What’s in Your Flight Bag?

Experienced pilot, globe trotter, journalist, China expert, husband, father, and glorious father-in-law James Fallows uses Timbuk2 waxed canvas messenger as his flying companion.


James Fallows' Custom Messenger

He recently submitted his bag to whatsinyourbag.com, revealing that his made in San Francisco workhorse contains:

  • Collapsible sun shades for windows (translation: the round black things)
  • Camera for in-plane use
  • Foam ear plugs, in case passengers want them (What?!)
  • Extra batteries (Never have too many)
  • Kneeboard (Also known affectionately as a lap desk)and note pads for routing info in flight
  • Pens (Never have too many)
  • Four flashlights, checked for fresh batteries. One head-mounted, like a coal miner, three hand-held (Never have too many)
  • Mini-scale, for weighing baggage (We carry one of these too)
  • Hand-cranked generator that powers light and flare (Jim received this as a gift . . .)
  • Emergency-operations manual (Don’t panic! This thing has a parachute.)
  • Current medical certificate
  • Logbook, with pilot certificate inside
  • Not Shown: iPad (in Dodocase cover), for en-route charts in case main in-plane system fails. (Of course!)
  • Extra set of airplane keys (We wish we had to carry those)

Jim’s other bag resides full-time in his plane and contains “essential” (but mysterious) airplane essentials like:

  • Extra tie-down road and chocks (Hmmm . . . )
  • 2 extra quarts of oil and a plastic nozzle
  • Various cleaning rags and cleaning fluid
  • Little John (We had to look this one up)
  • Learn why Jim carries a lap desk and an iPad in his flight bag here, and check out more What’s in Your Bag stories on whatsinyourbag.com or submit your own here.

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