CFI Brief: Packing your first flight bag!

Hot off the press, July/August issue of FAA Safety Briefing! This summer’s issue contains some great content specifically for the student pilot and airman-in-training. It’s the third part in a string of Student Pilot Guides that will provide the reader with tips and resources for success in initial pilot certification. I enjoyed reading this article in particular, Here’s My Advice – Tips from Top CFIs on page 14. The article provided invaluable insights from the past winners of the “Flight Instructor of the Year” award, many of whom are also notable ASA authors.

FAA Safety Brief

Another article that hit home was Perfect Picks for Potential Pilots, on page 8. The article is spot on and goes over the basics of what every student pilot needs. It addresses an all too familiar question: what books and pilots supplies do I need as a student pilot? ASA is the leading publisher of aviation books and largest provider of training supplies in the U.S. so you can imagine how often this question comes up. Truly though it’s a fun question to answer; students are often extremely excited about purchasing their initial training material and I often get to be there to help point them in the right direction. Packing your first flight bag is more fun than any back-to-school backpack! Today I would like to further expand upon the article and point you in a direction for success.

First and foremost you will need a textbook that covers the aeronautical knowledge areas required to earn your initial pilot certification. There are many different options available to you and I have narrowed it down to three of ASA’s top sellers and my personal recommendations.

(Choose 1)

Next up is a must for every aviator! A current and valid copy of the FAR/AIM; this is a yearly publication so it will need to be purchased once a year. It is a combination of the Federal Aviation Regulations pertinent to pilots and Aeronautical Information Manual, hence the title FAR/AIM. Trust me you will become very familiar with this publication…very familiar.

The Airman Certification Standards: Private Pilot Airplane, this is a new publication and replaces the Practical Test Standards. The ACS serves as a guide to help you understand what you must know, do, and consider for your FAA Knowledge Exam and Checkride to earn your private pilot certificate.

To prepare you further for the FAA Knowledge Exam you will want to pick up a copy of either a Test Prep book or Prepware software. Both contain the same pertinent information, it is just delivered in two different media formats, it’s more of a personal preference as to which you choose, depending on your preferred study methods.

(Choose 1, or pick up a bundle package of both)

I have outlined just the basic training materials in which you will need to get started. Although some books titles may still be required you might find yourself more of a digital or visual learner. Rather than purchasing the above listed books you might try the comprehensive ASA Private Pilot Online Ground School.


Private Pilot Online Ground School

In addition to the training materials you will need to pick up a few pilot supplies to get started.

AirClassic Pilot Backpack

AirClassic Pilot Backpack

As I’ve said these are just some basics to help get you pointed in the right direction. It’s poignant to note that not everyone learns in the same manner, one might prefer physical books and reading compared to another who prefers more visuals and online content. I am happy to help tailor a custom list of materials to help get you on your way, whether for a Private Pilot Certificate or Flight Instructor Certificate feel free to drop us an email or call.

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