It’s officially the holiday season, or at least I define it as such when October hits. As we rev up for the gift giving season it’s time to prepare yourself for giving the perfect christmas gifts for pilots or aviation lovers in your life. Below I hope you find the best aviation gift to give them this year!
Inexpensive Gifts for Pilots
This section highlights some of the more affordable options to can give as gifts to the aviation addicted friends of yours.
There are few things better than beer and aviation. So why not give a set of aviation related beer glasses to give as a gift to a special someone that enjoys great tasting beer and airplanes. I gave a set once to a friend and he loved them.
For the pilot in your life that loves to sip on wine (like me), why not have an airplane wine stopper for when they keep a bottle of unfinished wine.
I personally have yet to own a set of artificial horizon coasters, it’s not something I would buy for myself but it would be the perfect thing for me to get from someone. I mean they are geeky and awesome so what’s not to love?
From a practicality standpoint, having a good leather flight jacket is something most pilots desire. Personally, I believe airports are extra cold in the northwest and we must stay warm in the fall and winter months as we try to preflight our aircraft.
I’ve reviewed a number of handheld aviation radios before, and I very much believe that most pilots would love to have one of these for themselves to listen to local traffic on their off days.
A classic of all classics in aviation is the One Six Right movie that includes some truly breathtaking footage of airplanes in their element. The Blu-Ray version is supposed to be even better.
Looking for a gag gift to give your pilot friend? Just like the famous tuxedo tee, this pilot uniform is the perfect shirt.
The classic Remove before flight keychain is a must for any pilot or aviation enthusiast to put on their flight bag or luggage. I actually sell some of these on eBay so if you purchase through this link I am the one delivering them to you! 🙂
If your pilot friend has no ForeFlight subscription and is still flying by the old paper charts, this is the best gift for them. Seriously, it’s practically a staple of the modern flight bag. Get with the program!
Sometimes people think a wallet is a bit cliche to give as a gift. They could be right, but anything with Boeing on it is worth giving to an avgeek.
If you’re looking to entice your fellow aviator friend to go to Oshkosh with you next year, it makes sense to go ahead and try to purchase tickets in advance for that special occasion of theirs.
It’s no secret that having a good quality flight bag is essential to flying. If you’re looking to spoil your pilot friend get them a MyGoFlight Pro bag I hear nothing but good reviews from my pilot friends.
Rayban’s are hands down the best sunglasses in the world in my opinion. I’m the owner of three pairs of Raybans and for flying non-polarized aviators are the gift to give!
For the pilot that has yet to venture into the land of taildraggers, this is the perfect book to get a lay of the land in when it comes to flying taildragger aircraft. Most in aviation consider this to be the bible of taildragger flying.
Almost every professional pilot I know says this is a must read book. I’m waiting for someone to gift this to me, so I can only assume most pilots would want this book for themselves as well.
As a pilot we typically use iPad’s in the cockpit for navigational use. Typically you need a stronger GPS signal than that of the one built into your tablet. I recommend gifting the Dual GPS, it works great for me.
I’m quickly realizing that I am an owner of a majority of this list I made of pilot gifts. This airplane Christmas ornament is no different. This GeeBee is by far my favorite ornament on the tree during the holiday season. In total, I have about 15 airplane ornaments… a pilot can never have too many. Right?
As a pilot I’ve always wanted a model airplane to sit on my office desk. They are affordable gifts for pilots but it’s just something most pilots wouldn’t buy for themselves. The perfect gift in my opinion. There are hundreds of different models available for any pilot’s personal taste.
I’m no scientist, but CO2 is a real concern especially in the winter months when pilots are using their heaters in the airplane. I’ve had talks in great length with pilot friends who believe this is a real concern when they go flying. It would never hurt to carry around a true CO2 detector that will let you know if you are in trouble long before those silly placard ones do.
As a pilot myself, I tend to over decorate my apartment with a lot of aviation wall decor. This airplane book shelf would be the perfect gift for that pilot that just moved or is redecorating perhaps.
Again, great for the aviation obsessed home decor type pilots.
Perhaps my most recommended gift idea for pilots. I personally got an aviator fur hat one Christmas and loved wearing it everywhere. Not only does it keep you extra warm, it’s a great piece for the wardrobe. My girlfriend would say otherwise. I lost mine, I would do anything to get another one for this Christmas. wink wink
Still on the “to-get” list for me are a pair of airplane cufflinks. It would be hard to go wrong here as a present for a pilot.
If you are entertaining getting your special someone an iPad for their flying holiday, I would suggest pairing it with this iPad RAM mount. This allows them to attach their iPad to the yoke of the airplane for easy use of their iPad during flight. I own one and love it.
If your pilot buddy is one to fly over a lot of ocean or water, perhaps getting them a good lifevest is worth thinking about. If it’s a holiday or birthday perhaps a lifevest is too doom and gloom though. Maybe as a welcome home gift 😉
If you are the practical gift giving type, perhaps a rescue light is a small yet impactful gift to give a pilot. Sure it’s very “worst case scenario” but again, survivor type products are the last things for me to buy myself.
Our screens get smudged ALL THE TIME, from iPads to our glass cockpits. iCloth has been taking the aviation industry by storm with their innovative wipes. Yes, I just said innovative and wipes in the same sentence.
I love this doormat. It has to be the coolest doormat in the history of doormats. That’s all I will say about this!
If you’re in a warm beach filled area of the world perhaps a classic “keep calm and fly on” towel will be all that’s needed to make your beach pilot smile.
I used to have a portable battery company. A bulk of the reason it started in the first place was to give iPad EFB pilots the extra juice they needed when using their tablets in-flight. I can’t tell you how invaluable an extra battery or two is when you go flying.
Perhaps for the older generation of pilots that still enjoy opening letters in the mail. Then again, I’m 23 and still love opening letters.
High Quality Gifts for Aviators
If you’re looking to spend a little extra to make your pilot spouse or friend very happy over the holidays, than this is the avgeek gift giving section for you.
Sharing aviation is somewhat of an expected norm nowadays in flying. The GoPro by far has the market when it comes to small portable cameras with wide angles. This makes it great for inside the cockpit recording. If you get this for your pilot friend, they will likely love you forever. I know I would!
I am the proud owner of an Apple Watch. In-fact I got mine as a Christmas gift last year. Traditionally pilots have always been watch lovers. Up until these past few years it used to always be the Breitling watches. Now I would recommend the Apple Watch if you want something you could truly use for flying in so many aspects.
The iPad Mini is THE perfect iPad in my opinion when flying with an electronic flight bag setup. I also got this as a gift for Christmas and it has been invaluable for my flying.
The SiriusXM receiver is new to the market and it’s an exciting meld between the trusted Sirius weather and GPS for your ForeFlight app. If your pilot friend has ForeFlight this is the perfect addition to their electronic flight bag.
I love my Lightspeed zulu headset, but I would be so interested in getting a wireless Lightspeed headset version. It would just mean one less cord in the cockpit!
Nowadays you can get pretty great training online, however there is still the CD and book kits that would be great gifts if you are hard pressed for something else in this list.
I saw some of these for sale at Oshkosh this past summer and thought that is the perfect gift for someone that really deserves it. I can envision it now, my man cave would have something like this in it. Too funny, cool, and awesome not to get.
Nothing beats an experience as a gift. This is the perfect present for pilots that love all things fighter and combat aviation. Get them a gift card or schedule the flight for them, I doubt they would hate it.
Have the extra money to spend to make your special someone love you for eternity? Then get them the ultimate pilot gift which would be an airplane. It doesn’t matter what kind to be honest, I think any pilot would take any airplane they were given.
If you actually do this, please make sure to let me know. You are crazy…. awesome!
Airline Pilot Gifts
Is your mom or dad an airline pilot? Perhaps something in this section will spark inspiration for your next gift for them.
I’m a tie guy, and if your airline pilot buddy is too than getting them a quirky tie is totally acceptable during the holiday season. Depending on which airline they fly for their dress code could allow for fun ties to spice up the otherwise drab uniforms.
Not being an airline pilot myself I can only speak to what I would love to have if I flew everyday staying in hotels a majority of my life. A quality toiletry bag is nothing to overlook. Get them one that will last them if not a lifetime at least many years.
Odd’s are that your airline pilot friend or spouse uses or carries around an iPad while they travel. It’s worth: A. protecting and B. giving it a sense of quality style to go along with the traveling lifestyle. A nice leather iPad case can do just the job!
A little bit random, but it makes a lot of sense. If your airline pilot is of the male gender than odds are he shaves. A fun and exciting new hobby he could take up would be shaving during his travels. Now I’m not sure how the TSA would like this in luggage but regardless a crafty idea I must say.
If your pilot someone is new in the regional airlines, odd’s are they are not making that good of money. It’s just the sad truth. I’m sure they would be plenty happy to receive a plain old gift card to make purchases of all sorts.
Again, us pilots just love anything with the brand Boeing screen-printed onto it. If your friend isn’t a fancy guy or gal then a Boeing travel mug will do just fine!
So I’m personally not always a hat guy. However, in recent months I have started to take a liking to wearing hats on some occasions. This vintage Piper Cub hat is one of the coolest hats I could think of ever owning. I can only imagine that many pilots would agree with me. Plus, this one specifically is from Red Canoe who make high quality products and gifts for aviators.
Aviation Lovers Gift Ideas
If your friend isn’t necessarily a pilot than perhaps getting them something in this list is the most fitting. Although non pilot aviation lovers still would like almost anything on this list of git ideas.
I’ve talked about X-Plane 10 before and have to say I love the software as a post Microsoft Flight Simulator era alternative. Since it works for both Mac & PC it is a great gift to get any aviation lover in your life.
I’ve always been a flight simulator hobbyist at heart. In fact, that is how I got my start in aviation. At one time in my flight sim life I owned the Saitek bundle pictured to the left. It was awesome, and I regret ever selling it.
I have more aviation signs than I can count at home. I still want more too. You can’t go wrong with getting them a sign.
When I have an extra office room in my home someday, you can bet this fan is what I will be asking for for Christmas.
I bake a lot. So personally, I would love getting this for my birthday or holiday. If your friend or spouse is a baker and a pilot well first you chose right. Second, this is the gift for them.
That’s all the gifts for pilots I can freaking think of. This was a list of 51 ideas, if you’re still hurting for creative gift ideas for your aviation friends then perhaps taking them out to dinner isn’t that bad of an idea after all. I hope this helped and please be sure to leave in the comments some other ideas you have give pilots as gifts during this holiday season. Happy landings!