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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Editors' Choice: Pilot Equipment

Pilot equipment is a new category for Editors’ Choice this year. Here are a few items recommended by folks who know what pilots want and need while beating the air into submission.

Keen’s Pittsburgh Boot is Tough, Comfortable

This boot, with waterproof leather uppers and a waterproof breathable membrane, is built for the elements. Left and right asymmetrical steel toes, a removable footbed and dual density compression molded EVA & PU mid-sole provide comfort and help fend off fatigue so you’ve got something left in the tank even after your shift is through. KEEN adds interlocking torsion plate, an oil and slip resistant non-marking rubber outsole and 5 MM multi-directional lugs. Available in sizes 7-15; D & EE (1/2 through 12) and colors available: bison/red, black/yellow, slate/blackberry. Manufacturers suggested retail price is $170. Keen Inc., 1-800-509-5336 (KEEN), www.keenfootwear.com

Brightline Pilot Flight Bag–A Whole New Approach to Helicopter Pilot Flight Bags

This bag offers storage, organization and clever functionality. Two main compartments and 25 specialized pockets to hold everything a pilot needs to carry every day. You get better storage than any big bag in a small bag. Plus it’s modular. It can be zipped apart into two separate bags: the headset bag for VFR flight, and the document bag for cross country or IFR flight. Carry only what you need. Made of heavy, 1000D nylon for a long, rugged life. Exactly the right height for navigation charts, no more bending or folding your sectional, terminal or enroute charts. Color-coded zipper pulls help identify the right pocket every time. Brightline Bags, +1-415-721-7825, www.brightlinebags.com

LiteFlite offers reflective SAR rope

Denmark-based LiteFlite is displaying its new “reflective guide line”, a rope with woven-in reflective stripes. When lighted at night or in dark conditions, it glows and makes the guide line much more visible below the helicopter. John Holstein, LiteFlite’s technical manager, said the 10-mm-diameter polyester line is available in bright red and yellow colors. Another product is the quick-release box, which makes the rescuer more safely connected to the hoist. Sometimes the helicopter has to leave the rescuer on the ground. It happens that the rescuer has to cut the rope because he cannot release the karabiner if the rope is in tension. In that instance, if the helicopter only has one hoist, it cannot be of any more help to the rescuer on the ground. The quick-release box solves the problem, Holstein explained. The rescuer can release with just one hand, up to 330 pounds in tension. Moreover, he can feel, even with gloves, whether the connection is in the safe (or released) position. —By Thierry Dubois Lite Flite ApS, +45-7558-3737, www.lite-flite.aero

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