This week I’m going to tell you about a strange story I read on the Pilot’s Weekly blog the other day (at least I think it did, it was a bizarre story so not sure if I dreamt it or not!)

Angelcare baby monitorApparently, the story goes, a private pilot was flying a 10 seater private light aircraft back into Phoenix airport late in June 2012. The plane’s instrument panel develop a fault and although the pilot still had fully navigational functionality he had lost the ability to make radio contact with the control tower in Phoenix.

The co-pilot, then this is the strange thing, announced that he had brought with him a digital baby monitor (an Angelcare AC1000 video baby monitor to be precise). The co-pilot then proceeded to find a channel on which to communicate with air traffic control and safely land the plane much to the relief of the crew and passengers.

This sounded (a) too much of coincidence to me and (b) not very believable. So I decided to do my own research on Baby Monitor Centre and purchase a suitable digital baby monitor (not a waste as I needed one as a gift for my cousin anyway). Now the site did not list a suitable monitor for air-to-ground communications so I purchase a Motorola MBP36 (even came with a video connection) as this had the best baby monitor reviews.

Did it work? Well I left the bay monitor on in the office of the small local airport and I could communicate with the guys on the ground until I left the runway then lost contact.

Good story anyway!

 

Along with aviation jackets and aviation sunglasses, aviator watches are a must have accessory for every pilot. Right?

Aviator watchLet’s start by clarifying exactly what an aviator or (pilot’s) watch is? In very, very simple terms it comes down to “a watch worn by aviators (or pilots)”. Many original aviator watches were issues by air forces such as the UASF and were actually quite simple in design with no additional dials that you see on today’s modern watches.

If you look at most of the leading watch brands they all now have “aviator” watches in their range. Watches such as the G-Shock GW3000BB are marketing as “aviation” watches but in reality offer no additional functions over normal chronograph type watches.

There are specific aviator watches that are made for pilot; the Torgoen T01 series features a E6B flight computer. However, when you have the choice of using the actual E6B flight computer or even a GPS system, then the Torgeoen T01 is the least useful option.

In summary, any watch with stopwatch or chronograph functions will be useful to the pilot. Many “aviator” watches are fashion accessories with functions you may never need, they look great but do you really need one? Yes, if you want a stylish watch but you don’t need one to fly a plane.