Private Pilot Supplies List

This is not an exhaustive list, but it includes many of the items that you will want to have available when needed.

  • Pilot Logbook

You want to have a logbook when you begin your training so that all of your flights can be logged, with proper endorsements.  While there are several electronic logbook options, you should have a standard paper logbook to present to your examiner for your checkride.

  • Headset

You should get the best headset that you can afford.  This will be the most intimate piece of equipment you use.  It will be on your head, for every flight, from the time you start the aircraft to the time you land and shutdown.  You want something that is light and doesn’t squeeze your head.  If you can afford it, Active Noise Reduction (ANR) is a great feature to have.

  • Kneeboard

Writing down the ATIS, clearances, times, etc., you will be making a lot of notes while flying.  A good kneeboard is essential for cockpit organization.

  • Current VFR Sectional Chart – Los Angeles

Even though there are many resources for situational awareness, and for flight planning, nothing beats the “old school” paper charts.  We will begin using this early in your training for locating the airports and practice areas, then for cross-country flight planning.  These do expire and have to be updated.  If it is in the cockpit, it must be current.

  • Current Terminal Area Chart – San Diego

This chart is similar to the sectional chart but it covers a much smaller geographic range.  The TAC will give you more detail within the local area.

  • Current Chart Supplement – Southwest U.S.

This gives you the airport information you will need.  These also expire and need to be updated.

  • E6B Flight Computer (manual is necessary, electronic is optional)

This is the slide-rule type of flight computer that we will use to calculate a lot of the details for flight planning. 

  • Plotter

An inexpensive plastic ruler basically.  You will need this to determine headings and distances for flight planning

  • Small Flashlight (Capable of Red and White light)

For night flights, you don’t want a bright white light affecting your night vision.  Aviation flashlights produce both red and white light so you can use the red light in the cockpit while you are flying and also have a bright light to use for cleanup/tiedown after the flight has been completed.

  • Pens (Black Ink)

There is no rule that says your notes have to be in black ink but, as stated above, you will be making a lot of notes.  You want to be able to read them in whatever lighting conditions you are in.

  • Pencil

Although you can use an ink pen for most writing and marking, a pencil is much better for use on the E6B flight computer when calculating wind-correction angles and ground speeds.

  • Highlighters

These are useful for highlighting information in your books but also for highlighting planned routes on the charts to help them stand out from the rest of the detail on the chart.

  • Calculator

Very helpful for things, like weight & balance calculations.

  • iPad (with ForeFlight subscription installed)

OPTIONAL!  ForeFlight is the de facto standard iPad application in the cockpit.  You will probably use it a lot when flying on your own, after you have your certificate, but we will use it very little in the cockpit so that it doesn’t become a crutch.  It is, almost, guaranteed that if you try using it during your checkride, the examiner will “fail” it and you will have to be able to continue without it.

  • Notebook

The kneeboard is for the notes you have to make while flying the aircraft.  This is for other notes you may want to make.

  • Flight Bag

Something to carry your headset, kneeboard, charts, etc. in.

  • Extra Batteries

If you have an ANR headset, batteries will die and you will need replacements.  This almost always happens at the least convenient time.


  • Private Pilot ACS

The Airman Certification Standards (ACS) defines what can, and will, be covered in the practical test (checkride). 

  • Current FAR/AIM (2020)

All of the regulations and rules.  This book gets updated annually and you need to have a current one when you do the checkride.

  • Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Everything you ever wanted (and need) to know about how an aircraft works.

  • Airplane Flying Handbook

How to perform all of the maneuvers