The Best Aviation Handheld Radios for Aircraft & Pilots

Most of us are too familiar with operating a radio in vehicles and on land as it is one of the most effective methods to enable quick communication between two individuals. However, the normal frequency ranges of CB and ham radios become undeniably worthless in terms of signal transceiving on the flight line.

This is the fundamental reason why radio brands had strived to manufacture a different product line of VHF mobile radio for aircraft. A radio like this operates on air without a hassle since it is programmed to suit this environment. I would like to present you with a list to find the current best aviation handheld radio.

List of 5 Top-rated Aviation Handheld Radio Reviews

1. Yaesu FTA-450L Airband VHF Comm


I know a vast majority of most customers, including me, are fond of a fine VHF aviation radio with a clear and simple menu system driven by icons like this. It is indeed easy to operate the Yaesu FTA-450L, especially on its large screen with full dots of matrix. This handheld aviation radio requires 5W for its output transceiver.

Since a backlit is provided for both of the aviation radios display and keypad, it can be used in poor light conditions. This VHF radio is compatible with the narrowband at 8.33 kHz and there are 200 programmable channels stored in its memory bank. It is amazing how this aviation handheld radio can adapt with a cigarette lighter.

Its internal audio speaker is approved of being sufficiently loud as the comm radio uses 800mW to make sure calls will not be missed out. I bet the NOAA weather channels would be more than helpful for aviation with its WX (weather broadcast and information) alert as well. This handheld aviation radio is programmable by PC.

The air band also offers two different cables in its accessories package for power supply and charging of 110VAC and 120VDC. I am glad that the aviation VHF radio obtains an IPX5 rating for waterproof, which is a considerable standard. This handheld aviation radio even goes with an Alkaline battery tray that can handle up to 6 AA batteries, easy to use.

On a famous online shopping website, a past customer of this aviation comm radio said that the scanned frequencies before were saved, which led them to believe this unit was used. This problem is highly likely because of the seller so I hope you would be even more careful when buying such radios online.
  • The dot-matrix screen is simple to use.
  • Includes a backlit for keypad & display.
  • 200 channels ready in its memory bank.
  • Uses 800mW for a loud inner speaker.
  • NOAA channels provide the WX alert.
  • Entirely IPX5-rated for being waterproof.
  • Pre-scanned frequencies are all saved.
In terms of a standard kit for aviation communication, the best aviation handheld radio unit and its following accessories bundle have certainly lived up to expectations of multiple customers.

2. Yaesu FTA550 Handheld VHF Transceiver


The second handheld aviation radio that deserves a spot on this list is undoubtedly the Yaesu FTA-550AA nav/com aviation radio, another excellent transceiver for aircraft from this brand. With its signature oversized display of full dot matrix, it is easy to control and get access to all essential features right on the screen. This is the right aviation handheld radio you are looking for.

I can see that this handheld aviation radio is engineered to have the VOR (VHF omnidirectional radio range) together with a localizer navigation system on its NAV band. The unit has a compact size to be portable to multiple locations at ease. As it is a two-way communication device, the VHF radio is ideal for the transceiver.

You would not have to worry about getting a license to operate this radio as it only provides channel scanning in the frequency range from 108 to 136.975 MHz. In around 5 miles in an outdoor environment, the aviation radio functions well. This radio kit also includes an antenna for enhanced transceiver power.

Unfortunately, it seems that the nav/com handheld VHF radio has a tendency to consume way too much more battery power than it should be. When it is inserted with fresh batteries, the indicator bar drops to ¾, ½ and ¼ then empty too quick. This handheld aviation radio battery bar only goes back to full after users let off the transmit.
  • Quick access to all features on screen.
  • Includes VOR and localizer navigation.
  • It provides communication in two ways.
  • There is no license required to operate.
  • Performs fine in a 5-mile outdoor range.
  • Drains batteries quicker than expected.
I believe this brand would improve the radio soon so as it would no longer be a battery hog. Besides that, the reason why people favor the Yaesu FTA550 radio is that it provides two-way communication for aircraft with a special NAV band. This handheld VHF radio is considered an optimal unit for aviation use.

3. Yaesu FTA550L Handheld VHF Transceiver


Needless to say, the first thing that will strike most customers on a transceiver radio from Yaesu is a signature large LCD screen of the full dot matrix. Since the menu display is driven by icons, people can quickly browse through all of its fantastic tools. This handheld aviation radio comes with a battery tray to hold 6 AA batteries.

In case users need to reprogram the VHF radio by themselves, this brand has an exclusive PC software and supplied USB cable for its connection. With the channel recall button, up to 200 memory channels can be quickly programmed on this radio. Plus, it certainly cannot lack NOAA weather forecast channels.

I love that there are two diverse cables of 110VAC and 120VDC available with cradle to charge and supply power for the aviation mobile radio. In addition to the familiar VOR function on its NAV band like most other transceiver devices, it includes ILS (instrument landing system) to help pilots land their planes well.

Sadly, one of its most noticeable disadvantages is that the air band radio cannot be left on the charger for more than 24 hours. This is supposed to be a back-up radio, so users have to take it off the charger then replace it before a trip for it to be safely charged. That means the unit is not set up for a last-minute departure.
  • The easy-to-operate icon-driven menu.
  • Programmable on PC app & USB cable.
  • 200 memory channels & a recall mode.
  • Has NOAA weather forecast channels.
  • Provides different VAC & VDC cables.
  • An ILS function to guide planes landing.
  • It cannot be charged for more than a day.
I hope all users would know how to charge this Yaesu FTA550L aircraft VHF radio in the proper way to avoid unwanted problems. From my perspective, I am most impressed with the integrated ILS feature on its NAV band, having it will provide guidance for pilots in vertical and horizontal ways to land a plane.

4. Yaesu FTA750L Handheld VHF Transceiver


Differs from a lot of other handheld flight radios, the brand Yaesu has chosen to concentrate on boosting the navigation reliability in this FTA750L radio with a GPS receiver of 66 channels. In addition, its NAV band also includes VOR and ILS functions, so pilots would be much safer when operating their planes.

Of course, NOAA channels for quick updates on the local weather forecast cannot be missed out from the radio. Through its simple recall feature, easy to use, users are capable of programming up to 200 channels in the memory bank. There is an Alkaline tray to hold 6 AA batteries and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

The large full dot-matrix LCD screen with backlit of this mobile aircraft radio is a brilliant feature for pilots to function with ease, even in poor light conditions. As usual, its menu can be easily discovered through a series of clear icons on display. The brand provides a USB cable to program this radio via a PC app.

However, there is a downside that needs to be improved as soon as possible in this aviation mobile radio and it is in relation to GPS navigation. Its GPS screen only shows the most basic information (not a moving map), so I cannot see if it is a good way to navigate since I could not do a “direct to” input at all.
  • 66 channels stored in the GPS receiver.
  • Includes VOR and ILS in the NAV band.
  • 200 programmable channels via recall.
  • An Alkaline tray & a lithium-ion battery.
  • The easy-to-operate icon-driven menu.
  • Support programming on PC via USB.
  • GPS navigation only displays basic info.
It would absolutely be much better if the GPS mode of this Yaesu FTA750L handheld aviation radio views a moving map and more detailed information. Other than that, a large number of customers agreed that it has been performing well in terms of communication. Its two batteries can replace each other on different occasions.

5. Yaesu FTA-250L Handheld VHF Airband Transceiver


The last Yaesu aviation radio on this list is coded as FTA-250L and it offers communication only with an impressive memory bank of 250 programmable channels. I am truly blown away by its rugged shell made from polycarbonate and an IPX5 rating for water protection as it can deal with all kinds of weather.

Moreover, the exclusive menu system is so simple to operate that users would not feel the need to read its manual. The full dot-matrix screen with backlit to view under bright sunlight and high resolution has always been a signature of this aircraft radio brand. People can reach for help through its 121.5kHz key.

Even in environments with a great deal of background noise, the radio still has a loud audio speaker of 700mW to make sure incoming calls are not missed. It is compatible with the 8.33kHz narrowband for more channel spacing. There are two different cables of 100-240VAC and 120VDC together with a charging cradle.

As well as one of its previous customers, I am a bit down that there is no knob available on the VHF airband radio for squelch adjustment. I was hoping to do this without looking at the transceiver screen while this handheld aviation radio sticks on my belt. Instead, it needs multiple keystrokes and screen observance in this process.
  • Its memory bank stores 250 channels.
  • Polycarbonate & waterproof housing.
  • The menu display is easy to operate.
  • A viewable screen under the sunlight.
  • 700mW output speaker for loud audio.
  • Provides both VAC and VDC cables.
  • No radio knob for squelch adjustment.
Not many aircraft handheld radios can obtain up to 250 channels in its storage but the Yaesu FTA-250L unit has already achieved it. The two cables would be convenient in charging and supplying power for this radio. Having a squelch adjustment knob is a great idea so I hope the brand would take it into account.

Icom IC-A16 VHF COM Aviation Handheld (Outdated)


An Icom handheld aircraft radio has always been the ideal communication device for unprofessional pilots and this IC-A16 model is not an exception. I personally enjoy using aircraft radios from this handheld aviation radio brand since almost all of them include the ANL function to reduce background noises during conversations.

I see that people often make use of the sidetone feature to listen to their own voice on this mobile radio through a third-party aviation headset. Its 121.5kHz button provides instant access to emergency channels, easy to use. In order to get rid of cabin and tarmac noises, the internal radio speaker is loud enough to deliver 1500mW.

Users are absolutely capable of operating the airband radio with one hand due to its compact size and a complete keypad to input channels and frequencies directly to the screen. In spite of its LCD display being a bit small, a backlit would be helpful for pilots and ground crews to run this VHF radio in the night time.

The user manual of this aviation handheld radio is not simple to follow and I can tell that through some criticism on online shopping websites. Because not everyone can set up and operate a VHF radio at ease so its instruction book should have been easier to read. Its manual should be simplified in the future.
  • An automatic noise limiter is available.
  • A sidetone function to hear your voice.
  • Emergency channel access 121.5kHz.
  • Loud 1500mW internal audio speaker.
  • One-hand operation via a full keypad.
  • Small LCD screen with a fine backlit.
  • The user manual is difficult to follow.
The Icom IC-A16 aviation mobile transceiver is known to be really flexible as it can be used on the flight line and the best backup solution in any planes and for ground crews as well. Its internal speaker is extremely loud to enhance communication clarity in a noisy aircraft environment and that is why a lot of people are attracted to the radio.

Rexon Air Band Handheld Radio/Transceiver RHP-530 (Outdated)


This RHP-530 aviation radio receiver from the brand Rexon operates with a semi-duplex system, which means either listening and talking will take place but not both of them at the same time. There are suitable frequencies in its RX and TX modes for the VHF mobile radio unit to transmit and receive signals.

Up to 200 channels are available on the NAV band of this radio with helpful VOR navigation and a CDI (course deviation indicator). The dual watch allows users to choose the 12 or 24-hour display depending on their liking. This handheld aviation radio only takes one touch to select active or standby frequencies for the aviation radio.

Of course, the air band always remembers to attach a compatible antenna of the airband handheld radio in this accessories package. Its lithium-ion battery of 1700mAh is considered a powerful one and lasts for long after one full charge with a fast desk charger. A belt clip would help to hang the handheld aviation radio conveniently.

Recently, I have read about a few manufacturer defections of this VHF aircraft radio and the most obvious drawback is related to the volume knob design. This handheld aviation radio appears to be a bit small because users who have big fingers also rotate the smaller frequency knob. I look forward to seeing a more optimal design soon.
  • Two different TX/RX frequency ranges.
  • The NAV band contains VOR and CDI.
  • A dual watch of 12 and 24-hour format.
  • Chooses active & standby frequencies.
  • 1700mAh Li-ion battery & a fast charger.
  • Belt clip available in the radio package.
  • Its volume knob is improperly designed.
Apart from the limitation with its volume knob, it is clear that the navigation system on this Rexon RHP-530 airband mobile radio has been upgraded to a fine level. I like how users can make use of its belt clip to attach the VHF radio close to them and never let it out of sight. Overall, this handheld aviation radio unit is a good option.

Icom IC-A25C Sport VHF Airband Transceiver (Outdated)


This sport VHF handheld aviation radio requires 6W to operate, which is stronger than average but its overall form is slim and compact like an old mobile phone. Its screen is also much larger as with 2.3 inches of high-quality LCD to ensure a stress-free programming process. The channel recall mode is displayed clearly in rows.

It is nice to know that the coded IC-A25C Icom aviation radio obtains high waterproof durability and particle resistance of IP57. Its ANL (automatic noise limiter) function is available right on the keypad to reduce irrelevant sounds during a communication. This radio always shows a clear status of its battery.

Because the rechargeable battery for the air band radio is sold separately from its package, it has been causing a great deal of inconvenience for customers. Most of them did not have a serious problem with operating it on AA batteries, but they still recommended others to buy the rechargeable battery eventually.
  • It requires a powerful 6W output power.
  • An oversized 2.3-inch HD LCD screen.
  • It contains a flip-flop channel recall mode.
  • It offers resistance to water and particles.
  • The auto noise limiter has its own key.
  • The detailed battery status is displayed.
  • The rechargeable battery is sold outside.
With a large LCD display like what this Icom IC-A25C aircraft VHF radio has, I believe that most customers would no longer have to struggle to operate this handheld aviation radio on air. Also, being waterproof and particle-resistant at such a high IP rating also makes this handheld radio more durable for extended uses against external impacts.

Icom IC-A25N VHF Airband Transceiver (Outdated)


Not all air band VHF radios on the current market are capable of storing flight plans but I appreciate the Icom IC-A25N unit for including this special feature. After designing flight plans on an Android/Apple device, users import them into the radio via Bluetooth. It can hold nearly 300 waypoints and 10 flight plans.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery capacity of this portable aircraft radio is 2350mAh and it is assured to provide a long performance for almost 11 hours. Its 2.3-inch graphic screen helps avoid fatigue in programming and operating the radio. As usual, there are 200 programmable channels on this VHF radio.

I am fond of how this handheld aviation radio can be shifted into two different modes for better readability both under direct sunlight and in the dark without a hassle, Not all airband VHF radios on the current market are capable of storing flight plans but I appreciate the Icom IC-A25N unit for including this special feature. After designing flight plans on an Android/Apple device, users import them into the radio via Bluetooth. It can hold nearly 300 waypoints and 10 flight plans.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery capacity of this portable aircraft radio is 2350mAh and it is assured to provide a long performance for almost 11 hours. Its 2.3-inch graphic screen helps avoid fatigue in programming and operating the radio. As usual, there are 200 programmable channels on this VHF radio.

I am fond of how this handheld aviation radio can be shifted into two different modes for better readability both under direct sunlight and in the dark without a hassle, easy to use. Its integrated GPS functions best when being combined with the Bluetooth system to enable NAV waypoints, subsequently, guide pilots in the correct direction to a destination.

The aviation mobile radio obtains an IP57 rating for resistance against water and particles, which means it would be amazingly durable over time no matter the weather. Aside from the casual 25kHz channel spacing on most airband transceiver radios, this one also carries the 8.33Khz frequency to be flexible. Its integrated GPS functions best when being combined with the Bluetooth system to enable NAV waypoints, subsequently, guide pilots in the correct direction to a destination.

The aviation mobile radio obtains an IP57 rating for resistance against water and particles, which means it would be amazingly durable over time no matter the weather. Aside from the casual 25kHz channel spacing on most airband transceiver radios, this one also carries the 8.33Khz frequency to be flexible.

Nevertheless, one major flaw that I think this brand has to quickly improve is the non-existence of its Bluetooth for iOS devices. Although this is the easiest way to program GPS waypoints and a major selling feature of the radio, most customers cannot find it. The radio brand should re-check this problem in the future.
  • Stores 10 flight plans & 300 waypoints.
  • Its lithium-ion battery runs in 10.5 hours.
  • A large stress-free 2.3-inch LCD display.
  • Includes two modes for day and night.
  • Built-in GPS navigation in the NAV band.
  • Prevents both water & outer particles.
  • The missing Bluetooth for iOS devices.
I expect Icom to program the iOS Bluetooth into this aviation mobile radio like what they advertised to serve its customers. However, this one shortcoming is absolutely not going to cause people to lose interest in the device. With a long list of great functions and a high waterproof level, it is truly a handy radio.

Icom IC-A16B VHF Air Band Handheld Transceiver Radio (Outdated)


Among a wide range of different transceiver radios specialized for amateur pilots, I would not hesitate to recommend this IC-A16B airband radio from Icom. Most customers agree that it is the most favorite pilot handheld radio thanks to how it can save a bunch of engine hours and fuel during pre-flights.

It is equipped with a complete keypad for users to directly input the desired channels or frequencies without having to adjust the up/down buttons. There is a Bluetooth version of this handheld aviation radio that offers hands-free operation. Its lithium-ion battery is measured at 2400mAh and it would perform for 17 hours.

I like the LCD backlight that allows student pilots to make use of the VHF clearly in the night time. Moreover, it even delivers an overwhelming amount of loud audio via a 1500mW output to eliminate tarmac noises in transceiving. The IP67 rating for waterproof means it can endure powerful water from a jet.

An exclusive button to reach the 121.5MHz frequency in emergencies is right on this handheld aviation radio keypad for your convenience, easy to use. In case users wish to check their voice while speaking through the device, its sidetone function allows hearing your voice through a third-party headset. The compact handheld size is great.

It is a disappointment to learn that this aviation handheld radio menu, which enables different function adjustment, is horribly complex and the instructions do a bad job of explaining it. I guess a large number of customers expect the brand to give a check of this problem and make an effort to simplify its menu.
  • One of the best selections for pilots, easy to use.
  • Full keypad for quick channel input.
  • The battery can last up to 17 hours.
  • Reduces noises with a loudspeaker.
  • Powerful waterproof rating of IP67.
  • A separate button for emergencies.
  • The menu is too complex to operate.
Because the Icom IC-A16B aviation transceiver radio is designed to be mainly used by pilots, it is definitely a suitable unit to work in environments with high noises. I feel that the sidetone function is a fascinating bonus since users can listen to their voices on this. Pilots would be delighted to have it as a gift.

What to Look for When Buying an Aviation Handheld Radio


After weighing the pros and cons of each aviation handheld radio on this list, I believe that most customers would like to consult a few other essential factors. If a person is fully conscious of the following features in a VHF aircraft radio, they would be able to filter and decide which device is the most excellent one.

Waterproof rating – When operating aviation handheld radios, users should understand how their IP (Ingress Protection) ratings work. These criteria point out the exact capabilities of resisting external contaminations (grimes, dust, …) and moisture like water. Each number indicates a certain level of protection.

The most common waterproof levels that appeared in this article include IPX4, IPX5, IP56, IP57, and IPX7. Technically, in terms of protection from water, an IP57-rated aircraft radio is the same as one with an IPX7 rating since the “X” represents particle resistance. This information is applicable to other fields as well.

The IPX4 standard protects the handheld aviation radio from slight water splashes, whilst levels 5 and 6 can handle water coming from a strong nozzle and jet. IPX7 lets users immerse the radio 3 feet deep underwater in 30 minutes. By responding to an IP rating, an airplane radio can be used in wet conditions without damages.

Effective NAV band – An aviation mobile radio is not only used in the airline industry for long-distance communication on air, but it can also navigate and guide pilots to land the planes. Purchase a nav/com VHF radio for aircraft and pilots would be able to activate the built-in GPS and reach their destinations.

VOR (VHF omnidirectional radio range) is the most characteristic feature of this band. VOR is used to indicate the precise direction for a plane to head on and immediately alert pilots when it diverts out of the course. The highest signal that a VOR system reaches is nearly 60,000 feet and 130 nautical miles wide.

Moreover, the NAV band on a VHF mobile radio often contains CDI (course deviation indicator). CDI helps to decide the lateral position of airplanes on a course to or from a radio navigation beacon. If the plane is on the left of this course, the needle would auto deflect back to the right side and vice versa.

In my opinion, ILS is the last thing because most aircraft radio brands do not seem to concentrate on including it in the NAV band. However, it still plays a major role in airline safety for showing both horizontal and vertical guidance to help planes approach the land with ease. It is nice to include this bonus in the band.

An effective and optimal NAV band is important if users wish to get a nav/com radio unit for aircraft. This feature is not advised as essential for a VHF radio that serves communication only, so make sure to give a check before buying.

Battery capacity – Besides 6 to 8 replaceable AA batteries to activate a VHF handheld radio, most of the time, it also includes a lithium-ion mAh battery that is rechargeable in the package. As each aircraft radio has a different battery capacity, I feel the need to clarify some essential information about this detail.

The highest battery capacity so far here is 2400mAh for an handheld aviation radio and it is claimed to last up to 17 hours of usage. Keep in mind that a higher mAh capacity does not equal a better battery. It places no other effect on the radio than a longer performance between charges of those with 2000 or 1800mAh.

In case a targeted aviation radio lives up to all of your expectations except for the battery capacity being a bit low, there are ways to make it last longer. I would recommend doing a few chemical reactions for its battery to store more energy or takes up less space. A low mAh measurement is not entirely bad.

Other Important Factors to Consider


What is an aviation handheld radio? Who is this for? How does it work?

An aviation handheld radio is known as a portable transceiver that focuses on supporting communication for civilian aircraft (VHF). It is not much different from a regular radio but of course, there are some highlight features for this field such as its own frequency range, number of channels, and navigation via Bluetooth.

The aviation transceiver is designed to mainly serve the aircraft industry so its largest group of users are pilots and ground crews. Similar to other radios, this unit also transmits and receives signals at a specific frequency range for on-air communication. It also provides fine GPS navigation in several models.

What are the different types of aviation handheld radios?

VHF pilot radios, in general, are basically the same with 200 programmable channels, a large backlit LCD screen that consumes AA/lithium-ion batteries. The only major difference among aviation handheld radio models is whether they provide both navigation & communication channels or just the latter one.

For communication only – An aviation handheld radio for communication is a popular system in aircraft. It is used to both transmit and receive signals from another radio to form a conversation. A mobile com radio with a semi-duplex operation means talking and listening actions are not able to happen at once.

For navigation & comm – Since it contains an extra NAV band for navigation, it is called a nav/com aircraft radio, which I had described above. Of course, this is a better selection but not too necessary to have. A nav/com radio is the same as a regular com one with extra GPS and several other flight guidance.

Why do you need an aviation handheld radio?

The reason why pilots and ground crews need to have a portable aviation radio is to enable two-way communication in pre-flights and on the flights as well. With most VHF radio models, you can also take advantage of its built-in navigation on the NAV band to improve on-air guidance and aircraft safety.

The integrated Bluetooth system allows users to connect this radio with other Apple and Android devices and transfer files between them. A separate button of the 121.5MHz frequency is available to reach out for help in emergencies. You can also get instant updates on the local weather via its NOAA channels.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the most trusted aviation handheld radio brands?

According to the review list above, the best handheld aviation transceiver certainly has to be manufactured and produced by one of these radio brands: Yaesu, Icom, and Rexon. They are the most trusted brands on the market with different communication and nav/com mobile radios for aircraft of high quality.

Through my personal experience with the aviation radio from these brands, I see that most of them enable stable connection lines even on air. Large LCD screens with full backlit, advanced built-in navigation systems, and complete accessories sets are what make these radios more appealing to customers.

Furthermore, these aviation handheld radio brands never forget to offer legit warranty policies for a long time with their communication units. Most users find their guidelines really simple to follow and the customer services have been wonderfully dedicated to helping them solve all manufacturer defections.

What radios do aircraft use?

In order to transmit and receive signals on the flight line, a regular CB or ham radio is not enough to reach aircraft standards. It explains why the invention of aviation mobile radio had to come to life and serves two-way communication (and sometimes, navigation). Its specific frequency range can be used on air.

What is the best aircraft scanner?

As far as I am concerned, a vast majority of worldwide customers have come to the decision of crowning the PJ2 handheld com radio as the best aircraft scanner. It is the only radio that is connectible with twin PJ plugs without the need for an adapter. The simplicity with no wires and a menu makes it special.

This aircraft mobile radio from PJ2 has separate knobs for both squelch and volume adjustment, which is extremely convenient to function in turbulence. Its BNC antenna connector is a standard one. Additionally, there is a light to indicate this VHF radio status whenever it is transmitting or receiving signals.

What frequency do airplanes use?

The standard handheld aviation radio range is of a civilian band, which is from 108 to 136.975 MHz in RX and from 118 to 136.975MHz in TX frequency. Most airplanes would use an aviation radio with 25Khz spaced channels but sometimes 8.33Khz ones are added for a flexible worldwide channel spacing.

How to set up and use the radio?

First of all, insert fresh AA batteries with the required quantity or give it a full charge. Start scanning through available radio channels and frequencies or inputting them directly on its numeric keypad. Afterward, push the side button to talk, consequently, transmit and receive signals from another compatible radio.

Make sure it has a firm antenna attachment. Users can get into dark areas to test its backlit screen in advance. Take advantage of the sidetone feature (if included) to know how you sound like talking through the aircraft handheld radio and adjust it. VHF aviation radios with IP ratings would be waterproof.

With the supplied belt clip, the handheld aviation radio can be hung on belts or backpack straps when not in use. You should connect it with the USB cable and use the PC software to program the radio. Its 121.5kHz button is for emergency cases. I think it is best to refer to its user manual for further information and guidance.

How to take care and maintain it?

In order to keep an aviation radio clean, I would suggest using a soft cloth, a bit damp is fine since almost all of them are waterproof, for periodic cleanings. Never apply chemical liquids, fluids, solutions, or solvents on the radio since there are great possibilities that it could be damaged and void the warranty.

Remember to keep an eye on the aviation FM radio to turn the charger off right after it is done to avoid overcharging, which is not beneficial for its battery in the long run. Always store it in dry and airy places, far from direct sunlight and other harsh weather impacts so its normal lifespan can be fairly extended.

Where can I buy it?

The first and foremost rule is to visit only reliable physical stores and online shopping websites to get the best handheld aviation radio. Best Buy, Walmart, eBay, Costco, Lowes, and Amazon should be the first addresses that come to your mind when considering purchasing premium VHF aircraft radios.

I bet the aforementioned places do not sound strange at all for both direct and online customers worldwide. By approaching these locations for an aviation radio, there is a high chance that you would acquire a risk-free purchase since the warranty policies are legit and simple to follow. Take notes of these places.


Concerning a mobile radio for aviation, its basic and primary responsibility is to achieve stable on-air communication. There should be no interruptions or static noises during this process and the channel scanning must be fast. If it also contains the NAV band, the radio has to deliver precise GPS navigation.

Have you been able to decide which unit in this review list to be the true best aviation handheld radio for your liking? I understand that there is seriously a lot of different factors to take into consideration, but I hope my product reviews and the buying guide can support your shopping time. Thank you for reading.


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