by Andy Matthews, iFlightPlanner.com
I love to fly and look out at the world below. It provides such a unique perspective which I instantly fell in love with when I started flying airplanes. Unfortunately for those of us who continued working towards our IFR rating, the price we paid for the opportunity to fly in less than ideal conditions was to give up that top-down view in exchange for a pair of funny looking glasses.
Just a handful of hours into my IFR training I quickly learned that the frosted goggles designed to limit my view of the outside world were not going to make the cut. As much as I love flying by reference to instruments I struggled with the amount of time I was spending under the influence of frosted plastic. Eye-strain became a real issue and I began to scour pilot shops to find something better. I am happy to report that I have! If any of you have experienced strained or watery eyes as a result of using frosted IFR glasses, cry no more. Meet Blockalls!
I had the opportunity to fly with Blockalls for the first time last month and quickly noticed how light and comfortable they are to wear. I weighed my pair at exactly 1 ounce, which is pretty impressive given they are made of a sturdy plastic with rubber accents on the nose and behind the ears. In addition to enhancing comfort, the rubber ear pieces made sliding the Blockalls on and off while wearing my headset extremely easy.
Functionally, I found them great in the cockpit. Blockalls have an opaque finish that blocks sunlight from getting in while creating an off-centered viewing area that helps you keep your eyes focused on the instrument panel. Given their more stylish shape you may be able to sneak a peak out of the corner of your eye if you have exceptional peripheral vision, but I found it difficult to do so and in no way compromised their designed purpose.
Blockalls retail between $24.95 and $28.95 and are available in an array of colors. They have a model with a tinted viewing area and one designed specifically for helicopter pilots as well. If you are one that wears reading glasses while in the cockpit, Blockalls has teamed up with a company that offers prescription stick-on lenses that'll eliminate the need to wear one pair over the other.
The bottom line puts Blockalls at a very competitive price point, and given that they are the most comfortable and pilot-friendly view limiting device that I've had the (dis)pleasure of flying with, it’s a no-brainer. Do your eyes a favor and add a pair of Blockalls to your flight bag!
Blockalls has extended iFlightPlanner.com members an offer to save 10% off their order. Simply head over to Blockalls.com and use coupon code “BA10” at checkout to take advantage of this special offer!