What’s in My Flight Bag – Cessna 172 G1000 Edition!

Inspired by the PGA Tour, let’s see what’s in the bag.  I’ll explore the products I use, the features I like, and where you can get your hands on some of the best equipment to start training for your Private Pilot Certificate.

The total bag weight comes in at 7.39kg / 16.29lbs.  I’m huge into the EFB, and I really enjoy ForeFlight.  If you haven’t checked out ForeFlight, be sure to try it today.

For 2019, I’ll be considering the following:
▪ iPad Mini 5 (To Be Released in March/June 2019) + PIVOT Case for Primary EFB iPad in C172
▪ FlightGear Battery Backup
▪ Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

Flight Bag
▪ Model:  Sporty’s Flight Gear Captain’s Bag
▪ Why:  Sporty’s has a full lineup of private label “Flight Gear” equipment, ranging from the smaller Crosswind bag to the backpack style Tailwind bag.  I went with the larger Captain’s bag, as I really intend for this bag to be used beyond flight training.  Everything listed in this article fits great, it’s the first flight bag I’ve found that I wasn’t trying to sell the following week.
▪ Where to Buy:  Sporty’s

Flight Bag.jpg

Primary Headset
▪ Model:  Bose A20
▪ Why:  Bluetooth Audio Mix (phone calls on short final – I’m kidding).  Seriously, the noise cancellation of this headset has proven itself in the General Aviation industry.  Make an investment in your hearing and go with a noise cancelling headset.  No one needs slight hearing loss from flying a plane too much.  I can still pick up pitch change in engine RPM quite well, no complaints at all.
▪ Where to Buy:  Sporty’s

Bose A20.jpg

Secondary Headset
▪ Model:  ASA HS-1 w/ David Clark Modifications (Read Below)
▪ Why:  Affordable headset if the Bose malfunction or I’m flying with a friend who doesn’t have a headset.  Make the flying experience enjoyable for them!  I have added David Clark Undercut Gel Seals and Comfort Cloth Ear Seal Covers. The combination of the David Clark accessories makes this headset incredibly comfortable for a very affordable price tag.
▪ Where to Buy:  Sporty’s / DC Gel Seals / DC Comfort Cloth Covers

ASA Headset.jpg

▪ Model:  ASA-KB-1 VFR & FlyBoys Kneeboard w/ PIVOT Case Adapter
▪ Why:  It’s a great idea to get in the habit of writing down instructions from Ground, Tower, TRACON, and Center.  Additionally, you’ll want to write things down like Frequencies, ATIS (Winds, Identifier, Altimeter, etc…).  Enabling me to do this via Paper and Pen (ASA) or via iPad and Apple Pencil w/ ForeFlight (PIVOT) give me flexibility for the day.
▪ Where to Buy:  Sporty’s / PIVOT (Flyboys)

ASA Kneeboard.jpg

Writing Instruments
▪ Model:  Fisher Space Pen, Pilot G-2, & Pencil
▪ Why:  I use the Fisher Space Pen because it writes upside down and underwater.  Paul Fisher developed a hermetically sealed and pressurized cartridge at 35 pounds per square inch for NASA in 1965.  It works from +121C to -35C.  No one wants a pen that doesn’t work.  I use a fine tip Pilot G-2 for my logbook, and it’s always good to have a 0.7 / 0.9mm pencil for paper chart planning.
▪ Where to Buy:  Fisher

Logbook Organizer
▪ Model:  Sporty’s Small Flight Log Case
▪ Why:  One place for your Private Pilot Certificate, Medical License, and Logbook.  Prevents damages to any of these critical documents.
▪ Where to Buy:  Sporty’s

Fun fact, the wording on the outline of the Wright Flyer on your Private Pilot Certificate states the following:

“Without question, flight is represented by countless heroes who have stirred greatness in others. It was a dream that had been waiting to be realized for thousands of years, and chased by countless visionaries, scholars and brave souls. But even as the mass of collected knowledge came to a crucial turning point, it was not until the ingenuity of the Wright Brothers that the puzzle of powered flight was solved. Discovery requires deep understanding, constant interpretation of knowledge and unbridled persistence."

It is part of a speech given by Marion Blakey on December 17, 2002 at the Air and Space Museum for the Centennial of Flight Kick-Off event.  Marion was the 15th FAA Administrator from 2002 to 2007.

Logbook Case.jpg

ADS-B Receiver
▪ Model:  Stratus 3
▪ Why:  Dual-Band ADS-B Traffic and Weather, AHRS (Attitude), 8 Hour Battery Life, WAAS GPS.  What I really like is the form factor (no antenna) and simplicity with calibration at start-up.  I’ve used a combination of ADS-B receivers (Stratus 1S, Stratux, and Sentry).  I prefer the Stratus 3 compared to other ADS-B receivers.
▪ Where to Buy:  Sporty’s

Stratus 3.jpg

Electronic Flight Bag
▪ Model:  PIVOT Pro 105 | iPad Pro 10.5” 64GB | ForeFlight
▪ Why:  Flight planning, briefing, traffic / weather available in flight, the list of reasons are endless.  I wouldn’t trust anything else.
▪ Where to Buy:  Flyboys, Apple, & ForeFlight


Water Bottle
▪ Model:  Cactaki Water Bottle with Time Marker
▪ Why:  Fits in C172 cup-holder, visual gauge of how much water to drink throughout the day, can also understand how much water has been consumed during the flight.
▪ Where to Buy:  Amazon

Water Bottle.jpg

Suction Cup Mounts
▪ Model:  PIVOT EFB Mount and Stratus Mount
▪ Why:  PIVOT EFB Suction Cup Mounting and Stratus 3 Mount for side window of C172.
▪ Where to Buy:  Flyboys / Sporty’s

Suction Cup Mounts.jpg

Backup Battery, Power Chargers (12V + Wall), & Spare Batteries
▪ Model:  Ubiolabs, FlightGear Dual USB, and Duracell AA/AAA
▪ Why:  Avoid a dead battery with USB charger, wall chargers.  Power output is decent (for example 5V * 2.4A = 12W).
▪ Where to Buy:  Costco / Sporty’s


Sunglasses Case
▪ Model:  Blupond Semi-Hard EVA Case
▪ Why:  Keep your sunglasses clean, free from scratches, and prevent them from being damaged.
▪ Where to Buy:  Amazon

Sunglasses Case.jpg

Flashlight & Headlamp
▪ Model:  Smith and Wesson Captain’s Flashlight & Coast Headlamp
▪ Why:  Exterior pre-flight inspections are best performed with white light for maximum area lighting.  For lighting in the cockpit (including chart lighting), a red light will preserve night vision far better than white light.  Both have white and red LED’s.
▪ Where to Buy:  Sporty’s / Amazon


Handheld Radio
▪ Model:  Yaesu FTA-550L
▪ Why:  Full communication on the aircraft communications band and additionally provides VOR and localizer navigation features on the "NAV" band.
▪ Where to Buy:  Sporty’s

Yaesu Radio.jpg

C172 Quick Reference Chart
▪ Why:  When you have an engine out, no one wants to fumble through a POH, establish Vg and begin to troubleshoot with a single page, leveraging the POH if required.

Sectional Chart, E6B (Manual and Electric), Plotter
▪ Why:  Great to learn fundamental Cross-Country flight planning procedures.

Cross-Country Planning.jpg

Fuel Gloves, Tester, Gauge
▪ Why: If stopping over at an airport, best to wear some gloves while at the PUMP to prevent fuel smell / vapors from getting on your hands. Don’t need gloves to SUMP the tanks on pre-flight, but you’ll want to sump the tanks regardless, and use a gauge to test the actual volume in the tank if not full.


▪ Why: Flying involves writing checks for block time, instructor time, and various other expenses.


Hat & Gloves
▪ Why: Pre-flight can be cold in Chicago, stay warm.

Hat and Gloves.jpg

▪ Why: Love.


Introducing Wheel Stand Pro Support for All SLAVX Panels

(Chicago, IL - 9 DEC 2018)  No Tabletop, No Problem! All SLAVX Avionics Panels now offer mounting support for existing Wheel Stand Pro owners. As part of our custom design and manufacturing capability, we addressed this market need through 3 product revisions. Ultimately, landing on the final version which includes a welded bracket system and uses the existing Wheel Stand Pro mounting hardware. For customers, this means minimal additional material and labor, as well as a mounting solution familiar to existing Wheel Stand Pro models. Pictures of the Custom SLAVX Avionics Panel (Including 13” Touchscreen) & CAD are below. For reference, the Wheel Stand Pro pictured is the Super Warthog.

If you are interested in a panel with Wheel Stand Pro support, the additional charge will be $29 per panel and feel free to reach out via the Contact Page if you have additional questions.

SLAVX Shop: Wheel Stand Pro Bracket System

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Custom Panels - Now Available

(Chicago, IL - 21 AUG 2018)  Do you have a bunch of Flight Simulator Components, but no easy way to integrate them all into a single Tabletop panel?  Look no further, we offer custom design and manufacturing solutions for these exact situations.  If you can't find the panel you are looking for in the SLAVX Shop, we will design and manufacturer the panel you have always desired.

We have been working with a number of customers on custom panel design and manufacturing.  Below are some of the images, however we now offer expanded component compatibility, such as the following:

▪  Yoke:  Brunner CLS-E Yoke & Logitech Pro Flight Yoke within the same panel and also manufactured with trim plates for a clean installation to ensure no gaps around yoke.
▪  Throttle:  Logitech / Saitek TPM in place of dual throttle quadrants.
▪  Rudder:  CLS-E Rudder Pedal weight and slip system to avoid pedals slipping on wood floors.

Check out the video below for more information.  If you are interested, feel free to reach out via the Contact Page.

Custom SLAVX Model 6

Custom SLAVX Model 6

CAD - CLS-E Yoke Trim Plate

CAD - CLS-E Yoke Trim Plate

MFG - CLS-E Yoke Trim Plate

MFG - CLS-E Yoke Trim Plate

Model 1 w/ Additional Audio Panel

Model 1 w/ Additional Audio Panel

Custom Panel w/ TPM Component Support

Custom Panel w/ TPM Component Support

CAD - Pro Flight Yoke Trim Plate

CAD - Pro Flight Yoke Trim Plate

MFG - Pro Flight Yoke Trim Plate

MFG - Pro Flight Yoke Trim Plate

Model 1 w/ Additional Audio Panel

Model 1 w/ Additional Audio Panel

FlightSimExpo 2018 Sponsorship | Raffle | Charging Station

Those who are attending FlightSimExpo in Las Vegas from June 9-10 will have an opportunity to win a SLAVX Model 2 Avionics Panel, as well as multiple opportunities to win a SLAVX Premium Shirt.

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Many component manufacturers will also be in attendance, including RealSimGear so be sure to check them out at Booth 104.

If you are running low on battery charge, pop over to the registration table where you can top up your iOS or Android device.  Charging station courtesy of Stay Level Avionix and supplied by InCharged.

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SLAVX 5 & 6 Product Launch | RealSimGear Compatible

(Chicago, IL - 30 May 2018)  Ahead of Flight Sim Expo, Stay Level Avionix is proud to announce their latest Tabletop Avionics Panels, the SLAVX Models 5 & 6.  These models add support for mounting RealSimGear GNS430 / 530 Avionics in parallel with existing Logitech Pro Flight Components.  Great for anyone using X-Plane 11 and looking for a more realistic training experience.

Explore our Features page to learn more and if you are ready to purchase, head over to the SLAVX Shop.  Check out the short product introduction video below:

Video:  Link

SLAVX Model 5.jpg

FSElite Original: Company Q&A with Calum @ FSElite.net

(Chicago, IL - 28 APR 2018)  Over the past few weeks, Calum Martin from FSElite and John Albers, President of Stay Level Avionix were able to do a few Q&A sessions.  FSElite has published the Q&A at the link below.  Take a look to learn more about our company, difference in design and engineering, as well as general thoughts on bringing the most affordable Turnkey G1000 system to the home environment later in 2018.

Q&A:  Link


Company Podcast with Thomas @ PCFlight.net

(Chicago, IL - 20 APR 2018)  Thomas at PCFlight was gracious enough to interview John Albers, President of Stay Level Avionix for a few minutes on his latest Podcast.  John talks about how Stay Level Avionix got started, the products, long-term goals and what you can expect from Stay Level Avionix at Flight Sim Con 2018.


Tune in at the link below to have a listen.  You can pick up the Stay Level Avionix section at the 7:35 mark.

Podcast:  Link

Exclusive Canadian Distribution Partner - Dix30 Simulation®

(Chicago, IL - 10 APR 2018)  Stay Level Avionix and Dix30 Simulation® have entered into a formal arrangement for Dix30 Simulation® to be the official seller and distribution partner for all Canadian purchases of SLAVX Avionics Panels.

Canadian customers benefit greatly from this newly created arrangement by receiving competitive marketplace prices in local currency, affordable and timely shipping, as well as great customer service from the entire team at Dix30 Simulation®.

John Albers, President of Stay Level Avionix had the following comments about the newly created arrangement, "Canada has proven to show strong representation of avid Flight Simulation and Aviation enthusiasts.  We are excited to bring our products to this region and we believe through Daniel and the entire team at Dix30 Simulation®, we have the best partner in Canada to do this."

About Stay Level Avionix, LLC:  Founded in 2018, Stay Level Avionix Manufacturers High Quality Cockpit & Tabletop Flight Simulator Avionics Panels for X-Plane, Prepar3D, and FSX. Compatible with G1000 by SIMiONIC, RealSimGear GNS430 / 530 / G1000 and Logitech Pro Flight.

About Dix30 Simulation®:  Dix30 Simulation® is Canada's Flight Simulation Store based in Montreal, Canada operating since 2012 serving the Flight Simulation community with hardware, software, magazine and manuals.

SLAVX Launch!

(Chicago, IL - 21 MAR 2018) Company Launch Day! Starting a company has always been a personal goal of mine. Today, Stay Level Avionix, LLC is a reality.

My focus is greater than just selling a product. It’s about enhancing home flight simulation, enabling integration and familiarity with avionics, and ultimately encouraging customers to pursue an actual private pilot certificate.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to this point, it wouldn’t have been possible without you. 

You've discovered our best-in-class website with live-chat integration at www.slavx.com.  As I say in the cockpit, “Let’s have fun and Stay Level”