Smart Watches

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Gone are the days when timepieces merely told the time. Today’s smart watches are more akin to wearable computers, brimming with features that not only keep us punctual but also enhance our lives significantly. For pilots, who navigate a lifestyle demanding utmost precision and health, a smart watch can be an indispensable ally.

Health at a Glance

One of the standout features of smart watches is their ability to monitor vital health metrics. From heart rates and blood oxygen levels (SPO2) to stress and sleep quality, these devices offer a comprehensive overview of one’s health. Many pilots have found that tracking these metrics leads to noticeable improvements in both physical and mental well-being—critical factors when your job requires being fit to fly.

Navigational Aids

Beyond health, smart watches are equipped with numerous functions to streamline the work of a pilot. With GPS capabilities, these watches can record flight paths and even find the nearest airports, complete with current weather conditions and communication frequencies. Need to check the runway conditions at your destination while enroute? A quick glance at your wrist has you covered.

Everyday Conveniences

But it’s not all about flying. These gadgets are also tailored for everyday conveniences. Features like Garmin Pay allow for hands-free purchases—ideal for on-the-go transactions. And with a built-in flashlight, unexpected needs in dim conditions can be easily managed without fumbling for a flashlight.

Fitness and Recreation

Smart watches truly shine when it comes to fitness. Whether it’s tracking your performance on a Peloton, logging miles on a hike, or even improving your golf swing, these watches ensure every activity is accounted for. For those with tight schedules, particularly pilots who may not have regular access to a gym, a smart watch can guide interval walking or other in-flight fitness routines to help maintain cardiovascular health and overall fitness.

Wide Range to Choose From

The market offers an extensive selection of smart watches to fit any budget and style preference. Prices range from under $100 for basic models that offer core functionalities like Bluetooth connectivity, up to $10,000 for luxury versions boasting exclusive features. Regardless of price, these watches are designed to be non-intrusive during flights, with settings to avoid disturbances while airborne.


For pilots looking to streamline both their professional and personal lives, smart watches offer a multifaceted tool that extends far beyond traditional timekeeping. Whether it’s for maintaining peak health, navigating the skies more efficiently, or simply staying connected in a convenient way, a smart watch is more than just an accessory—it’s a critical component of the modern pilot’s gear.


Chris Baur, FRAeS

Industry Chairman, US Helicopter Safety Team’