Usually I avoid product recommendations, but this one here is definitely one worth mentioning: Have a look at the FlyBoys FB1316 kneeboard from www.flyboys.com. It’s light, it’s low profile, it’s cool (desinged by F-16 pilots, yesss sir), and it has various unique features that proved to be extremely useful while operating in small GA cockpits.
- It’s low profile (already mentioned). This proves to be extremely important when you fly in those small confined GA cockpits. I am 6’8″ tall and flying a motorglider, Piper Cub, or even a C172 sometimes for me is a challenge, even without akneeboard. Now add the typical military stile aluminium kneeboard with huge clip on top, and the trouble really starts. The stick or yoke constantly gets caught at the kneeboards edges, which quite often leads to interesting situations on short final. Can do without it, trust me. With the FlyBoys kneeboard those are problems of the past … well, almost. But it’s definitely a huge improvement.
- The eyelets on the left side help holding the checklists in place. This is already a well established concept (one example would be the Jeppesen Tri Fold Kneeboard) and the FlyBoys kneeboard is no exception. The eight closely spaced eyelets ensure that your specific type of plastic cover fits the kneeboard, whether you use A5, the US 8×5″, or the Jeppesen 7-hole pages, they all work fine. Hot tip: Use large rings, preferably the FlyBoys plastic binder rings. That gives you more room when flipping the pages over and prevents your checklist stack to get stuck.
- The pen holders – finally someone put some brains on the problem where to put your pencil while flying in a way, that retrieving and storing is easy and ergonomically correct. The almost vertical position on the right side proves as perfect. You have to try it yourself.
- The long pocket on the right hand side – perfect to hold the Jeppesen folding plotter. A small E6B might fit as well, although I haven’t tried it.
- The small “ear plug pocket” is kind of useless for the typical GA pilot. I put some spare binder rings in it. I fly a lot of different types of aircraft and therefore change my checklist pages frequently. There is a good chance that I loose or break a ring in the process. If that happens, I am prepared.
- The clear plastic strap – originally designed to hold your stuff in place during negative G maneuvers, I find it extremely useful to hold my handheld GPS receiver,my map, or my approach plates in place. Especially if you fly with the bulky US approach plate booklets that strap is so helpful that you wonder how you ever did without it.
- And finally, as already mentioned, it’s extremely light. Perhaps you went through the same learning curve as I did – at some point in my flying career I abandoned all those alleged “professional” flight cases and huge padded flight bags and switched over to the “travel light” concept. By the way, talking about “travel light” – have a look at the FlyBoys Pubs Bag while you’re at it. It might be worth another posting …
Overall, a great product that’s well thought through. Just if you wonder: No, I’m not involved in any kind with FlyBoys. I just like their products and think that their products might make your life a little bit easier as well.
I ordered my kneeboard and pubs bag directly at FlyBoys. They were extremely friendly and helpful and shipping to Europe was no problem at all.
Hope you find their stuff useful as well. I’m looking forward to your feedback!
Cheers – Jens