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Why Every Pilot Must Have a Kneeboard   

Pilot kneeboards are a vital piece of equipment on every flight and a very worthwhile investment for many reasons.   It primarily lets pilots keep their paperwork in one place and stay organized in the cockpit during flight.  It is not only hard but also unwise to flip through your flight bag to grab what is needed when flying!  From a safety standpoint alone, this is a worthwhile are very reasonably priced investment.  A kneeboard is a handy tool that holds charts, pens, flashlights, flight computers, maps and more in place and on your knee.  They are designed to strap onto the leg to provide a hard surface to record relevant information and communications during flight.

There are a few distinct styles on the market so choosing one is basically a matter of personal preference and need.

Simple kneeboards are available for both VFR and IFR pilots and are made of brushed aluminum with a clip on top.  They have rules and regulations silk screened on the boards themselves.  With a Velcro strap, these boards comfortably rest on the knee with a wide elastic band.  They are flat and the metal clip at the top holds charts, maps or paper in place.

If you’re looking to hold more gear, the trifold kneeboard is a good choice.   They come in standard or long length and allow for more organization since the sides fold out and provide pockets on either side of the center clipboard.   Like a mini briefcase, the three panel jacket allows for plenty of room for charts and more.

There are a couple of Military kneeboards on the market designed by Hendricks and Flyboys.  Both are extremely versatile and well designed.   Hendricks trifolds have padded backing so it straps comfortably to your knee.  For fighter pilots, the 9G Plus features a negative G strap.   Flyboys kneeboards work well for general aviation and military pilots alike and feature 7 eyelets that secure checklists or flight guides.  These are sized to work with every military bases spacing.   This kneeboard can be personalized as it can be embroidered with your name in any color and style.  This is a great feature and makes for a great pilot gift.

More recently, the iPad kneeboard cases have become more popular.  They are designed for use in and out of the cockpit.  Made of durable Ballistic Nylon, the hard cover folds over to protect the screen.  The leg strap is adjustable and can even be used to strap to a car headrest or fitness machine for video viewing. 

Looking for something small and simple?  Pilot chart leg straps don’t have a clipboard but instead are basically a Velcro strap.  It is a simple tool that keeps your NOS book or chart firmly strapped to your leg with a clear plastic strap over the top of your materials so you can still clearly read them.    

It’s clear to see why a kneeboard is an essential item that keeps pilots safe, organized and focused in the cockpit. 


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