Avoid “gearcreep” and stay organized in the cockpit


When stuff is left laying around and starts getting in the way of important tasks.

For anyone who has kids, gearcreep is a daily adventure. Books, bags, lunchboxes, one blue sock, and clarinet reeds somehow can’t cross the forcefield that is found approximately 10 feet inside my front door. Eventually, the forcefield can’t hold back the massive piles of junk and the gear starts creeping across the floor, only to be found at 2 am while stumbling down the hall to the bathroom.

While I complain about gearcreep at home, I learned that I was the chief offender of gearcreep in the cockpit. Pens, Bluetooth GPS units, aux input cables, flashlights… the stuff that I found rolling around the passenger seat and on the floor after a recent night cross country had me convinced that a more organized cockpit would be in my future. I started by getting some fresh gear, specifically to keep all my stuff from accidentally finding its way to the floor. Here are 5 items that have helped me to conquer my cockpit gearcreep problem.

Flight Gear iPad Bag

This bag is the perfect compromise between size and utility. The small footprint makes this bag a perfect fit for on the floor between the front two seats of a Cessna 182. It has plenty of pockets to keep all your gear organized. I really like the padded iPad pocket with with the thru hole for charging with a backup battery. I use this feature all the time to keep my iPad battery topped off.


I swore off kneeboards after I finished training, but now I find myself gravitating back to them. Modern kneeboards have a spot for your iPad, notepads, cleaning cloths, charging accessories, etc. This sure beats picking pens out of the rudder pedals, and I like having the iPad firmly strapped to my leg.

Gear Mods

These little unsung heroes are amazing. It’s a simple, hook and loop backed pouch that holds frequently used items. These are great for keeping charging cables organized or for backup batteries. I’ve even used one to keep a camera and all the small mount pieces organized. They are specially designed to attach to both Sporty’s Flight Gear bags and kneeboards.

Pilot Pocket Plus

The simple suction cup organizer is a great addition to the cockpit. Constructed with clear acrylic, this nifty holder can be pressed against a side window and is a perfect home for your phone, sunglass, and a pen.

Portable Cargo Caddy

These simple, collapsible bags make great catch-alls for the hangar and the luggage compartment. Oil, chocks, cleaning kits, wipes… these inexpensive bags do a good job of keeping the back of the plane neat.

Now only if I could conquer the gearcreep by my front door.

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Doug grew up off the end of a runway and has wanted to fly before he could ride a bike. As the catalog manager for Sporty's Pilot Shop, he takes pride in developing products that make flying easier for pilots. After spending a short time in the military including a year in Iraq, his standards are abnormally high for pilot products. A private pilot with an instrument rating, he enjoys small prop planes more than any jet. You'll normally find him in a Cessna 172 or Skycatcher while on a mission to find the finest biscuits and gravy at an airport cafe.