NOTE: I do NOT own the featured image on this page, it is the property of NiteCore…
I am NOT an aviator by any stretch of the imagination.
I have only been on an aircraft four times and every time I was merely a passenger.
However, I am quite well rounded on the subject of flashlights as just about everyone who knows me is well aware of.
On this evening of November 16, 2018, I will write a review of the NiteCore MT20A LED flashlight and how I think it is the best aviation flashlight for the money.
I have owned one of these since January of 2018 and it is also featured in a short story I had wrote in February 2018. By the way, when I wrote that story, I had not yet been on an aircraft. No, it was composed and inspired strictly from my countless hours of researching flashlights.
I had purchased mine on eBay and I probably paid less than the MSRP, since the said website usually sells items for less than what they are suggested to sell for.
This flashlight only set me back $36.44 with free shipping. NiteCore’s website, to my knowledge, does not list an MSRP, but I would venture to guess it should cost no more than $50 brand new.
In other words, this flashlight should neither break the bank nor tie up too much of your credit line.
It is constructed of very durable Aerospace Aluminum, comes with a pocket clip as well as a lanyard, a ring, and a pouch. It features a forward clicky switch. The maximum light output of Turbo Mode 360 Lumens lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The light settings can be set to lower outputs of High Mode 240 Lumens for 2 hours and 15 minutes, Mid Mode 120 Lumens for 5 hours and 45 minutes, Low Mode 17 Lumens for 24 hours and Ultra Low Mode 1 Lumen for 180 hours. In addition to those diverse light settings, it also has a dedicated red LED for preserving night vision. And not only that, there is a tactical strobe for self-defense, an SOS strobe for emergency location when summoning help and a red beacon mode for locating the flashlight in a dark room. Settings are changed by pressing buttons on the side of the light engine module to cycle through the different modes. The flashlight has an incredible memory and will always switch on to the mode it was last used in. It is impact resistant for a fall on concrete at a height of up to 1 Meter. It also has a waterproof rating of IPX-8, which means it can be submerged to a depth of 2 Meters. If you aren’t sold as of yet, might I add that this flashlight runs on two common, everyday AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries? This gives it a clear advantage over Sure Fire’s American made Aviator flashlights which run on those expensive and exotic CR123A batteries. In my opinion, this flashlight is the best flashlight and possibly product in general ever to come out of Mainland China-change my mind!
I have edced this flashlight on an off since January of 2018 and it has had a permanent residence in my Swiss Gear edc backpack when not on my person.
As I have said before, I am not an aviator by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think this is an ideal flashlight for all aviators and I will back up my claim in the following sentences:
First of all, Turbo Mode is ideal for preflight inspection of the aircraft. This setting should allow the user to find any defects in the aircraft’s body that need to be corrected prior to flight.
Also, the High Mode could be used for doing maintenance and repairs on the aircraft and the technician or pilot would be able to see all of the dark areas of the aircraft’s mechanical features.
Yet, Mid Mode could be used when walking at night to and from the hangar or airport lounge.
There’s more, Low Mode could be used for navigating around in an unfamiliar hotel room at night.
Ultra Low Mode could be used for reading your favorite literature or using the remote control without disturbing your roommate in the hotel room at night.
The dedicated red LED light feature is probably what makes this ideal for aviators more than anything else as it allows the pilot to read instruments and charts or perform minor cockpit repairs during a nighttime flight without degrading his or her night vision. That feature alone should sell the flashlight to any aviator out there in need of a flashlight!
The optional red LED Beacon Mode will allow the owner to quickly locate this flashlight even in the most cluttered of baggage.
Wait, there’s more, and these next features would prove indispensable should the something catastrophic happen:
The Tactical Strobe could help fight off a hijacker, by disorienting him or her. Also, the lanyard holes that recess on either side of the tail cap could do some damage to the hijacker’s face, eyes or teeth if struck hard enough, further disorienting him or her. A hard enough blow to the hijacker’s temple or windpipe could completely neutralize the situation. Take this advice at your own risk as the hijacker may also be a skilled fighter.
The SOS Strobe could be used in the case of a downed aircraft either on land or at sea (because it is waterproof) to identify your location to rescue crews on a dark night.
So, to all my aviator friends out there, I hope you all can see that this flashlight is a useful and equally budget-friendly option for your occupational illumination.
And not just aviators, but anyone who works in the transportation and logistics industries at night would quickly fall in love with the NiteCore MT20A.
This flashlight could also be ideal for boat and ship captains in the wheelhouse, for similar reasons, provided they keep it out of the engine room and away from any flammable cargo.
Long-haul truck drivers and locomotive engineers could also appreciate this flashlight for nighttime operations, again provided they keep it away from any flammable cargo and make durn sure to turn it off while refueling.
The only gripes I have about this flashlight are two and they are:
Why can’t the main LED be a Warm White, especially for inspection and maintenance purposes, but also for Medevac pilots to better examine patients?
Why can’t American companies makes something like this in an American factory?
This therefore concludes my review of the NiteCore MT20A, I hope you, the reader, are now more informed on your flashlight purchasing options…