What equipment do student pilots need ?

If you are about to start PPL flying lessons, you do not need much but you will need some personalized equipment to get you going. Here's a summarized list of what is needed and popularly used among our general aviation PPL student pilots learning to fly. 

As a minimum, pilots will need a headset, log book, the Trevor Thom Flying Training manual and a kneeboard for writing information down. An iPad/tablet will eventually be needed for cross country navigation and it must have a GPS function. Other nice-to-haves include appropriate VFR sectionals and terminal area charts–either paper or electronic like Sky Demon which we can give you access too.

For the best deals, compare prices on Amazon and eBay

Trevor Thom - Air Pilot’s Manual Volume 1 – Flying Training

Order the very latest edition as an eBook here

Trevor Thom's 'Air Pilot's Manual' Volume 1 - Flying Training, is a must-have, and standard issue for every student pilot and instructor. Volume 1 contains comprehensive briefings for all the PPL air exercises and is universally used in the aviation training field by all student pilot's learning to fly. All flying training maneuvers are covered including basic instrument flying. Pre-flight briefing material is set out in diagram form and summarized. There is a full description of the contents of the PPL Skill Test, which must be undertaken at the end of the PPL training. EASA/UK CAA approved, the original author, Trevor Thom, have gradually been replaced by a superb team of highly qualified flight instructors and examiners and the publishers are keen to ensure that the books are accurate, up-to-date, informative and interesting. The UK CAA draws heavily on the series for the PPL examinations and they have long formed UK CAA recommended reading.

  • Flying Training Manoeuvres through to Instrument Flying
  • Preflight Briefings & How to Fly the Manoeuvres
  • Airwork Summaries
  • The PPL (A) Skill Test

Jeppesen - Pro European Pilot Logbook - EASA compliant

Especially if you plan to fly commercially, consider the all-new version of the popular Jeppesen professional pilot logbook. It complies with EASA regulations EU FCL.050 requirements for the logging of flight time in Europe.

Bose A20 Aviation Headset

Which aviation headset to buy? If you want the best-of-the-best aviation headset on the market, buy the Bose A20 which is used by PPL students and airline pilots alike. If you invest in the Bose A20 you won't need to upgrade when you start flying the Boeing B737 as this is the headset which is most popularly used on the flight deck. You'll need the 2-plug version as single engine piston aircraft and the Boeing all have 2-jack female connectors. 

David Clark h10-13.4 Aviation Headset

If you’re looking for an affordable headset that will last, consider the classic David Clark H10-13.4. David Clark is reliable, excellent quality and more likely to last the longest. The gel pads are comfortable and features a Passive Noise Reduction (PNR) which doesn’t compare to the Active Noise Reduction (ANR) on the more expensive headsets, but it gets the job done. The H10-13.4, however, has no Bluetooth or external audio input, which means there is no way to listen to external audio. The David Clark H10-13.4 is an excellent deal when bought second-hand due to its durability. If you purchase new gel, head, and microphone pads you practically have a new headset. Even if you have the budget for something more expensive, the H10-13.4 is a perfect compromise if you do not fly often or are a student pilot. You can always purchase a more expensive ANR headset later and keep the H10-13.4 as a secondary headset for passengers or sell it – they are in high demand.  

Aerotion Aviation Headset

To order:  contact CFI as we have a direct contact with the official European sales manager.

Aerotion Aviation HeadsetPriceActive Noise CancellingWeight

3.5mm AUX-In - for listening to music/phone audio while flying

AS2 Aerotion Active 
Aviation Headset
€ 455


Headset Weight - 440g

Package Weight - 850g

YesBest seller

Outstanding all-round high performance at a fraction of the cost of a like-for-like ANR headset

AS1 Aerotion Active 
Aviation Headset
€ 319Yes

Headset Weight - 540g

Package Weight - 950g

PS2 Aerotion Passive 
Aviation Headset
€ 239No

Headset Weight - 380g (ultra-light)

Package Weight - 800g

YesOutstanding noise reduction of 25dB to effectively cancel out cockpit noise, allowing you to listen to ATC clearly and concentrate on flying.  
PS1 Aerotion Passive 
Aviation Headset
€ 150No

Headset Weight - 540g

Package Weight - 950g

- offers many features only found on headsets three times more the price
- ideal as a spare headset for a passenger

All Aerotion Aviation headsets come with full technical support and a 12 month warranty. 

Aerotion Aviation’s headsets are a lesser known name but are well worth a mention as they provide exceptional value for money given their quality and industry-leading technology. Aerotion offer some of the best headsets on the market today at a fraction of the price. Every headset comes with a custom-tailored head pad with built-in memory foam, soft leather ear cups that mold perfectly to your head, providing superior comfort.

What is the difference between Passive & Active Noise reduction?

PNR is similar to soundproofing your garage: it blocks noise by stopping it with barriers. Passive headsets rely on a clamping mechanism and a fully padded leather ear pads to keep the ear cups sealed against the pilots/passengers head. Ear cups completely cover the ears, and dense foam inside the ear cups absorb sound while gel ear seals conform around the ear to stop sound waves. 

ANR headset, on the other hand, provide a tiny microphone inside the ear cup that picks up the cockpit noise around it. The noise sample is passed to electronics that produce an exact opposite “mirror image” of the sound. Tiny speakers generate the new sound back out to the ear cups and as the generated sound is an “anti-sound” to the original noise, they meet and cancel each other out. Hence the term 'noise cancelling'.

AS2 Aerotion Aviation - AS2 Active Aviation Headset

To order:  contact CFI as we have a direct contact with the official European sales manager.

€ 455.99

In my view, Aerotion As2 ANR are the same high quality headset as the Bose A20 but nearly three times cheaper.

Aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and featuring ultra lightweight carbon fibre technology, the premium AS2 Active Noise Reduction headset is low-priced yet still delivers on quality and offers advanced features such as Aux in, ANR, plush leather ear seals, and a reversible mic boom designed for left or right microphone placement. The AS2 ANR headset offers outstanding active noise reduction of 29dB Active + 23dB Passive to effectively cancel out all cockpit noise, allowing you to hear ATC clearly and safely concentrate on flying your aircraft. The AS range of headsets benefit from our ergonomically designed in-line ANR battery control module for easily accessible operation. The in-line module also houses the 3.5mm AUX jack to plug in music/phone audio along with the LED battery indicator & power switch. 

Designed to fit perfectly on your head giving you ultimate comfort due to our silicone gel head pad and faux leather, gel padded ear cones. 


  • High performance at a fraction of the cost of a like for like ANR headset 
  • Ultra lightweight carbon fibre structure with a total weight of just 440g 
  • Precise and clear audio, Aerotion AS2 offers everything you would want in an aviation headset 
  • 3.5mm AUX in - enabling listening to music/phone audio while flying 
  • Electret noise-cancelling flex-boom microphone for clear communication 
  • Stereo/Mono switching 
  • 50+ hrs from 2 x AA batteries 
  • Low-profile, independent L & R volume controls
  • Reversible mic boom to position mic on your preferred side 
  • Covered by Aerotion’s 1-Year Full Coverage Warranty  
  • Fast Worldwide Shipping 


  • 29dB Active Noise Reduction 
  • 23dB Passive Noise Reduction 
  • ANR Battery/Control module 
  • Electret noise-cancelling flex-boom microphone 
  • Stereo/Mono switching 
  • Headset Weight - 440g 
  • Package Weight - 850g 

In the box: 

  • Aerotion AS2 Active Aviation Headset 
  • ANR control module 
  • Aux-in cable 
  • Custom Carry case

Hi-Vis Visibility Fluorescent Yellow Vest Bib

Student pilots will need a yellow Hi-Visibility fluorescent bib while walking airside - yellow Hi-Vis vests are mandatory on the ramp.

iPad Pilot Kneeboard + Leg Strap

This iPad/tablet holder comes with a durable Velcro Leg Strap closure and is perfect for keeping your iPad comfortably stabilized on your knee while in the cockpit. Once PPL students have mastered Dead Reckoning (DR) navigation techniques, they will be taught how to navigate using Sky Demon VFR navigation and flight planning software which features a Moving Map display, which enhances the pilot’s situational awareness. Having the iPad strapped to your leg will help you stay organized in the cockpit.

Crystal Pilot Aluminum Kneeboard + Leg Strap - VFR IFR Placard - Updated Aircraft, Equipment Codes (Large Size, 5.8 x 8.3 in)

While you might have an iPad on the left knee, old school PPL pilots tend to have a VFR kneeboard on their right knee. This lightweight aluminum metal aviation clipboard comes with a clip to hold aeronautical charts or other related paperwork to take notes on, and an adjustable elastic strap that conveniently helps hold the board in place on your thigh. The strong surface can support writing, allowing note taking in-flight more convenient.

  • Large size: measures 8.27 x 5.83 inches. Aluminum clipboard comes with an elastic strap.
  • Double sided: VFR on one side and IFR on the other. Made of Durable plastic.
  • Good summary of important information you need to know in an emergency. Good use of color to make it easy to find information.
  • Great for student pilots and for exam prep.
  • Designed by Certified Flight Instructor at OSEI LLC, the makers of The Crystal Mic Aviation Microphone

A5 VFR Pilot Flight Log Pad (50 page PLOG) - 3 Pack

Developed by 'Fly GA Flight Equipment', this is a pack of 3x A5 size Pilot Log Pads (PLOGS). (Note: A5 size paper is a typical A4 sheet, folded in half, so it fits perfectly onto your VFR Pilot Kneeboard). Designed to assist PPL, LAPL & CPL student pilots in flight preparations (checklists) under VFR conditions. These Pilot log (PLOG) pads fit onto any aviation A5 Kneeboard. Sufficient for use in the the Planning & Navigation legs of the EASA Private Pilot Licence (PPL) skills test. Log Pads offer space for flight planning, radio frequencies and en-route notes. Approximately 50 sheets per logbook. Includes a flight planning section, with space for writing notes en-route. Pads were built to the exact specifications of flight instructors & PPL students.

11-inch Apple iPad Pro

Long gone are the days when pilots carried navigational charts and supplemental documents. Nowadays, the flight deck has gone digital with the introduction of the iPad/tablet which digitally stores and allows access to all required documents and the assortment of apps needed in-flight, for example, Sky Demon which provides moving map charts, VFR flight planning and navigation software. For this purpose, you'll need a tablet with a reasonably sized screen that is large enough to make reading charts easier, without making it too cumbersome to carry in your flight bag. The tablet also requires GPS. Be careful, not all iPad/tablets have GPS function. 

We recommend the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro

Foreflight is a popular app for charting. SkyDemon is also a commonly used navigation app for VFR flight rules. If you want to get rid of manual logbooks for flight logging, download the Logbook Pro app from NC Software which is an excellent digital alternative. As a backup, carry an iPhone with the same apps installed.

If you choose a Samsung tablet, make sure it has 'GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo'

CRP5 / E6-B Flight Computer

PPL students aspiring for CPL will eventually need a flight computer, or “Whizz Wheel”, during your ATPL theoretical course which is commonly used in ATPL examinations. We recommend buying either a CRP-5 or EB-6 Flight Computer' - both do the same. This calculates your heading, and estimates the time it takes to fly each leg of your planned journey. Both of these things very much depend on the wind. The ‘triangle of velocities’ gives you a ground speed and wind correction angle, given the wind speed, direction, your intended heading and air speed. This all sounds very confusing but a flight computer is in fact a fairly simple and easy-to-use 1950’s piece of technology. All this jargon is fully explained on your ATPL course. Our best advice is to purchase your Flight Computer early on so you can get to grips with using it (try YouTubing some tutorials in the meantime, like for example, this video).

Ray-Ban Rb3025 Classic Aviator Sunglasses - Non-polarized

A good pair of quality sunglasses - with prescription lenses, if needed - is essential for pilots. Polarized lenses are NOT recommended for pilots because they can reduce or eliminate the visibility of aircraft instruments with anti-glare filters. For pilots, iconic Ray-Ban Aviators have long been considered the gold standard when it comes to looking the part.  

Staedtler Pens (Pack of 4)

If you still prefer aeronautical laminated paper charts over SkyDemon, for plotting your cross-country navigation legs, use Staedtler Pens. Although 'permanent' is advertised on the cover, the ink doesn’t rub off easily, but it can be removed using a special eraser fluid afterwards. Four different colours are sufficient.  

Sky Demon


SkyDemon arguably provides the best VFR flight-planning and navigation software on the market today and it can be downloaded onto virtually any device - iPad, Android, iPhone and PC. PPL students who prefer digital over aeronautical paper map charts will need SkyDemon during the cross country and hour building phase. Fly EPT Spain is an official retail provider of the SkyDemon App. If you need to download the software, contact us to receive a login username and password. Ask for a promotional discount offer.

SkyDemon or Foreflight?

Both are great. To summarize the difference:

Foreflight = IFR

SkyDemon = VFR

Purchase Skydemon here

Start using Skydemon here

Pooleys Fixed Wing Private Pilot Training Kit

Pooley's offer a great value for money PPL fixed-wing starter pack that contains the complete kit needed to get the student pilot into the air. Includes:-

  1. APM Volume 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 7
  2. Pooleys Spiral United Kingdom Flight Guide (latest edition)
  3. Pooleys NM-2 Scale Ruler
  4. Pooleys PP-1 Protractor
  5. Pooleys CRP-1 Computer
  6. Pooleys CB-3 Kneeboard & VFR Log Pad
  7. Pooleys PPL Log Book
  8. Set of permanent Lumocolour Markers
  9. CAA 1:500,000 chart of your local area (please specify area required)
  10. Pooleys FC-8 Case.

How to Pass The EASA PPL Skill Test: A Guide to Passing the EASA PPL Oral Test and the EASA PPL Flight Test

The 'How to Pass the EASA PPL Skill Test' book is a very useful read that offers PPL students a very useful insight into what flight examiners are looking for during a PPL skill test. 

A Guide to the EASA CPL Flight Test

Download the very latest edition as an eBook here

Gleim Commercial Pilot Flight Maneuvers and Practical Test Prep book

Although tailored towards FAA, the Gleim Commercial Pilot Flight Maneuvers and Practical Test Prep book is an excellent read for EASA pilots aspiring to achieve their Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). This book is designed to simplify and facilitate commercial flight training, making it easier to understand. Incudes thorough discussions based on the FAA Airman Certification Standards, along with full-colour detailed illustrations teaching each flight manoeuvre, area of operation, and other subject area tasks prior to your flight lesson. This read will help PPL pilots feel more confident and will thoroughly prepare them for the CPL modular flying course and the CPL skill test. In the USA, this book is a must for study prior to taking an FAA practical test, but is equally relevant for the EASA CPL flying course.