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Thread: kneeboards: worth it or not?

  1. #1

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    kneeboards: worth it or not?

    I talked to my instructor about kneeboards the other day and his opinion is that they are to bulky to be very handy. On the other hand, he knows of others who swear by them. So I guess my question here is what are everybody's opinions on using them in the cockpit? Does anyone have any other substitutes that work just as good or better?

  2. #2
    whatevrworks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Payton009 View Post
    I talked to my instructor about kneeboards the other day and his opinion is that they are to bulky to be very handy. On the other hand, he knows of others who swear by them. So I guess my question here is what are everybody's opinions on using them in the cockpit? Does anyone have any other substitutes that work just as good or better?
    The first question would be what kind of flying are you doing? For VFR flying I use Foreflight and really have no need for a kneeboard, but for IFR flying I always have the small basic metal kneeboard strapped to my leg with some paper on it to copy clearance, routings and other pertinent information (changing field tanks, fuel burn, gathering info for PIREPS before getting on the radio). I still use the iPad for IFR charts and plates so really the board is just for notes. I have tried some of the bulkier kneeboards and hate them, they have a lot of storage but on long flights get very annoying. I own my aircraft so I also have other pockets in the plane to stash things compared to a renter who may want to keep all the charts in one place so they are not forgotten in the plane after the flight.


    dave
    Last edited by whatevrworks; 02-27-2012 at 06:06 PM.

  3. #3
    R172K's Avatar
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    I found that I couldn't hold the yoke full aft with the kneeboard strapped to my knee, so I use the clipboard part without the extra pockets and flaps. Works well enough.

  4. #4

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    I find it invaluable and all my flying is VFR.I bought one with the 7 ring plastic sleeves to which I can add the airport diagrams of the places i'm going too on each trip
    and I have also added all the emergency procedures I can run into and placed them in the plastic sleeves also.The writing pad is what it is, useful when you need it.

  5. #5
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    For radio notes, etc, I find that a six-inch wide strip of white cloth bandage tape on my right pant leg works really well especially if you use a marker to write on it (a double layer of tape will help to minimize the small chance of it soaking through the pants below). It's a trick I learned while working in ICUs and ERs. It's also a lot cheaper than a knee board. Since I very seldom ever fly alone, I usually just keep a chart binder like mikw53 suggested for all the approach charts, etc and make my cohort handle it (or vice versa)
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  6. #6

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    I use a small (5x8") kneeboard that I picked up somewhere years ago that works great. It's aluminum and has a velcro strap at the back and a really hefty clip spring a the top.

    I put a little square of paper at the bottom of it with likely airfield info (freqs, runway alignments, distances) as a crib sheet; lift the sectional and there they are!

    It doesn't get in the way of the stick or carb heat in the Champ, and since I go slow the smaller size of the folded sectional isn't a problem.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  7. #7
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    I used a kneeboard while actually getting my instrument rating, but frankly it just gets in the way. If I'm flying by myself, I just throw my flight plan and a small pad on the right seat. If I'm flying with my wife, she holds it.

  8. #8
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    Like Frank, I also have a small kneeboard I got about 45 years ago. I think it is APR brand which is long gone. I keep my chart, airport info., etc. on it when I fly. I find it very handy. As R172K mentioned, make sure it doesn't interfear with control movement.

  9. #9

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    I have a "Sporty's" 9"x 6" Aluminum board it has a side attach plate for mounting a "Gripmatic" clamp. The "clamp" is plastic and can be used to hold a portable GPS or radio. I used it quite a bit when I flew a C-150 with a handheld GPS about 15 years ago. It has been sitting in my flight bag taking up space until a couple of weeks ago. I am trying to get a Garmin Pilot III up and running in our club Tri-Pacer and I thought it would be a helpful tool. I discovered that my right leg lines up with the throttle and the kneeboard with the GPS mounted gets in the way. I, like Frank, am a VFR guy and I have a small 3-ring binder that I usually set-up with airport diagrams and such. Flying VFR we really should be looking out the windows rather then our laps, so I will pick-up and yoke mount if I can get the antenna to actually see and track.

    Joe

  10. #10

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    I will suggest that depending on your aircraft, you may not want a yoke mount. You might find A) you can feel the weight of the unit when you move the controls, and B) writing makes you push nose down. I hate both. You may or may not be bothered. Borrow a friends yoke mount and take it for a test flight before you spend $$.

    I flew old airplanes for years, and I fly a Pitts that has no floor to put charts and books on. A knee board keeps me organized. Most of the knee boards that Sporty's sells look better than they perform. The basic USAF one (cordura clip board and a strap) will take care of 99% of what you need. it works for the F-22 guys.

    What you ought to give a lot of thought to is how you organize the tools you have in the cockpit. Do you just throw stuff on the other seat or the floor and start the engine? If you do and you then have to paw through the pile to get the freq's you need and the engine power settings you want, then no knee board is going to make life enough easier. You need to package up the charts and other info in an orderly sequence for a knee board to work.

    I will note that a great way to get the leans or vertigo during IFR flight is to look at the floor next to your seat and reach down for something. Doesn't happen every time, but when it does, its an adventure.

    My Pitts has no floor. If I drop a pencil that is the last I see of it until I land. Charts that slip back into the tail are also useless. Cockpit organization is a wonderful thing in that environment.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

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