pieces of flight-related gear. Many flight bags have compartments for items such as headsets, radios, fuel testers, and other flight equipment. They also commonly feature extra padding to prevent these items from being damaged.

Flight bags are usually small, designed to sit next to or under the pilot's seat without getting in the way. Some flight bags are merely a few inches deep while others are more similar to a duffel bag in terms of their size. They also frequently have bright interior linings to make it easier to find items in dark, dimly lit cockpits.

Before you buy a flight bag, it's important to ensure that it will meet your needs. There are many factors you should consider, but perhaps the four most important are the bag’s materials, dimensions, brand, and compartments. The first thing to consider the material the bag is made from. Nylon bags without padding are lightweight, but generally provide less protection and durability when compared to polyester or leather bags. In addition to protecting the bag, extra padding also helps shield fragile items like electronics being stored in the bag.

The bag should also offer enough space for your equipment while still adhering to size restrictions. Check the dimensions and make sure it will be able to hold your headset, kneeboard, radio, and any other items you may bring. Third, consider the brand. Name-brand bags will probably cost more, but will also last longer thanks to higher quality materials and craftsmanship. Lastly, you should also inspect its compartments. Examining both the interior and exterior pockets while envisioning it holding your gear will help you get a good idea of whether or not the bag will suffice.

Speaking of gear, what exactly do pilots pack in their flight bags? Flight bags include everything needed for a flight, but pilots sometimes need to bring a few extra items depending on the duration of the flight and the type of aircraft. The average flight bag will contain most or all of the following: an aviation headset, flight computer, plotter, flashlight, and logbook, as well as charts, snacks, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Additionally, if the flight includes an overnight stay in another city or country, the pilot will also pack a change of clothes and certain bathroom items. Some of these items are simply brought as backups in case onboard instruments fail. For example, a pilot will rarely need a flight computer or plotter, but they are both useful if the GPS stops operating.

Similar to passengers, flight crews also have their own baggage size restrictions. These will vary from airline to airline, but are also not as strictly enforced for the crew. Pilots and flight crew will generally use smaller bags, the average size of a flight bag being about 15x12x5 inches. If you need a flight bag, be sure to get it from a trusted source like NSN Axis. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of flight bags in addition to a broad range of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense, electronics, and IT hardware markets. Dedicated account managers are always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-269-264-4495.


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