Not the most interesting topic, but one of the items I purchased was a dedicated pair of aviation sunglasses. Why a dedicated pair? Why won’t regular sunglasses do the job. Well regular ones can do the job, however most standard sunglasses are polarised lenses. The problem with polarised lenses is that when two polarised surfaces interact with each other, they can block out all light. This means the way the perspex canopy of the plane is curved you can get the streaking blocking effect which limits your vision. It can also block out the polarised instrument gauges, which isn’t a good idea.

In addition polarised lenses work by blocking horizontal light. This means that the light reflecting from the wings of another airplane may be diminished, making them harder to spot while flying. And since we’re learning to fly under Visual Flight Rules, it’s a good idea to be able to see other planes as quickly and easily as possible.

So, a pair of aviation sunglasses. I ended up picking a pair of grey lens (no colour distortion) Randolph Engineering Concorde glasses.

Not a big topic I grant you, but the reason I’m including it is I said I’d tell you of all the costs in this whole learning to fly experience, and these where an additional cost.

Cost: $119.95 plus taxes. Total $135.55.


Aviation Shops and Headsets (2 May, 2009)

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed that I mentioned in the last post about the Fam Flight that the headsets weren’t very good. Lets be fair, they’re not going to give out the best headsets in the world to everyone who comes in, and any serious pilot will be getting their own headset anyway. So, I’ve had my flight, I’m continuing this, I need a headset.

I asked around, spoke with a couple of people, checked out a few items on the internet and it looked like the David Clark headsets come highly regarded by many. Not the cheapest headsets, but not the most expensive either, nicely in the middle (depending on your definition of nicely and middle of course.) I checked and decided I wanted the David Clark H10-13.4. Great, I’ve decided. Hmm now my next flight isn’t booked until May 13th, but I’m the impatient type who has to have things soon once I’ve made a decision. So where can I get one from? Remember I mentioned I don’t have a car so rely on public transit to get around.

So it turns out that Toronto has two pilot supply stores, Aviation World and Threshold Aviation. Checking on the websites at the time Threshold didn’t have the model I was after, but Aviation World did. So simply choice, plus Aviation World seemed simpler to get to by public transit. Simply get the subway to Lawrence West station and then a bus across to the top of Carlingview Drive. Big mistake.

Getting to Lawrence is fine, but the bus ride out towards Pearson Airport, not so much. Now don’t get me wrong, I like the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission), and use it to get everywhere. I like the streetcars and the subways. The buses, not so much. And the bus from Lawrence West to Carlingview Drive is a long one. It’s hot, the windows don’t open properly, the bus is full as it’s not running as frequently as it should be. Generally it’s unpleasant. Can’t be helped though.

So we reach our destination, a nice aviation store tucked away alongside such great establishments as The Landing Strip, Hooters and various other variations on a theme that only go for one thing in the way of bare flesh. Allegedly. Still Aviation World itself is a good store, they do books, apparel, study aids and everything the pilot could want (outside planes and mechanical parts obviously.) The service was good and it doesn’t take long for me to get my headset and a carry bag to go with it. Simple, job done. Now to get the bus back…

Costs. Cost of getting to the location costs me nothing due to my TTC Metropass, but obviously the headset and case aren’t free. Headset cost $379.95, Carry Case $32.95. Including taxes the total for the day comes to $466.58.

Total cost to this point: $1214.96.

Note: All my costs are in Canadian Dollars, CAD.