Pilot kneeboards are the small clipboards or folders worn on the knee during flight. They are an essential item of flight gear as they provide a convenient place to keep track of important information such as flight data, frequencies, and other information transmitted during radio calls. For the more qualified aviators and commercial pilots they are a covenient place in which to jot down important IFR information and other pilot notes.
A very basic kneeboard might be just a firm place on which to hold a notepad or for securing checklists. Student pilots on a budget might also use such a standard kneeboard to hold charts. It will probably have a single plastic strap and a pen holder. It might also have a crosswind component graph and a light gun signal key printed on it.
iPad kneeboards are obviously designed to hold an iPad firmly during flight. Even the simplest tablet kneeboard should be capabale of holding the iPad or iPad mini in place where it won’t be dislodged by control movements or bumpy air.
The kneeboard encourages cockpit organization by providing a place to store items such as plastic checklist pages. It’s where the inflight note taking happens, for jotting down radio frequencies, runways in use, wind speed & direction, and the QNH or QFE.
Think of the aviation kneeboard as the pilot’s desk.
Pilot Kneeboard Sizes
Pilot kneeboards are available in a variety of sizes and styles, and they can be customized to meet the needs of any pilot. There are many different types of pilot kneeboards available on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and new products do occasionally appear to challenge the established models.
Most will have at least one adjustable elastic strap with clip together ends or a velcro strap for fixing it to the thigh.
Many are now first and foremost iPad kneeboards i.e. they hold an EFB (electronic flight bags). Depending on your tablet of choice you can buy one for your iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPad Pro, or any other electronic device or cell phone.
Here is a list of 11 of the best pilot kneeboards available today. As you can see, they differ in many respects as they’ve been designed for a variety of flight types.
MyGoFlight EFB Pilot Kneeboard
The MyGoFlight EFB Pilot Kneeboard is a top-quality kneeboard that’s designed specifically for use with electronic flight bags (EFB) e.g. an iPad. It features an attachable tablet holder, as well as plenty of storage space available to secure pens and pencils.
It’s one way to keep your iPad Mini safe while you’re flying. The detachable clipboard can be attached magnetically so it stays put when not being used; plus there are multiple pockets throughout this durable case that allow quick access. One-handed operation makes taking out devices easy no matter what situation arises: whether during preflight or before reaching your destination airport.
- PILOT EFB CLIPBOARD AND KNEEBOARD – The electronic flight bag VFR/IFR detachable clipboard adheres magnetically for stable note taking. Pilot’s kneeboard, clipboard, lapboard, and everyday case securely holds and protects your iPad Pro 9.7”, 10.5”, 11”, iPad Air 1/2, iPad 2, 3, 4, 9.7”, 10.2”, or any other 9”-11" tablet. Aviators, truckers, road trippers, travelers, boaters, and anyone else with an active lifestyle will love having easy, quick, safe, and one-handed access to their devices.
- COCKPIT READY AND EASILY ADJUSTABLE – When securely strapped to your knee or used as a lap board, the iPad is viewable and operable with one hand during critical phases of flight per FAA requirements. The tablet is held in the case by four adjustable clips that are attached to a rotating cradle, allowing easy 360° rotation between landscape and portrait positions. The cut-out design provides full and easy access to all of the device's ports, buttons, and controls.
- VERSATILE AND MULTI-PURPOSE –The removeable Velcro strap securely holds the kneeboard in. Once the strap is removed, the kneeboard becomes a sleek iPad case for everyday use. Easily take your iPad from air to office to home where the built-in and adjustable stand converts the case for laps, desks, or tabletops. Use a low slant for reducing wrist strain while typing on the on-screen keyboard or a higher angle for watching movies or photo slideshows or when typing with a wireless keyboard.
- HEAVY-DUTY AND DURABLE YET LUXURIOUS – Made of, and wrapped in, high quality, genuine black leather for a rich, sumptuous, and satisfying feel. Soft and supple micro-fiber material lines the inside, protecting your device.
- ONE YEAR WARRANTY against defects in materials and workmanship for all products purchased from, and manufactured by, MYGOFLIGHT. If this product is found to be defective, you may request an exchange for replacement, a repair, or replacement parts within one year of the invoice date.
ASA VRF Pilot Kneeboard
The ASA VRF Pilot Kneeboard is another great option for those who use EFBs. It has a similar design to the MyGoFlight model but also includes an integrated clipboard that allows you to take notes during your flight.
This durable brushed aluminum VFR kneeboard gives pilots everything they need in one place, from important information about visibility and communication frequencies right down to how many minutes it’ll take before reaching cruising altitude with this particular type of aircraft. All this information is conveniently located on the custom-designed surface; specifically formulated by experts who know exactly what’s required while piloting.
FlyBoys Classic Kneeboard
FlyBoys Classic Kneeboard is the ultimate flight kneeboard for commercial and general aviation pilots. It’s a favorite among military pilots. The ultra-rugged D600 fabric ensures years of trouble-free use in the most demanding environment while a flexible design allows you to customize your kneeboard with checklists, inflight guides, and more.
The included flexible plastic clipboard (FB1060 ) is perfect for holding paper charts and other materials.
- TABLET SUPPORT: Combine the Classic Kneeboard with the PIVOT Low Profile Kneeboard Adapter and appropriate PIVOT case to support your EFB tablets.
- FLEXIBLE: The Classic Kneeboard also features seven eyelets for securing notes, checklists, inflight guides, charts, cards, and more. The Eyelet Strip can also be detached when not needed.
- DURABLE: Ultra-rugged D600 nylon fabric ensures long-term use even in the most demanding environments.
- COMFORTABLE: The SafeFlex plastic clipboard provides an excellent writing surface while conforming to the pilot's leg for maximum comfort.
- SECURE: The strong leg-strap ensures that the kneeboard stays in place, while the 5 x 8" clipboard with stainless steel spring-action clip and clear PVC retention-strap secures pilot notes, approach plates, and more.
Destination Departure Pilot Kneeboard
The Destination Departure Pilot Kneeboard is a brushed aluminum kneeboard with a strong pen holder at the top. It’s probably more ideal for short VFR flights as some users report that the clip is too strong for an iPad screen.
It also has a soft strap and strong velcro attachments to ensure it stays in position on your leg while the flight controls remain accessible. The aluminum material makes it a durable item. The cushioned edges protect hands from grazes and knocks should any sudden movement be required.
- Dimensions: 5.5” x 8” kneeboard, 4.5” x 1.5” clip, 1.5” wide elastic strap aluminum strong construction with a flexible plastic clip pen holder that attaches to the kneeboard clip for any aviation accessories
- SOFT AND STRONG FABRIC STRAP ensures a perfect fit for all leg sizes, men or women as well as durable construction to prevent future rips or tears along with strong velcro ensuring attachment during all phases of flight
- A COMFORTABLE DESIGN which allows easy adjustment and use for any size person allowing ease of access for anybody who needs to use a kneeboard
- CAN HOLD MOST AVIATION ACCESSORIES like an e6b flight computer on the kneeboard tray, plotter, sectional chart, and most student supplies
- GREAT FOR ANY PILOT who needs to simplify things in the cockpit as well as convenient VFR information on the faceplate including information like light gun signals, transponder codes, VFR weather requirements and more
Jeppesen VFR Trifold Kneeboard
Jeppesen’s VFR Trifold Kneeboard is the perfect tool for keeping all your essential aeronautical information & equipment front and center during flight. Made with 600D Denier Cordura polymer, this durable kneeboard has plenty of space to easily organize any aviation essentials you need on hand while flying.
It has two leg straps with velcro fasteners. It’s a versatile kneeboard that has a detachable clipboard so that it can be used independently of the kneeboard.
ASA IFR Tri-Fold Kneeboard
ASA’s IFR Tri-Fold Kneeboard is perfect for pilots who need to carry more. This strong aluminum tooled clipboard is silkscreened with important IFR information and fits into a black 3-panel jacket. The left panel has ample room for small books, papers, and other items that don’t fit elsewhere.
The center panel holds the kneeboard under clear plastic with a pen/pencil holder and buttonholes on either side allowing a pilot to fold back one or both panels with the leg band. The right-hand panel contains a clear pocket for an approach plate or pilot’s operating handbook. There is also a buttonhole for a yoke-mounted microphone and clips for holding a flight log and other papers.
- Strong aluminum tooled clipboard silkscreened with important IFR information fits into black 3-panel jacket. Has room for charts, books, flight computers, etc.
MyClip Multi Kneeboard Strap for Tablets
The myClip Multi Kneeboard Strap for Tablets and Phones is a lightweight, one-handed device that allows you to securely attach your electronic flight bag (iPad) while flying. The innovative design provides an easy on/off attachment system with no clips around the case; simply slide over it and snap it into place.
It’s not a pilot kneeboard, just a strap, but once the tablet is in place it effectively becomes a kneeboard.
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Flight Outfitters Slimline iPad Kneeboard
The Flight Outfitters Slimline iPad Kneeboard has a rotating cradle that allows you to use your tablet in either portrait or landscape mode. Two mesh pockets provide extra storage for documents and other small items, while the heavy-duty elastic strap ensures it stays secured to your leg. This is a reversible kneeboard that can be used on either leg.
- Two mesh pocket on the side of the kneeboard provide storage
- Expandable loops securely hold corners of the iPad to the bracket
- Heavy-duty elastic leg strap
- Weight (empty): .5 lbs.
- COMPATIBILITY: Small: iPad Mini up to 5th gen; Large: iPad 5th, 6th, and 7th generation, iPad Pro 9.7, iPad Pro 10.5, and iPad Air 3
LIFT Aviation Navigator L1 Leather Kneeboard
The LIFT Aviation Navigator Kneeboard is for pilots who want a premium leather kneeboarding experience that looks and feels just as good when not in use. The FIDLOCK™ quick adjustment buckle fit system allows you to easily change your mind, while the over-knee leg strap with silicone printed no-slip grip keeps it there during flight time. This model also comes with an expandable zippered pocket holding small items securely inside.
ASA iPad Air Rotating Kneeboard
The perfect tablet kneeboard for your iPad, this binder has an elastic strap that ensures it stays in place while you’re flying across the countryside or making a water crossing. It rotates 360 degrees so there are always options when adjusting from profile to landscape mode. Plus with its variable tilt feature, it makes map reading and checking for landmarks so much easier, no matter the light conditions or the position of the sun.
Kneeboards for Pilots
Kneeboards for the pilots in your life make a welcome gift. They get a lot of wear and tear during their life (the kneeboards, not the pilots, though that may also be true) and consequently may be prone to damage if not looked after well. A velcro strap or the pen holders may break, for example.
Next to the flight bag and the aviation headset, pilot kneeboards are one of the first items on the student pilot’s shopping list. The latest models may also include a power port, they may be reversible with several pockets for an inflight guide and other documents.
The best pilot kneeboards are not necessarily the most expensive. You don’t need a top of the range tri fold reversible kneeboard in your flight bag if you’re just going for a VRF flight in the local area. You just need something on which you can jot down in flight pertinent information and that will hold maps.
Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API