One day, Chris Day of Fort Mill, S.C., caught a glimpse of his wife’s headset and it gave him an idea.
It was a color described by another pilot as “puke green” with no personalization or design whatsoever. What if he could come up with something that would give GA pilots and their headsets a little bit of pizzazz?
An advertising and marketing professional who is now a stay-at-home dad to daughter Emelia, Day took the idea and ran with it.
He came up with a prototype for a decal, similar to a skin used on smartphones. The first, featuring Rosie the Riveter, was done just in time for a checkride for his wife, Angie, an Embry-Riddle graduate who works at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) in North Carolina as an air traffic controller.
“And it just started building off that,” Day noted.
He submitted a photo of his prototype to a creativity contest run by Jason Zook, formerly Jason SurfrApp, an entrepreneur who auctioned off his last name to a company for $50,000. What’s more, each page of his book, “Creativity for Sale,” has a sponsor.
Day’s photo won the contest, which gave him the chance to talk with Jason, who gave him some great ideas, but also helped connect him with a representative at a headset company.
That gave him the confidence to create a website and begin selling Airlobes online. He’s come up with a variety of designs, including a patriotic one, one with green camo, and one with the well-known shark mouth seen on so many warbirds.
He also notes that if a pilot has a particular design they’d like, he’s willing to work with them to design it. He’ll also work with companies and schools that might want to put their logos on an Airlobe.
“I would have bought these when I was in flight school since everyone’s headset looked the same,” Angie Day noted.
Airlobes, which start around $15 a pair, require no modification to your headset and will not interfere with wires or the mic. Made from durable, automotive grade vinyl, they are not only easy to apply and remove, but also protect the finish on your headset.
These skins are also interchangeable, so you are not stuck with one design for the life of your headset, Day said.
As he’s plunged into the world of general aviation, Day said he discovered that it’s on a “downward spiral.”
“I know GA is looking for young pilots,” he said. “This could be a cool way to engage young people.”