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Student Pilot’s Beware – Procrastination is Costly

An article about the scrabble for aviation publications and an explanation of limited availability in the fall season.

Student Pilot’s Beware – Procrastination is Costly

Carl Helka is the owner of a pilot shop called Pilot’s HQ ( pilotshq.com ). A buyer and a parts broker in the industry for over 12 years he started his own website selling primarily Telex Aviation headsets but has branched into many different lines of products.

Every fall as the colleges and schools return into session and we all fall into the rush to chase down the supplies we need. The fall rush for supplies can be overwhelming for suppliers to keep up with demand. So, just as students need to plan early to get the classes they want, they also need to plan early on obtaining the publications that they need for their classes. Those who do not, especially student pilots, could find themselves in a class without required materials come the beginning of September.

In the Aviation industry there is a lot going on in the fall besides student pilots returning to school. October marks the release of many new editions for pilot and regulation manuals, and with August and September being the largest selling months, availability can be an issue. Given this fact many student pilots find themselves in the bind of trying to borrow books as they wait for their books to arrive.

Many students ask why there is a delay or a shortage of publications; well the answer is quite simple. The two largest Aviation book publishers release new editions in October because the August and September rush for publications takes a huge chunk out of their inventory that is soon to be obsolete. However, after the inventory is exhausted they are reluctant to print old editions. So those of you who were late to purchase books in August or September will find that they will have to wait to mid or late October when the new editions are released.

So what is the answer? Plan early! Register for classes as soon as they are available and try to make publication orders in the summer before the scramble for materials starts. This might even save a load of money on freight as I have found that many students are requiring their supplies shipped overnight to them when they arrive.

However, some may ask, what if the class is using the newest publication and the books I bought in the summer are obsolete? Many of your local pilot shops are ASA and Jeppesen distributors and every year they return much of their stock in exchange for the new publications. If you by chance find yourself with a 2010 FAR for example and need the 2011, the answer is as simple as going to the local pilot shop and exchanging it. Given that the publication cover is still in new condition, they will be able to give you the lasted version free of charge.

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