Real Answers from Real Pilots

Headset recommendation

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re having a great Friday.

Is there a particular headset and flashlight that any of you would recommend for the program and beyond?

I was thinking of investing in the Bose noise cancelling headset. I say “invest” because while it is expensive, it seems the sort of headset that you could use for many years to come from turboprops to jets.

As always, a big thank you for your time.

Finn

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Finn,

There are multiple threads on the subject is you search.

I’m hands down a Bose fan. They’re light, quiet and incredibly comfortable. Bose also has excellent customer service. While they are expensive, as you point out its an investment and the math makes more and more sense the sooner you get them. I know many pilots who wished they bought them right away but ended up going cheap in the beginning and buying the Bose later in their careers. You’re going to have some very long days as a student, an instructor, and as a Regional pilot. After all that time the money spent becomes nominal. My FO yesterday was still rocking his.

Now here comes Chris to tell you not to go with the Bose… :wink:

Adam

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Finn,

I am a fan of the old David Clark’s. Interestingly enough, I just flew with a First Officer who told me that he got rid of his Bose headsets because they were too quiet, he liked to be able to hear the engines as it gave him a better feel for what the airplane was doing.

Chris

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Finn,
I’m a big fan of the Bose. Definitely an investment but the best one you’ll make. That headset will be the one thing you’ll take with you from your first training flight to captain at the airlines. If you’re not a fan of the noise cancelling at first (I wasn’t) you have the option to keep it turned off. I did at first because I wanted to hear the engine learning how to land but in the instrument phase the noise canceling was a game changer hearing ATC. I’m still using the same headset through my time as a student, instructor, at the charter job I had and now taking it with me to Skywest. As for financing, you can add the headset expense to your loan.

-Hannah

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Thanks for the feedback, Adam. Yes, they do seem expensive; but as you, and others have suggested on the forums, they are truly an investment and something you can carry with you for years from job to job.

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Hi Chris - that certainly makes sense, and is something that Hannah mentioned. Thanks for the feedback.

Finn

Hi Hannah - as both you and Adam have mentioned, these are an investment. They may seem expensive up front, but as something you can use for years, they probably pay for themselves in the end. I also appreciated the thought about turning off the noise cancelling when you want to have a better feel for what the engines are doing.

Hope all is well with Skywest, and that you are having a great time!

Finn

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Hi everyone,

Thanks again for the recommendation on the headset. As I mentioned before, the goal is to start in January, so I am putting together the supplies I will need for ATP. I am going to go with the Bose, as an investment, knowing that I can always turn off the noise cancelling feature to get more of a feel for the aircraft.

Along those lines, what flashlight would you recommend?

Flashlights seem like less of an investment, since they are smaller, and can easily be lost/replaced. But I would still like to get a good one, and was hoping for some recommendations. I see that ATP recommends Mag and Smith and Wesson.

With the need for a red light to preserve night vision, it seems it would be better to have a flashlight that has both red and white LEDs as opposed to having to switch a red lens onto the light; and that it would be a good idea to get one with a separate button for the red LED so as to not need to cycle through to find red.

Rechargeable or not seems to be another question. Seems that having the ability to just change batteries, and carrying spare AA with you, would be better than relying on the need to recharge each day; even if recharging would save money on batteries in the long run.

As always, a very big thank you for all of your help. Apologies for the long post; I usually try to be more succinct than this.

Finn

Finn,

Two thoughts on the subject of flashlights.

First, unlike a headset it’s not something you’ll use everyday (or every week) and I promise you you’re putting more thought into this purchase than you need to. I did the same, compared features, mounts, luminens, etc and seriously I can count on my fingers and toes the times I’ve needed it and never used have the features it had (but I did get a “get that’s cool” when I did).

Second when you do need it, you’ll NEED it. While rechargeable is great, if it needs a charge it’s a paperweight. Get something you like, ALWAYS carry extra batteries and save your money for the Bose :wink:

Adam

Thanks for clarity, Adam.

I think I’ve just been getting excited about things, and the gear and gadgets are a part of it all. But agreed, money better spent on the Bose, as opposed to the bells and whistles of a flashlight. I was already getting bogged down in all the different options, anyway.

Stay safe!

Finn

Finn,

Oh I totally get it! Trust me I LOVE gear (flashlights, flightbags, windmeters, electronic E6B, foggles, hoods, kneeboards, handheld transceivers, LOTS of sunglasses, etc etc) and I have a closet full! (Basically if it’s in the Sporty’s catalog I bought it). I’m just trying to save you a dollar or 10 because much of it, while cool, isn’t necessary.

That said it’s your time and money and if it makes you happy then by all means!

Adam

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Finn,

During flight school I had a Smith & Wesson. Was okay. Took 3 AAA. Not very powerful.

Now I have a mag lite pro. Not my favorite and wouldn’t be suitable for training. I should have bought a tactical flashlight with red LED, but I’ve used my Mag ever since I’ve been flying with Horizon and haven’t felt the need to replace it.

You can’t go wrong with the small tactical flashlights. The lithium ion batteries pack a punch. If you can flight one that has built in red/greed/white LED, that’s perfect.

Tory

I used a small headlamp for my initial night training and I found it nice to be able to have both my hands free.

Also +1 on the Bose. The only downside for me is that I fly with my wife sometimes and she wanted one too :sob: I was able to get mine in very good condition used from eBay for about $800.

That’s when you pick up a cheap pair of DCs and you wear those and let the wife use the Bose when she goes with you :wink:

Adam

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Finn,

For General Aviation flying, I like the Maglite with replaceable batteries and the red lens to go over it. Once you get to the airlines, you will want something much more powerful. I have a Fenix flashlight that will light up the top of a 767 tail (52 feet tall) and make it look like daylight.

Chris

Hi Adam,

I just discovered the Sporty’s catalog… good stuff! My wife, who is very supportive of all of this, said, “Oh good, a career with gadgets!” :joy:

I’m going to have to be careful, or all those dollars or ten you mentioned, will be going to someone else’s pocket.

Have a great day!

Finn

Hi Tory,

Many thanks for your feedback; really appreciated.

I was thinking the quad beam flashlight from Smith and Wesson… Amazon.com: Smith & Wesson Night Guard Quad Beam Flashlight with 4 Color LEDs, Easy Operation and Heavy Duty Construction for Tracking, Survival, Hunting and Outdoor , Black: Sports & Outdoors. It has the red, green, white options, and is cheap.

I travel for work, so I have a Mag Lite Pro as well that I’ve had for years. I really love it, but can see how it might no be the best for training.

Thanks again,
Finn

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the thoughts on the flashlight versus headlamp. It seems that a headlamp would be ideal, since as you suggested, you can keep your hands free. It sounds like having both a flashlight (to meet regs) and a headlamp is not a bad idea. Any suggestions on which headlamp.

Definitely thinking the Bose is the way to go. My wife can buy her own :rofl: if she likes it that much.

Have a great day!

Finn

Hi Chris,

The Mag is a classic; reliable, takes a beating and keeps lighting up. I’ve had one for years that I carry with me when I travel. Sort of a brand loyalty arrangement.

If you don’t mind me asking, which Fenix do you carry?

Safe flying! And as always, a big mahalo for answering crazy questions like this.

Finn

Looks like it should get the job done. We’ll see if it stands the test of time.

Tory