5 Useful Technology Accessories for Helicopter Pilots

view from helicopter cockpit over city lights

Tech gear and piloting tend to go hand-in-hand. It’s no secret that pilots love technology that makes navigation easier and safer. Besides, gadgets are cool to have and can significantly improve the in-flight experience. 

There’s a wide range of accessories available to you as a helicopter pilot, including a kneeboard for your tablet to GPS devices and lighting controls for your cockpit. What you use depends on the nature of your flight missions and what you want to accomplish. Here, we’ve listed some multi-purpose gadgets that could prove to be useful additions to your helicopter technology.

iPad

Gone are the days when an iPad was an indulgence on a flight or used for mindless entertainment. Today, it’s pretty much your co-pilot. Being able to compute and access external data is an essential part of being able to execute and guide your flight safely and reliably. Sure, you could carry everything from a handheld flight computer to a portable navigator and external hard drive, but it’s much easier to have one device than a dozen of them clunking around your cockpit.

With an iPad, you can check your NOTAMs, access weather maps, and adjust your flight plan all in one go.

Cooling Case for Your iPad

If you can’t make do without an iPad, a Cooling Case is an essential technology for a helicopter pilot. Every pilot who’s ever used an iPad has experienced overheating at some point. This severely limits your iPad usage, which isn’t ideal if you’re depending on it. It also has an impact on the overall lifespan of your device. With the right Cooling Case, you can keep your iPad cool and working for you all day. 

Moreover, it can also protect your device. Our FlexGrip system, for example, provides a sturdy elastomer frame to secure your iPad and offer protection against bumps and drops. Combining it with a MagPower grip can further extend the battery life of your device via magnetic charging.

Kneeboard

A kneeboard is very useful for helicopter pilots who use iPads or any kind of tablet device while flying. It mounts to your leg with an adjustable strap, allowing easy access to your iPad while still handling your flight controls.

Aviation Headset

Aviation headsets help filter out ambient noise in an aircraft, including that of the engine, blades, and airflow. This is a particularly vital piece of technology for helicopter pilots, given that most helicopters aren’t pressurized. Flying without a headset can lead to hearing loss for the pilot and passengers. They also help maintain radio and intra-cabin communication. Headsets that offer active noise reduction (ANR) are the best choice for busy helicopter pilots since they do a much better job of eliminating ambient noise.

GPS & Satellite Communicator

Although iPads come built-in with GPS technology, as a helicopter pilot, it’s best to have a backup in place. A small, handheld satellite communicator lets you track your journey, exchange texts and emails, and even send out an SOS alert if need be. It allows you to stay in touch no matter what happens to your primary device. 

For more information on the best iPad accessories and tech additions to your cockpit, check out X-naut’s range of aviation support systems, built by pilots for pilots. We’re happy to take any questions you have too — reach out to us and we’ll get back to you promptly.