1. E6B Flight Computer. If nothing else, you'll need to master the E6B to pass your written test. It's essential for calculating weight and balance data, among man other uses. Apps aren't allowed on the test, but that doesn't mean you have to use an old-fashioned whiz wheel. Our electronic E6B is test-legal but fast and easy to use. SHOP NOW>>

Sporty's E6B

2. Logbook. More than just a way to keep track of currency statistics, a good logbook is like an aviation scrapbook. Use it to record every flight, including lessons learned and any passengers you take. By investing in a quality logbook at the beginning, you won't waste time transferring information between books. SHOP NOW>>

Sporty's logbook

3. Kneeboard. There's a lot going on in the cockpit, especially during cross country flights. Keep everything organized and secure with a quality kneeboard. It's a great way to keep your nav log and other critical information close at hand, but without interfering with your most important job - flying the airplane. SHOP NOW>>

Flight Gear kneeboard

4. Headset. Which one is a personal decision, but there's no doubting the fact that you need a headset in the cockpit. Resist the urge to skimp on your first headset - you'll probably end up buying another headset to fix the problem. Some of our favorite headsets for student pilots include the Faro Stealth Passive and Lightspeed Sierra. If you're looking for the best, it's hard to go wrong with the Bose A20. SHOP NOW>>

Faro Stealth Headset

5. Flashlight. Most pilots carry two or three flashlight, just in case. Even during the daytime, a flashlight can make preflight inspections a lot easier. Make sure your cockpit light has red light, to preserve night vision, and uses LEDs for long life. SHOP NOW>>

Smith & Wesson Flashlight

6. Fuel tester. One of the first things you'll learn during flight training is how to preflight the airplane, and draining some fuel is a key step. A good fuel tester will make this process faster and a whole lot less messy. SHOP NOW>>

Fuel tester

7. FAA textbooks. While they may not be scintillating page-turners, books like the Airplane Flying Handbook and the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge are essential reading for any pilot. Your examiner will expect you to know them on your checkride, but they're actually packed with a lot of helpful information. SHOP NOW>>

Airplane Flying Handbook

8. Flight timer. Whether you're keeping track of fuel tanks, time en route, or even instrument approaches, a simple and reliable timer can be a great aid. Ignore the fancy ones with dozens of buttons and confusing menus. An easy-to-use model with flashing red lights is perfect for the cockpit. SHOP NOW>>

Flight timer

9. IFR training glasses. Even if you're just going for a Private Pilot certificate, you'll need to log at least a few hours "under the hood," simulating instrument flight conditions. A good pair of frosted training glasses offers a realistic way to train on instruments even when the sun is shining. SHOP NOW>>

IFR training glasses

10. Training course. This is probably the most important purchase you'll make as a new pilot. While textbooks and your flight instructor are important, a comprehensive home study course is the key to efficient flight training. By watching the videos before your next lesson, you'll be better prepared, learn faster and (most importantly) save money. Our award-winning Learn to Fly course is available online, as a dedicated iPad/iPhone app, or on DVD. SHOP NOW>>

Sparty's Learn to Fly course