“Necessity is the mother of invention.”  I hear the phrase every time I see someone rig up a clever gadget to get out of an immediate pinch.  The statement is usually uttered with a very self-satisfied grin, which I always return with warmth and sincerity.  I have complete respect for anyone crafty enough to improve their immediate situation.

Travelpro Flight Crew 5

I’d wager few of us are aware Plato coined this famous phrase in his book “Republic”  in 381 B.C.  Obviously Plato wasn’t your average guy, but it’s interesting to note that even back then he knew that our greatest inspiration is generated when trying to simplify our own lives. 

Personally, every time I use a nifty device that cuts down on my labor I say (to basically anyone within earshot), “I hope whoever invented this thing is living on an island in the Caribbean right now.”  I say it wholeheartedly, because whoever the mastermind I’m referring to is has simplified my life and I’m forever grateful. 

Plato knew no one is more understanding of our personal woes than ourselves.  So it only seems logical that the best innovations would arise from our own needs. 

As pilots and flight crew, we spend a lot of time walking through airports, up and down ramps, and across tarmacs.  We carry a lot of stuff.  We stand around for hours and lift bags in and out of compartments.  We don’t get a lot of sympathy for all of the hidden repetitions in our daily work life.

Ultimately these repetitive motions come at the cost of mental alertness and attention to detail, the enemy of safe flight operations.  So comfort, convenience, and efficiency are important to cut down on the inherent fatigue we all experience in this industry. 

Over the years, I’ve seen my fair share of “field expedient” solutions to emergent aviation needs.  I still grin every time I see a student break out a new pair of foggles.  How many of us even remember how uncomfortable the old hoods were?  The point is, as pilots we improvise and share, and we benefit from the knowledge and creativity of others. 

Today, Pilot Mall would like to give a very special shout-out to one of the most innovative masterminds to ever emerge from the pilot ranks.  The man who forever saved the backs and hips of airline pilots all over the world. 

That man is former Northwestern Airlines pilot Bob Plath.  In the late 1980s he revolutionized the wheeled suitcase (originally patented by Bernard Sadow) by designing a two wheeled model with a retractable handle, which he named the Rollaboard.

Bob did a solid for every airline pilot and flightcrew member on the planet.  He saw a need and came up with a solution.  He founded Travelpro Bags, a company run by pilots.  That company still offers a simple solution that meets the needs of not only flight crews, but millions of travelers trotting the globe.  I can’t imagine life without my Rollaboard, or the last time I traveled without it.

While initially preparing this article, I thought to myself, “Have I ever seen a pilot walking through the terminal without a Rollaboard?”  I honestly can say, I have not.  

Pilot Mall, also a company run by pilots, and keenly aware of your needs, would like to introduce you to the latest Travelpro innovation, the Flight Crew 5 17-piece collection.  This set has a solution for all of your needs.  It is a pilot imagined masterpiece.  This set, will transform your life forever.      

Regardless of the size or shape of you or your airplane, this stylish yet lightweight and durable collection is versatile enough to meet your traveling needs.  The retractable handles on the Rollaboards are built from airplane grade aluminum. 

They are designed with anti-crush technology and extension stops at 38” 40” and 42.5” inches, ensuring a comfortable roll for travelers of all heights.  The handle grips are molded to prevent hand fatigue.  Only a flight crew member who’d spent thousands of hours doing the bag drag would even begin to consider this problem.     

The Flight Crew 5 line has put thought and care into every last detail.  Check out the sturdy add a bag strap for totes and coolers.  There are even pockets for items such as sunglasses and padded laptop pockets. 

The Rollaboard emerged on the market nearly seven years prior to taking my first training flight.   I remember hearing my (non-pilot) mother talk about what a phenomenal invention these bags were, with zero realization of the impact they would someday have on my life.  Without a doubt, Bob Plath didn’t just improve the lives of pilots.  He changed the way we travel. 

Don’t waste another ounce of brain power worrying about luggage.  Travelpro cracked the code to the luggage problem in the 80s and perfected it with the Flight Crew 5 collection.  Check it out on Pilot Mall and use the spare brain power inventing a simple solution to your own life. 

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