Archive for the ‘Aviation Supplies’ Category

Tactical meets Fashionable, Just ask my Wife

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Back when TopGun the movie came out, I was in Flight School. Before that movie I had a leather jacket and military issue sunglasses I got from a ROTC flight partner. I stood out until everyone wanted to be Tom Cruise and pretend to be a pilot. Even Actors wanted to be like me. I detested the fact they took away my unfashionable fashion that made me stand out and could not wait until I could turn the tables. I thought that day would never come until now.

I was allowed to try a pair of Randolph Engineering Rapture Sunglasses for my trip to Chile. You would expect to find this at page 5 of Travel Essentials at Crew Outfitters. This would have been the perfect time to test them in South America because it was their Summer, if it wasn’t for the 8.8 Earthquake they had. I had to try them out in the jumpseat home and while driving my car. But the biggest test would be the toughest I know, my wife.

The sunglasses I wore before were the aviator standbys that all pilot like and my wife hated. They just were not fashionable enough to wear everyday. The problem is I loved their functionality. When I showed her the Randolph Engineering Sunglasses, she actually said they look good. I was shocked. This is a woman who looks at magazines like ‘Vogue’ and can tell with better accuracy then the writers which style will be in fashion. They were a graphite frame with smoke colored lens. They went well with my clothes and my uniform. Now I started to wonder on how good the functionality was because from my experience you can’t have both, right?

Wrong. The lenses were big enough to cover my whole eye but not look like they cover my whole face. According to my wife I have a long and narrow face and most glasses look huge on me. The lens were rectangles like the old military style but they had a slight curve to them that covered my whole eye. I did use them on a flight to Zurich and they kept the blinding sun manageable and allowed me to read the instruments shaded in the cockpit. When we went into a cloud to a dreary Switzerland, The glasses were not so dark that I had to take them off. The glasses also came with a keychain toolkit and spare screws.

So the tables have turned. Now the tactical Military Sunglasses are on the heals of the fashion conscious. Now us pilot “geeks” have something the runways of Milan will be jealous of.
At 10% off at Crew Outfitters, they are lower then any other place I have found on the web. If you would like to purchase a pair, go to Crew Outfitters and use the promo code LW15.
But don’t take my word this is the best deal on the web, search the web for yourself. Just put in Randolph Engineering Rapture Sunglasses in my custom search engine, programmed to find deals, and see what you get.
Here is a special gift for all those reading. There is a special promotion from Crew Outfitter to get 10% off your next order. You need to find their Action Figure Ted Banks on their site. I can’t tell you exactly where to go, but I can do this. One of the links in the article shows you where to go. Happy hunting!
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Prevent Deep Vain Thrombosis and Shin Splints

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Usually I only use support socks to keep from getting Deep Vain Thrombosis, but my friends wanted me to try out a something new. It is the Zensah Calf/Shin Sleeve. Not only does it propose to prevent blood clots from forming do to long trips, but it advertises to prevent shin splints. I decided to try them on a trip to Europe.

The first thing I liked is that if only covered from the ankle to the calf. Along with its thin design, it allowed me to where my thicker uniform socks for the winter, as well as my thick wool socks walking around Zurich. The anti-microbial thermal regulating material wicked the moisture away so the sleeve can be used several times on a trip without having to wash them until I get home.

The dual action support gives graduated compression to produce maximum oxygen blood flow increasing blood flow. After a ten hour trip, most of it sitting, my legs had no presence of that tingling feeling we want to avoid. It also has chevron ripping designed after the way trainers tape athletes’ legs to prevent shin splints. After walking all day through the Zurich Christmas, I felt no pain even though I just happened to have gotten shin splints my last trip.

This is a great addition for the person who spends a great deal of time on an airplane and then is constantly on the go once they get to their destination.

Why your Adapter Plug Won’t Work in Brussels

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I’m in Brussels trying out the Lewis and Clark Universal 4 in 1 Adapter Plug. If you have not traveled to Europe in the last 5 to 7 years, I have bad news for your adapters. They no longer fit in the outlets. The new European outlets are round and the older adapters are rectangular.

For this ‘square peg in round hole’ problem, I was very interested how well the Lewis and Clark adapter worked. I was very happy to find that it worked even better than the adapters the hotels give to us when our adapters don’t fit. Besides that, you get surge protection and 110/220 indication. You would expect to find this at Home and Gifts at Crew Outfitters.

At 10% off at Crew Outfitters, they are lower then any other place I have found on the web. If you would like to purchase a pair, go to Crew Outfitters and use the promo code LW15.

But don’t take my word this is the best deal on the web, search the web for yourself. Just put in Lewis and Clark Adapter Plug in my custom search engine, programmed to find deals, and see what you get.

Here is a special gift for all those reading. There is a special promotion from Crew Outfitter to get 10% off your next order. You need to find their Action Figure Ted Banks on their site. I can’t tell you exactly where to go, but I can do this. One of the links in the article shows you where to go. Happy hunting!

Want us to send you tips like these that will save you Hundreds of Dollars? Join our monthly Newsletter and every month gets tips to save money on layovers, trips, and travel supplies.

FREE National Real Time Screen Save

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

I have been using a tool to turn your unused computer screen into an amber alert system for critical weather. Simply put, it is a Screen Saver that when it is connected to the web, supplies real time text and images. The beauty of the software is that you do not have to be logged on to see the weather. Even better is that it can limit complete access to the computer so the weather images, which are updated to the second, can be displayed in less than a minute without the computer accessing other images or web sites.
It downloads into your Microsoft software screensaver so it is completely compatible with your PC. In fact, once you download the software, you go to the Microsoft Software’s display file and control the screen saver program from their menu. This allows you to set the amount of time that your computer is Idle before the Real Time Screen Saver appears.
But the real power of this tool is how it proactively delivers critical real time weather information without being intrusive. But another way, it is more proactive than an email that has to be opened, but not intrusive as a pop-up that interferes with your work. It also pushes images images right to the screen which is something text messages can’t do without clicking on the image.
If you would like to try this software FOR FREE, go to http://www.safepic.com/weather/realtime/1index.html#National

GoToob to Get Through Security

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Next Month my schedule takes me to the UK which means extreme adherence to the 3 once liquid policy for security. To make my life a little easier, my friends at Crew Outfitters Suggested I try to GoToob. These container is perfect for getting through security, soft sided for ease of use, and food safe.

If you are like me, you are tired of cleaning out and filling those small plastic containers that make it possible for you to make it through security. These containers are not so easy to find. I have had to use the small shampoo containers to guarantee security won’t be a hassle. And then they were not the best for use and refilling.

The GoToob is soft sided which makes it much easier to dispense shampoo in a slippery dark shower when you are trying to get ready for pick-up and have had not slept well. Instead of doing the ‘get the little bit out that is left,’ you can squeeze the last of the contence out.

The other great feature is the big opening at the top. It is wide enough to get the thickest liquid to the bottom without clogging to top. Another nice feature on the top is an indicator for shampoo, conditioner, and others removes the guessing of the contence.

Finally it is food safe which means you can guarantee your hot sauce won’t be taken out of your flight kit. The money you save on getting the economy size of shampoo, shaving cream, even hot sauce instead of those tiny expensive containers will pay for the GoToob in no time.

So next monthwhen I have those 4 trips to the UK, I won’t have to worry about the 3 once security rule. I also won’t have to struggle in the bathroom as much when my body is on the back side of the clock. One last thing, want some hotsauce to go with that bland meal?

At 15% off at Crew Outfitters, they are lower then any other place I have found on the web. If you would like to purchase a pair, go to Crew Outfitters and use the promo code LW15.

But don’t take my word this is the best deal on the web, search the web for yourself. Just put in Gotoob in my custom search engine, programmed to find deals, and see what you get.

THE Latest Headset Technology

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

“Imagine an aviation headset with no microphone boom, earcups or headband, …effective reduction of ambient noise, and allowing clear communication with crew members…” With a write-up like that, I had to try the tbone aviation headset.
When I was working on Air Traffic Control issues as a safety expert, I came across this technology. I thought eliminating the boom mike and earcups would greatly enhance the safety of crews who had to use the oxygen mask. In fact, being able to slip the mask over the headphones is exactly what you need in an emergency situation to guarantee crew communication. Then for around 10 years, I heard nothing of the peoduct.
Today I was sitting in the Pilot lounge when I saw an old pilot friend who knew how much I liked the product and introduced me to Jan Thostrup, the person who has designed and brought this through the FAA and is selling it to Pilots. I grabbed one and went looking for a plane to try them out.
I got on an MD-80 series aircraft, went to the Captain who was ironically another friend from my safety past and we began to play. Since the ear pieces are molded specifically for the individual, they did not fit me perfectly, but I was still able to operate them. The Captain’s flight needed a huffer so I contacted the ramp using the tbone headset. It was unusual to not maneuver a boom mike to my mouth first before speaking, but I got over that quickly. I also like the fact that I can adjust the volume separately to each ear. This means that if I wanted to hear the first officer, instead of moving the headphone off that ear disabling any noise protection I had, I just turned down the volume for that side.
Speaking of noise reduction, this system is passive instead of active like Sennheiser. It works on the same principal as earplugs with one difference. There is a small filter that allows the lower frequencies, which happens to be the human voice, to reach the eardrum. The higher frequency noise like wind and fans are cut out allowing to hear what the other crew member is saying. This is a huge plus for crew coordination and situational awareness. What’s even better is the noise cancellation continues to work when you switch to the OXY setting on your Comm Panel because the noise reduction function doesn’t get power for from the microphone jack. Another great safety feature is the oxygen noise is eliminated because the microphone picks up speech from the jaw, not the mouth.
Finally, the headset can be used on a walkaround to cut out all noise on the ramp. You can also use it at home around noisy equipment. And one last thing, you can get an adapter for the tbone to use with your iPhone. Just email Jan Thostrup at jto@tboneaviation.com after you make an order and he will get it to you when it becomes available.
This is a great headset, perfect for noisy aircraft like the 737. What’s better is its ability to increase safety in Emergency situations. Not having to take off your headsets when putting on the oxygen mask and eliminating the oxygen noise when speaking while retaining the noise reduction function is a great feature when you are having a bad day. Even in everyday use, having noise reduction for both ears and being able to hear the other pilot makes them a tool to save your hearing in the noisiest jet. One more thing – when you get this headset you will need to bring your own spoon to stir your coffee as the boom you usually use is gone forever!
To see the tbone, go to www.tboneaviation.com - There’s a neat video on the front page.

How to Get More Stuff In Your Suitcase

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

I had the opportunity to try out the Eagle Creek Clothes Pack-it Folder  on my trip to Moscow. It says it holds up to 7 shirts. I put in 3 shirts, a sweater, and a pair of pants with room to spair. It fit well into my Pretty Neat Domestic bag. ( I have yet to get an International bag.) The first thing I noticed is how it saved space in my bag because it compressed the clothes I put in. This left me with more to put the great deals I found in my suitcase.

When I got to Moscow, my clothes were wrinkle free. It looked like I ironed them before I went out to see the sights. My clothes are usually wrinkled but I don’t care because I am usually to tired to iron them anyway.

When I was done with my trip and I had to commute home, then benefits of the Pack-it System realy hit home. I caught an earlier flight home then the jumpseat I had reserved so I wanted to change out of my uniform so as not to get asked the usual questions like “ have you ever been scared flying?’ I also wanted to have an adult beverage. I simply pulled out the Pack-it System , went into the bathroom, and changed. Then when I came back to my seat on a full flight, I slipped the Pack-it System into the overhead bin instead of pulling out my suitcase. The crew would not have appreciated that.

I think this is the prefect device for the professional traveler who wants to keep their clothes looking like they just came from the cleaners. It is also great for increasing the room in your bag. All in all I would recommend this for the traveler who wants to look professional, stay organized, and travel as compact as possible.

At 15% off at Crew Outfitters, they are lower then any other place I have found on the web. If you would like to purchase a pair, go to Crew Outfitters and use the promo code LW15.

But don’t take my word this is the best deal on the web, search the web for yourself. Just put in Eagle Creek Clothes Pack-it Folder  in my custom search engine, programmed to find deals, and see what you get.

Best Aviation Sunglasses Ever?

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I had the opportunity to try the RayBan Aviator Sunglasses model 3025 . They where supplied by Crew Outfitters to see if they hold up and assist in flying from Atlanta to Prague.
The first thing I notice is how light and comfortable they are. They are not clucky or pinch. The metal frames rap around snugly and the ends are covered in a smooth material that doesn’t scratch. Another thing I liked is even wearing the largest most Vice-gripping headset supplied by my airline, the frames don’t ingrain themselves into my skull. This is great for the hours I will use a headset on my international trips.
The other things I like are how well they block glare and shade my eyes. The lenses cut glare so well I can see the runway at greater distances in bad visibility conditions. Another thing I like about the lenses is how dark they are. They block strong sunlight better than Serengetis. I didn’t need to double up on the glare shields with the bright morning sun at 35,000 feet. The lenses also covered the eye well not letting any sun in from the sides. These reasons make them a great safety tool for pilots.
Finally, they look good. The aviator’s style is timeless. The lenses do their job of blocking out the sun without being overbearingly large. The gold frames go well with my uniform. I like them as much now as the first pair I had 20 years ago.
I think the RayBan Aviator Sunglasses are a great value at $102.00. They give excellent comfort, spectacular glare and sun protection and look good.
At 15% off at Crew Outfitters, they are lower then any other place I have found on the web. If you would like to purchase a pair, go to Crew Outfitters and use the promo code LW15.

But don’t take my word this is the best deal on the web, search the web for yourself. Just put in RayBan 3025  in my custom search engine, programmed to find deals, and see what you get.

Green Aviation Equipment – Save Money and the Environment

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

‘Finally, a noise canceling headset that uses ships power instead of batteries.’ That’s what I thought when I picked up the Telex ANR 850 from Crew Outfitters. I had used headsets like this before but I was never able to keep up with the batteries it used. But now the question was how would it perform out on the line.
When I put it on for my 13 hour trip to Lagos Nigeria, the first thing I noticed was how light it was. Next I noticed how comfortable it was as opposed to the vice-like Vulcan Death Grip that larger headsets have. Then there was the amount of noise it cuts out. So much that it was hard to hear the other pilots in the cockpit.
Testing it out on a Boeing 767, it worked very well on intercom and P/A which made it score well on the issue of safety. Since the power of the noise cancellation comes from the microphone jack connection of the communication panel, when I tested the Oxygen Mask, the noise cancellation feature was negated. This would make the headset useless in cabin decompression situations when you really need it.
Where this tool really shines is in overseas flights where the ATC system has less than perfect transmitters. I Nigeria, I could understand the instructions much easier than the other pilots. Also, when I had to listen to other frequencies like HF,I cut out background noise and mandatory cockpit conversations in the cockpit. The only problems I found were the fact that the use of a hand mic cuts out the noise cancellation feature. And if you sit on the jumpseat and can only plug into the earphones, there is no cancellation.
Finally, one of our folically challenged pilots mentioned that it scaped the skin on the top of his head. A small piece of foam rubber would do the trick.
In General I would say that this is a great tool for pilots in noisy areas.

LuggageWorks Executive Ballistic Flight Kit

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Crew Outfitters wanted me to review one of their flight bags to see how it holds up on the line. The bag was the LuggageWorks Executive Ballistic Flight Kit.

It is made of the same tough fabric as the LuggageWorks Bag. Because of the fabric construction, it can expand as your Jeppeson and manuals do which make it more functional than the hard sided bags.

The fabric is also more durable than the leather bags I have had. It won’t scratch or rip as those bags do. But the best feature of the LuggageWorks Executive Ballistic Flight Kit is how well it adapts to the different space requirements.

Since each plane’s cockpit space is different, a flight bag that fits well into an MD-80 may not fit well into a B-767. To make the bag more flexible, expandable pockets were put on the ends and the sides.

The plane I fly, the B767 has, a fairly narrow area for my flight kit. Also, my airplane is going to more cities so I need to carry more charts. The solution was to take out my maps and put the in the expandable pockets on either end making more room for my manuals.

I like the handle better than most bags because it is riveted in. Other bags have screws that loosen and strip over time. The handle did rip at the bottom due to the metal hook on my luggage to carry my flight kit through the terminal.

The only bad feature is the combination lock is made of plastic and is not that secure. Also, as my bag got heavier, the locks would pop open if I
lifted it up without changing the combination lock from the open code.

In general, I really liked this bag. It’s more flexible than the hard sided bag and it is more durable than a leather flight kit. Combine that with the low price and it is a great buy.