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Flying Eyes Sunglasses Review

Made for Pilots

Flying Eyes sunglasses were created by a pilot for pilots.  The founder of Flying Eyes, Dean Siracusa,  has been flying for the past 14 years, and was unable to find a set of sunglasses that fits comfortably beneath his headset. He found many other pilots have had the same problem, and the idea for Flying Eyes was born.

flying eyes couple

 Created for wearing under an aviation headset

If you are a pilot, you know that it can be challenging finding a set of sunglasses that fit beneath your headset. Many squeeze your head very tightly, making wearing them under a headset or a helmet is very uncomfortable.  On top of it, many sunglasses create a gap that leaks noise through the cups of your headset.

I love my current sunglasses, which are prescription Oakleys, but they are really uncomfortable under my headset: they squeeze my head and they create a gap in my ear cups that leaks noise.

flying eyes sunglasses
The Hawk Convertible by Flying Eyes Optics

Practical and Durable

These are the ideal aviation sunglasses. The sunglasses are the perfect way to protect your eyes while looking great and are virtually unbreakable.  Made from durable Resilamide, these glasses are very durable.


These sunglasses are easily convertible and come with three different options. First, the non-elastic strap that singes  behind your head is perfect for wearing with an aviation headset. It’s super comfortable and has a snug fit, and you can barely see the strap.  The glasses also come with a ultra thin temples that are perfect to wear with a helmet – they are 70% thinner than regular temples but equally strong and resilient. Regular temples are perfect for everyday wear.

Flying Eyes come with three different temple options which are quick to swap.
Flying Eyes come with three different temple options which are quick to swap.

It takes seconds to change the temple styles. Simply click the quick release top and bottom button on the temples and they will pop out. To insert the desired temples simply click them in, and you’re done.

The glasses have an excellent fit and are extremely comfortable to wear. The frames come in either a matte or glossy finish.  The glossy black looks sleek and stylish, while the matte finish is a more low key finish.

Three different types

The sunglasses come in three different types: the Hawk, which start at $169 depending on the type of lens chosen. There are four types of lenses available, the standard solid neutral gray tint being the most popular for pilots. Also available are:

  • Polarized: not recommended for pilots as they interfere with the view of the instrument panel and other devices
  • Gradient Gray Tint: subtle and excellent for blocking out harsh sunlight through the windshield, allowing for easier viewing of the instrument panel
  • Transition photochromic lenses, which darken when you go outside and lighten inside, responding to UV rays

The sunglasses also provide UV 400 protection, on all lenses. This is a very high level of UVA and UVB ray protection, blocking all sunlight up to 400 nm in wavelength.

They also come with a prescription option (starting at $336) and as bifocals (starting at $189).  To get the prescription version, you must send over an Rx from your optometrist and Flying Eyes will do all the work. Presciption range available is from +4.00 to -4.00.



flying eyes in the cockpit

No more IFR Hood

A neat feature of these glasses is they can easily be converted into ‘foggles’ – so you never need an IFR hood ever again.  They are cleverly designed, static-cling labels you can adhere to your sunglasses that turn them instantly into IFR training glasses.   These labels are custom designed for the Flying Eyes sunglasses and block out all extraneous viewing from your line of sight except for the instrument panel in your cockpit. These are available for $12.

instant foggles flying eyes


  • Precision polycarbonate lenses
  • Lightweight Resilamide frames
  • 3 convertible temple options included
  • Soft micro fiber bag and cleaning cloth included
  • Zippered protective hard case

group frame flying eyes

Where to buy

Interested in learning more?  These sunglasses are available online from the Flying Eyes online store.  


There are even more sunglasses to choose from now at Flying Eyes. 

Flying Eyes has been around for several years now and have expanded their product line up. Including the original Hawk convertible sunglasses which are available with or without prescription, which retail for $164- 194, there are also six other models, all made to fit under headsets or helmets. Check out their full product line! They even have classic aviators, the Cooper Titanium, with slim sides for wearing them under your headset. 

Unlike classic aviators, which even though they have thin temples, can still hurt your head, the Flying Eyes Cooper titanium aviators feature micro thin temples, which fit under headsets without pressure or pain, no matter how long you wear them. 

Or, buy them on Amazon for only 159 

These make a great gift.

Pilots love them! 

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Why the Aviat Husky is the Ultimate Backcountry Airplane

We’ve posted a few videos and blogs where the Aviat Husky has been featured. So why is this airplane so impressive? Well, for backcountry use, it’s the ultimate, rugged and reliable aircraft. Here are some of the reasons why it’s a top backcountry performer!

1. Runways are optional with a 200 foot takeoff roll.

Add some strong headwind? This decreases even more.

2. Low power on stall speed.

The husky stalls at 38 Knots. That’s 43 mph. Once you are off the ground, you can easily clear terrain with a speed slower than the speed limit for many residential streets.

Image Courtesy of
Image Courtesy of

3. Great climb rate.

With a climb rate of 1500 fpm, get to altitude faster and over the mountains quickly.

aviat husky
Image from

4. 20,000 foot service ceiling.

That’s high. For North America, the only mountain range it can’t clear is Denali, in Alaska.  Watch as the Husky tows a skiier up a mountain in Alaska.

Image from
Image from

5. Low fuel burn.

A fuel burn of only 7.7 gallons/hour. Gas is expensive, so a low fuel burn rate helps.

Husky Cockpit. Image from
Husky Cockpit. Image from

6. Huge flaps.

With 60% span semi-fowler flaps, they allow you to go slow safely with better forward visibility.

The huge flaps on the Husky allow it great flying versatility.
The huge flaps on the Husky allow it great flying versatility.

7. Short field landings?

Also no problem, with a 350 foot landing distance required.

Check out this short field landing.

What a machine! Image from
What a machine! Image from

8. The view.

These airplanes help you access backcountry places in your airplane you can only dream of.

What a view. Image from
What a view. Image from
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How Noise-Cancelling Headsets work

On final approach, wearing the headset.

If you are a pilot, you likely know about noise cancelling headsets and why you would want to own one. However, do you know how they work?

Noise cancelling headsets, also known as ANR or active noise reduction have a built in microphone that identifies noise created by an external source, such as the noise generated by an aircraft engine and neutralizes it, and the resulting “sound” is silence.  This little graphic helps illustrate.

How noise cancelling headsets work. Image from
How noise cancelling headsets work. Image from

Noise cancelling headsets were conceived of in a 1978 flight to Europe by Amar Bose – the founder of Bose corporation.  The first noise cancelling headset was introduced 10 years later.  They have been very popular ever since and prove indispensable in noisy cockpit environments.  All mid to high end aviation headsets use this technology.

How they work

First, all attempts are made to comfortably block noise passively – this means using a good ear seal to block noise from entering your ears.  A microphone placed inside the ear cup “listens” to external sounds that cannot be blocked passively.  Then, noise cancelling circuitry (electronics) which are also placed in the ear cup, sense the input from the microphone and generate a unique fingerprint of the noise, noting the frequency and amplitude of the incoming wave. Then they create a new wave that is 180 degrees out of phase with the waves associated with the noise.

Next is the “speaker” phase. The “anti-sound” created by the noise-cancelling circuitry is fed into the headphones’ speakers along with the normal audio.  The anti-sound erases the noise by destructive interference, but does not affect the desired sound waves in the normal audio. The term “active” refers to the fact that energy must be added to the system to produce the noise-cancelling effect. The source of that energy is a rechargeable battery.

Most headsets can reduce ambient noise by about 70%.  However, they do more than just reduce noise – they reduce fatigue, which is incredibly important in flight training, cross country trips, and really to maximize comfort and mental alertness in any flight in a loud environment.

ANR headsets are available in the Powder Puff ANR headset, the Bose A20, The Sennheiser S1 Digital and the Lightspeed Zulu.

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Lightspeed Zulu 2 – Headset Review

The Lightspeed Zulu 2 is the ultimate blend of design, comfort and technology. The Zulu 2 is the latest upgrade from the Zulu model headsets and are lighter and more comfortable. Not surprisingly, like all new headsets, it has all the latest features including Bluetooth.

The Zulu 2 weighs in at only 13 ounces and has a magnesium ear cups which are really cool looking – and very effective at cancelling noise. Lightspeed states that magnesium performs better at absorbing noise than plastic, and it also increases strength without increasing weight.

lightspeed zulu2 mic

The Zulu 2 is superior in blocking high frequency noise.   It uses patent-pending “Microport Vent”  technology and electronic cancellation components, the Zulu 2 offers improved active noise reduction (ANR) consistency and performance over a deep, broad range of low frequency noise. The magnesium ear cup is superior to plastic at blocking out high frequency noise.

Parts replacement is easy, and easy to adjust, the ear cups feature soft, leather like material, which are easily replaced and retail at about $30.  We find these ear cups last about 1-2 years. The head pad pulls off and can be easily snapped back into place, and it can also be replaced.

The flexible boom mic has an adjustment on it where you can adjust mic sensitivity.  You can use this when you exhaust all other options for noise adjustment, and when you fly with someone whose headset is unusually loud or quiet.  

lightspeed zuluBluetooth enabled

The controller has a sliding volume control, an auxiliary input,  plus controls for bluetooth. To activate the bluetooth, simply hold down the button until the light flashes red and blue – your headset is now in pairing mode and you can connect it to your cell phone.  With bluetooth, you can initiate voice dialing, answer or terminate a call, redial, or listen to music.

If you like to listen to music during your flights, we recommend using the auxiliary input in the controller for your phone or MP3 player instead of bluetooth. If you pair your device with bluetooth it uses battery from the headset and will drain it faster.  We recommend you use the bluetooth for calls only and the auxiliary for music so it preserves battery life.

The headset features an audio priority feature which slowly fades your music out while when there are radio transmissions.  The audio priority feature can be turned off so it just lowers music volume when ATC calls, and does not turn it off completely. It allows to music to remain playing in the background in your ears while you are active on the radio.

Flightlink compatible

Perhaps the coolest feature, and certainly most unique of this headset is it’s compatibility with FlightLink software. Lightspeeds FlightLink technology for iPad and iPhone is exclusive to Lightspeed headsets, and turns your headset into your personal cockpit.  This app is free and proprietary, developed by Lightspeed. FlightLink works seamlessly to capture and retrieve incoming and outgoing communications.

With FlightLink, users can record everything going through the intercom, archive communications and use it like a scratch pad for note taking.  It is a unique and useful feature which is extremely helpful for flight training. You can record all your communications of your flight and review it on the ground later.

The system can also be combined with the Zulu PFX headset, which allow the user to set a variety of personal and operational preferences (the Zulu PFX retails for $1100).

The Zulu 2 is very comparable to it’s more popular competitors, such as the Bose A20 for instance. One is price: the Zulu is very comparable in quality but is a few hundred dollars cheaper at $895.

Comes with twin plus for general aviation aircraft. The headset comes with a 5 year warranty.


Considering that this headset has the same features, quality and comfort level as the more expensive headset and retails for a few hundred dollars less, it is a powerful competitor.

The Flightlink app is a great advantage, allowing you to easily record your flights along with notes.  This is incredibly useful for flight training. The Zulu also boasts better audio sound (music), comparable to the Sennheiser in audio quality.


There is not too much negative feedback with this headset, with the exception of a lighter construction that is not as robust, including the cabling.  They are reportedly a little cheaper constructed than the Bose, but also lighter.  Some customers complain of the ear cups not sealing properly around your ears compared to other brands of sets, hence not sealing the noise out well enough when not in ANR mode.   The headset also tends to use more battery on average.

See how it compares with the Bose A20.

The Zulu 2 is available in our store and ships for free. Or, buy the latest Lightspeed Zulu 3 Headset on Amazon.

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Top Ten Gifts for Pilots

What do pilots like?  Well aside from the obvious, airplanes, there are numerous things that you can buy for your favourite pilot friend or family member or simply any aviation enthusiast.

Coming up with holiday gifts can be tough but for gadget loving aviators, there are lots of options from small to luxurious. Most aviators love everything airplanes!

1. Aviator sunglasses

rayban aviator sunglasses
Ray Ban RB 3025 Aviator Sunglasses

With the sun shining in the eyes, protective eyewear in the cockpit is a necessity. Even in wintertime and on overcast days, it is so bright outside that you simply cannot do without sunglasses.  Aviators are important because they have thin arm bands that fit under the ear cups of the headset.  The arms of standard sunglasses are not compatible with the other cockpit necessity – the headset. Most arms are thick and push out the seals on the ear cups and are uncomfortable.

I have recently come across “Flying Eyes” brand eyewear, and I think they would be a great idea. These glasses have an adjustable cord instead of arms, that fits around your head and won’t obstruct your headset. The glasses also come with fixed plastic arms that you can use outside of the cockpit.

Other nice aviators are made by brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley.  There is lots of choice out there.  Many are compatible with prescriptive lenses.

2.  Flight Paraphernalia

Do they have a sense of humour? Pilot paraphernalia is always a fun gift.
Do they have a sense of humour? Pilot paraphernalia is always a fun gift.

If you’re dealing with a pilot geek, things like keychains and ornaments are nice to give. You can buy all sorts of things here.

From t-shirts, to mugs, to wall and desk clocks to doormats, coasters, stickers to jewellery, there is a lot of choice.  There are hats, weathervanes, ties and license plate frames. I’ve even seen a runway mat beach towel. Seriously. If you think of something, likely it’s available with a humorous aviation twist.

The classic “Remove before Flight” keychain or t-shirt is always a great idea. I’ve got one, and a lot of my pilot friends do too.


3. Movies and shows about flying

Many pilots love any aviation-themed movie – think of the cult classic Top Gun.  Most of my pilot friends have a copy. Other favourites include Flight, Disney’s Planes, Ice Pilots, Arctic Air or the Aviators TV Show. The show MayDay is one of my favourites however only the older shows are available on DVD.



4.  Flight Bag

Jeppesen captain flight bag. Image from Pilot
Jeppesen captain flight bag. Image from Pilot

There are numerous choices here.  I have a pink flight bag from Powder Puff Pilot that I regularly use, but there are lots of nice ones (and not so nice ones) out there!  The pink bag is definitely a great gift for the female pilot.

When you are selecting a bag, basically you need a bag big enough to fit a headset, notebooks, an iPad, charts, maps, books, a water bottle and snacks. The bag should have an outside pocket for small items such as pens and a few outside pockets on the side, and an interior big enough to house the main items.

If you want to spoil your pilot, check out the Classic Flight Bag, made of hand-cut leather, it’s rugged, durable and very stylish.  The bag is just under $500 and features one large back pocket, two smaller pockets on the side,  and a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap.  Very nice quality.

5. Headset

Flying with my pink ANR headset from Powder Puff Pilot.
Flying with my pink ANR headset from Powder Puff Pilot.

Every pilot needs their own headset.  Again, I’ve got a pink headset from the same company (Powder Puff Pilot) which I like. There are lots of options available here, starting from lower end (under $150) to high end ($1000 and up). Consider how much your pilot flies and whether or not they are considering a career in aviation.   If they are a more casual pilot, a less expensive but still good quality headset would serve them well.

Again, if you want to spoil them the most high-end styles are the Bose and Lightspeed Zulu.  I’ve also read that Sennheiser makes very nice headsets and they are quite a bit less expensive than the Bose and Lightspeed. For example the Sennheiser S1 Passive headset is priced under $400.  The David Clark brand also has lots of options.

Higher end headsets will have better noise attenuation (they will be quieter) and have a better fit.  Lower end headsets often rely on thick ear cup padding to provide most of the noise buffering and some of them can be quite tight on the head and heavy, which is not great for long flights or regular, daily use.

6.  Foreflight subscription

The ForeFlight Software for iPhone
The ForeFlight Software for iPhone

Foreflight is one of the most popular flight-planning software out there, and it’s sold on a subscription basis. If your pilot has a iPad or other tablet, or an iPhone, they will appreciate the simplicity of this app.   In this app you have your maps (VNC and VTA), IFR enroute charts, instrument procedures, and documents (iPad only).  You also get full screen weather maps, airport data, plates, SIGMETS, AIRMETS, NOTAMS, real time map imaging with either IFR or VFR maps. There is less to carry around when you have this app!

The app is sold on a subscription basis, and a standard subscription for the U.S. costs $74.99 and a professional $149.99. The app now has updates for Canada, and a Canadian subscription will cost $149.99 for the year.




7. Kneeboard

Those most pilots will have a regular kneeboard, many pilots now use an iPad or other tablet for flight planning, maps and calculations and not paper.  An iPad kneeboard is a must have in this case, it keeps your iPad conveniently on your leg so it doesn’t slide around, and a comfortable elastic strap goes around your knee without the bulk.

A kneeboard makes a great gift. It was one of my first gifts I received when I started doing my pilots license.

8. Electronic Flight Computer

Flight Computer from Sporty's pilot shop
Flight Computer from Sporty’s pilot shop

Most student pilots use the E6B, a manual flight computer that does unit conversion, fuel burn calculations and calculates wind correction angle, density altitude, among many other things.

Consider getting them either a nice metal E6B, while it’s also a manual computer it’s made of metal and is a lot more robust than the paper one that comes with most ground school kits.  Nicer calculators like an electronic E6B are a great gift and priced around $60.  They do all the same calculations and more convenient and quick.



9.  Flight Review or training DVD’s

Almost everyone who flies, no matter if they are working on their license or already a working pilot, can appreciate a bit of a skill brush up.  Many manoeuvres are seldom practiced past flight school. For example, stalls, precautionary and forced landings or things such as steep turns which don’t have much use in ordinary flight.  But they are important and those skills need to be retained and reinforced.   A review DVD or book can give an entertaining take on the basics to keep their skills sharp.

You can even buy whole courses such as the instrument training course, and more. So if they are considering doing more training you can buy them an online course so they will have a head start.

10. Refresher course with an instructor

Not into books or DVD’s?  Another idea is to buy your pilot a refresher session with an instructor at your local flight school instead of an instructional DVD or book. Often times many pilots want to do this but never find the time, so they will appreciate this.  Flight instructors are always teaching and they know this stuff that most of us forget inside and out.  An hour with an instructor typically costs $60 or so and with aircraft rental it will be around $180, depending on the school.

For the aviation enthusiast? Consider getting them started in flying with a familiarization (fam) flight at your local flight school. A fam flight is a deeply discounted first flight lesson which introduces them to flying and counts towards their training. I surprised someone with a fam flight for a gift once – and the look on their face the first time they flew a plane themselves was so worth it!

Happy gift giving!

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Bose A20 Headset Review

Bose A20 Headset Review – a premium headset for professional pilots.

Here is our review of one of the best premium headsets around, the Bose A20. Stay tuned for more headset reviews.

Did you know that Bose pioneered the ANR (active noise reduction) headsets for the aviation market?  The Bose A20 headset is one of the premium headsets available. In fact, this headset is rated the number one brand according to readers of “Professional Pilot” magazine in a 2011 headset survey.  It was voted the most preferred headset in that year.  This is the latest model up from the Bose Aviation X, which was voted number one in the same survey every year from 2000-2005.

This is the premium headset for professional pilots or for those who spend lots of time in the sky, and is especially recommended for loud propeller or turbo prop environments.

Both my flight instructors and about two-thirds of the instructors at my flight school own this headset. This is a testament to the extremely high quality performance of this headset, and it seems it is the one of choice for most career and professional pilots. Lightweight and comfortable, the headset weighs in at only 12 ounces.

The A20 is the latest model of this noise cancelling headset.


  • Significant noise reduction, great for loud environments – such as flight training
  • Comfortable, stable fit with plenty of ear-room
  • Clear and crisp audio for reliable communications
  • Adjustable, powered microphone
  • Smart shutoff, powering off your headset when not in use – in case you forget to, saving battery
  • Auxillary audio capability for other devices, such as GPS, and Bluetooth® phone connectivity
  • Battery lasts approximately 45 hours (uses 2 AA batteries)
  • Intercomm and auxillary priority switching
  • Centre torsion spring on the magnesium headband provides a consistent, comfortable fit on any head
  • Made in the US, meets or exceeds all TSO requirements

This headset boats all of the newest innovations for noise reduction and to provide comfort, while continuing to provide extremely clean audio.  It includes and auxillary audio input and Bluetooth phone connectivity as well.

All Bose headsets come with a 5 year warranty directly from Bose.


Significant noise reduction across a wide range of frequencies. Proprietary Bose innovations use microphones both inside and outside each ear cup to sense and reduce the sounds around you.

Proprietary ear cushions are compact, yet have a large interior cavity allowing plenty of ear room; redistribution of headset weight also helps provide overall comfort and stability.

What you get

The image below shows what is included when you order this headset.  The headset itself includes two clothing clips on the chord and a control module. Also included is a carrying case, 2 AA batteries and an auxillary-in cable adapter.

What is included in the box when you order the headset. Image from Bose website.
What is included in the box when you order the headset. Image from Bose website.


Best for flight training, flight instructors and professional pilots where noise reduction is key.

Great fit and comfort, very light at only 12 oz.

Bose has excellent customer service.


Other than price, it is hard to find disadvantages for this headset.  The new model has less clamping force so is more comfortable than the previous version (Aviaion X).  However, some pilots complain the headset hurts their head on longer flights.

Where to Buy Bose A20 Headset

You Right now Amazon has the best price: Bose A20 Headset on Amazon

What is your favourite aviation headset? Comment below