Wednesday, 10 September 2014


Sometime I like to shop. This is usually when the shop involved is actually a website and I can browse at my leisure. Stores I don’t like so much. I’ve never really regarded shopping as a recreational activity. Put myself and RTH into a shopping mall and it becomes instant role reversal. He wanders for hours and I’m clinging to his leg like a reluctant child whining “can we go home now?”

But this should be fun shopping. I need flying supplies! Yay!

Actually not so yay, the primary thing I need to replace is my flight bag, which quit on me this winter, I’d had the damn thing less than 6 months before the first signs of trouble started showing.
frayed corner on the bottom of the bag

card holder peeling away from the bag

frayed shoulder padding

and finally the strap itself coming off the bag.
This was the part that eventually quit on me

This bag had been used once a week, to carry what I consider a normal load of charts/headset/POH on a 20 minute walk each way. It was by no means abused. I emailed ASA customer service, helpfully including pictures of the issues. I even asked for suggestions as to which of their bags might be slightly more durable.

I received no reply.

Finally after a year the piece of crap strap broke on me as I was walking down to the flight school.

So Eff you ASA, I’m going with another company for sure.

Truth is as well that I discovered the hard way that the bag in question doesn’t really work for me. It's badly designed in terms of storage, stuff gets lost under pockets and the like.At the time I thought it would be good to have such a roomy but open bag. I’m not like RTH who squirrels everything away in its own little pocket, filed with meticulous efficiency. The bag he has may as well have been designed for him personally.

See here for more fun with Brightline Bags.

The major flaw with my plan was carrying the damn thing. It gave me back ache. I prefer a back pack kind of thing that puts the weight on my shoulders. It took me a while to find one that carried a headset properly but I think I’ve found the one I want.

The next problem was ordering the darn thing. I found somewhere that had it but, as is usual in these parts, they were across the border. In itself not an insurmountable problem but it throws up the issue of cross border duty.

I’m happy to pay the few bucks if The CRA deem it necessary but what happens is if it comes via courier, say UPS or FEDEX, then as well as the few bucks of tax , they charge you astronomical brokerage fees. Often up to $100. The national postal services USPS or Canada Post are much more reasonable about these things, charging a few bucks if anything.

Six emails in total, back and forth with the customer service from my chosen supplier and I was, at last, able to confirm that there shouldn’t be any nasty courier fees.

Of course now I was free to shop with impunity and there are just so many shiny fun things on your average aviation suppliers website.

I resisted the urge to order anything from the “experimental avionics” section, briefly considered purchasing my own windsock and hissed at RTH when he told me “no aircraft components!”

And then found this product

If we ever own a plane. I’m so going to buy those!

Anyways. I’ve ordered the bag and some other stuff. I’ll let you know how long this one lasts.

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