Seriously, you are going to a FTO as an individual customer, paying them thousands and then they are going to make you wear fancy dress I'm sure it will make your flying much better, how many bars to they insist you wear?
Most FTOs require the uniform even for a private pilot doing an IR conversion.
The one I saw this morning would however allow me to wear four bars because I already have a CPL
I am the Owner of a supplier of clothing and accessories to the GA market.
Starting up a caper like this is expensive and the volumes are very low. At current volumes we have to do our manufacturing and customisation in the UK, which is great for jobs, but terrible for margins.
We have made some big/expensive mistakes along the way and found some of our market assumptions where a bit off. For instance, we had a desire to broaden the colour palette avilable for Pilots from black and navy...but all that happened was that people only bought the black and navy items!
A big lesson we have learnt is that Pilots are unlike Sailors, riders and snowboarders (wearing Crew, Joules & Fat Face respectively) in that they don't tend to want to display their hobby as an aspirational lifestyle
We are more focussed now, most of our clothing is low-key with small discrete logos and we are trying to focus on items that enhance the flying experience/safety, such as the Wristboard, Flight Cap, Gilet and trousers, but everytime we think we may turn the corner and start to turn a profit, the bank raises its charges....
We are well on our way to a small fortune, having started with a larger one!
Edited to add that in response to the above post on materials, the majority of our clothes are made from cotton
- You're quite right, that most aviation people prefer not to display their activity outside of the flying environment too ostentatiously (microlight and hang-gliding people probably being the exception).
- It would be really helpful if catalogues such as Transair actually stated fabric and flammability next to clothing products.
- If you can make a modern, smartish, non-green copy of the RAF cold weather flying jacket, there is a massive market for that- especially in the rotary wing world.
- I'm not a moderator on Private Flying, but speaking as a regular contributor and a mod elsewhere on PPRuNe, I reckon that you'll find people here more than happy to contribute to sensible attempts to gauge opinions about designs, styles and composition of clothing for flying.
Thank you Ghengis, we always state the materials on our products so that the customers can make an informed choice on what they wear.
A flying jacket is something we would like to do, but everyroad we travel down would lead to a retail price of over £100, experience has told us that this is too steep for the average flyer, but we will continue to look, I liked my cold weather jacket too!
We do like feedback and comments on our products, I will also post some questions on here too.
We have had some great feedback on how our customers have customised their Wristboards to hold their iPhones/GPS, folding PLogs, rags on string, etc, etc which is great to hear, and shows that the great British inginuity is alive and well in the GA world!
Wish you could get a cotton pilots jacket with a couple of pen holders on the shoulders.
The best I have seen was an old RAf flying jacket made out of the same stuff as they make rugby tracksuits out of. The bloke that had it said he could only wear if away from base and he had to be on constant guard of it being nicked.
And I know its not GA but if you could source some pilot shirts with a decent cotton mix. Not 100% been down that road and they are a bastard to iron. 70% or 80% cotton seems to be a good trade off.
We started due to the fact that the only flying clothing available was for muppetry, I don't need to wear a green babygro and Bonedome any more and I certainly don't want/need eppaulettes.
Our aim is to provide good quality, functional clothing, at reasonable prices that you can wear at the destination as well as in the cockpit. Our Vintage Sweatshirt was from the same supplier as Crew Clothing and looked identical (apart from the price-tag!) Alas we can't source them at the moment. Our jumpers are very smart and pure heavy cotton, so warm, but breathable and have sold very well in Norway!
We chose the Chipmunk as it is a generally admired aircraft in the GA scene, has some aspirational and historic overtones, makes ex-cadets go all misty-eyed (jump, jump John!) and both my Wife and I have had some terrific fun flying with Janie in hers.
It was cockpits like the Chippy's that we designed the Wristboard for, so you don't have to wear the gro-bag and scribble on your legs
Good question. Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about it except -
Check the internet (incl eBay) for lowest prices. Check the prices at American pilot shops - usually much cheaper, even if you have to take shipping costs etc into account. (ie If you don't have friends/family visiting the States.) Look out for second-hand kit advertised in your flying club and on aviation websites that allow ads. (PPRuNe doesn't.)
I turned up for my CPL skill test in my usual natural-fibres "uniform" of flying cotton trousers and cotton polo-neck, my instructor looked at me with horror and quietly asked me if I had "proper" clothes to change into. I didn't, the examiner didn't seem to care and I got a first time pass. I have yet to own a white shirt with eppaullettes, and suspect that I may never do so.
Kinda likewise. I showed up to my CPL test in a pair of jeans, Megadeth t-shirt and Converse All-Stars. My instructor (a top guy, incidentally) asked if I had a shirt I could put on... I asked if it would help me fly any better.
If I were going for a job interview I'd be suited and booted, but when I'm paying over £750 for a CPL skills test I'll damn well wear what I like.