We’ve all been there. After many months, or possibly years, of hard work you’ve finally received your pilot’s license. Inevitably, you will want to share the wonders of aviation with friends and family members. There is nothing more awe-inspiring than seeing the look on children’s faces the first time they fly in a small airplane. Giving that experience to youth should be high on your list of aviation accomplishments.
But makes sure you have the right gear for a smooth flight.
Depending on age and head size, some headsets might not fit well on youth. The smaller the child, the more fitting issues you may have with headsets. Several headset manufacturers make youth size headsets. These are similar to the adult counterparts, but with smaller headbands. David Clark and Sigtronics offer youth models in the $200-$350 range. Personally, I’ve used Bose headsets on both of my children as young as age four and they worked great. The overhead cam mechanism is ideal for small heads, and the ANR provides excellent hearing protection for their sensitive ears.
#2 Booster Seat
If they are going to sit in the front seat, seeing over the dash is a must. Cranking up the seat height will only do so much. Grab an elevator seat cushion and your passengers will be much happier.
#3 Barf Bags
Not all your flights will be silky smooth. Having a few extra Zip Loc-style bags for the unexpected will make clean up much easier. Check out the Chuck-it bags. In addition to have a Zip top, they have a rigid wire built into the top that makes it easier for kids to hold. A plastic lip also helps prevent spillage or splatter.
Pictures are great, but giving kids a small memento to take with them will greatly increase the impact of the flight. You don’t have to spend a small fortune on gifts, but a sticker from the FBO or small keychain could mean the world to a child. Grab a bunch of these nice metal pilot wings from Sporty’s and you’ll really make them smile.
#5 Video Camera
Want to preserve the memory? Take a video of the flight to share with their parents. Depending on your type of camera, you can usually purchase an intercom interface cable. This allows you to record the intercom activity instead of only hearing the roar of the engine. Make sure you mount the camera so it records the kid’s face during takeoff. It’s priceless.