Gift Guide, Gift Trends

21 Best Gifts for Pilots | Gift Ideas from Actual Pilots


In this article I’m going to share some of the best gifts for pilots I can find (and some I’ve even gifted).

Shopping for the aviator in your life can be quite a perplexing task if you’re not familiar with the world of aviation. However, let me share a little secret with you – they have an undeniable love for all things related to flying contraptions!

While the majority of gift purchasers aren’t browsing through the newest version of Trade-a-Plane to find presents for their dear ones, the internet offers an array of marvelous gift options showcasing various aircrafts in all their glory.

Pilot gifts can be broadly categorized into various sections, encompassing an array of technology items and gadgets designed specifically for their use in the cockpit and crew lounge.

These vary from the priciest top-tier aviation headsets to basic items such as battery chargers.

Additionally, their domestic environment is adorned with elements inspired by the world of aviation. They may have a collection of bar sets, captivating wall art, and even stylish airplane ties if your aviation enthusiast friend has a penchant for sartorial elegance.

Discover an exquisite collection of 21 aviation treasures that will captivate the heart of any pilot. Unveil the ultimate choices for technology enthusiasts, indulge in pilot-inspired home decor, and explore the must-have lifestyle gadgets they simply cannot exist without.

And if you’re searching for ideas for a graduation gift for flight school, this list also provides some excellent recommendations.

7 High-Tech Gifts Pilots Will Love

Only a handful of pilots are not gadget enthusiasts at heart. However, when it comes to shopping for technological gifts, it is important to have a good understanding of the pilot’s preferences and

Many pilots buy what they need to fill their flight bags, so it’s possible that these things may already be in there!

Device Backup Battery

A must-have item for modern aviators is a backup battery for their gadgets, an indispensable addition to their flight bag. These compact power packs serve as a reliable source to recharge any handheld device, offering utmost convenience. This proves particularly advantageous for pilots, given that numerous vintage aircraft lack the luxury of accessory outlets commonly found in automobiles.

These batteries are available in various shapes and sizes that you can envision.

Your pilot pals will surely be intrigued by some nifty attributes showcased in these units. Take, for instance, this dainty 12,000mAh model boasting a built-in power adapter compatible with any gadget. Alternatively, there are robust variations equipped with a solar panel and waterproof casing (plus, a delightful 20% discount coupon accompanies this particular gem). However, if your aviator chums prefer a straightforward approach, this sleek and capacious model, devoid of any fancy embellishments, will effortlessly fulfill their needs.

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Apple Airpods

Airpods, the epitome of wireless listening experience, transcend the boundaries of conventional earphones. Liberated from the entanglement of cables, these Bluetooth headphones redefine simplicity. Encased in a sleek wireless charger, they equip your aviator with all the essentials to effortlessly connect with any smartphone. While their unparalleled performance shines brightest with Apple devices, their compatibility extends to all.

Apple AirPods

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May 7, 202

While embarking on long cross-country flights, it is uncommon for most small plane pilots to indulge in the use of Airpods alongside their headsets, although there may be a few who find themselves tempted.

Pilots are truly enamored with the versatility of these Airpods, using them to their advantage during moments of respite, whether it be while idling in pilot lounges anticipating the arrival of passengers or patiently awaiting favorable weather conditions!


If you’re buying for a brand-new student pilot an iPad is an excellent gift. They’ll use it extensively throughout their flight training.

The iPad is a treasure trove of useful apps, including a remarkable flying app (one of many) and a plethora of study aids.

When it comes to procuring an iPad for a budding aviator, the dimensions of the device and its cellular capabilities are of utmost importance. The iPad Mini reigns supreme among most pilots due to its convenience in the cockpit. Our extensive student survey revealed that approximately 70% of them opt for the Mini.

Another aspect to keep in mind is that the iPad they will require should be equipped with cellular capabilities. No cellular plan is necessary for the iPad; it simply needs to have the ability to connect to cellular networks in order to effectively operate the training applications they will be using.

If you’re contemplating purchasing an iPad as a present, make sure to thoroughly peruse our guide on the finest iPad for aviators.


Foreflight, the beloved app cherished by pilots, reigns supreme as the ultimate tool for flight planning and meteorological insights. Aspiring aviators, engrossed in their training, are likely to rely on this indispensable app incessantly, accessing its features day in and day out.

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If you’re searching for a present they’ll utilize consistently, this is the one.

At our school, you have the option to acquire either the Foreflight Basic Plus plan or the Pro Plus plan. While the majority of students opt for the Pro Plus plan, the Basic plan is also a viable choice.

Icom Handheld NAV/COM

Alright, let’s shift our focus from the usual tech gadgets and dive into the world of nifty pilot contraptions! Brace yourself, because this is an absolute gem of a present, particularly for those newly soaring in the skies. Without a doubt, every aviator ought to possess a portable aviation radio nestled within their trusty pilot bag. Not only are they reasonably priced, but they also prove invaluable during those tense moments when airborne mishaps threaten to mar the flight experience.

However, they prove to be highly beneficial for the everyday life of pilots as well. These devices are particularly favored by instructors as they allow them to discreetly monitor their students during nerve-wracking solo flights.

Additionally, within a few miles of the airport, pilots have the ability to access ATIS and weather broadcasts, enabling them to tune in to the surrounding atmospheric conditions during their commute.

Garmin D2 Air or Delta Smartwatch

Smartwatches are gradually gaining popularity, yet there exist numerous aspects of life where these wearables prove to be incredibly convenient. While their positive impact on health and fitness is widely recognized, certain brands are also making remarkable advancements in industries such as aviation.

This Garmin is the perfect example. These GPS-enabled watches have a host of great aviation apps that will make any pilot swoon.

The inclusion of the pulse oxygen sensor and barometric altimeter adds an extra touch of delight to this remarkable device. However, it is worth noting that Garmin watches are most compatible with pilots who are already familiar with Garmin products and rely on the Garmin Pilot app on their mobile devices.

Garmin offers a captivating duo of aviation-inspired smartwatches. The D2 Air, a compact and affordable option, boasts exceptional GPS capabilities and a wide array of flight planning tools. On the other hand, the D2 Delta reigns as their opulent flagship model, brimming with an abundance of cutting-edge features. Notably, it seamlessly syncs with Garmin flight decks that are suitably connected to networks.

A New Headset

Looking to surprise a pilot with an exceptional gift? Consider enhancing their flying experience by upgrading their trusty headset. Often, pilots commence their training journey with a modest, budget-friendly headset. However, if you’re aiming to bestow upon them a truly remarkable present, why not opt for one of these top-of-the-line, luxury headsets? Among the wide array of headsets available at our esteemed flight school, the Bose A20 reigns supreme. This outstanding piece of equipment not only performs remarkably but also comes with unparalleled warranty and service from the renowned brand, Bose.

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Bose A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth.

The A20 stands tall among the finest aviation headsets available. Its comfort is unmatched, ensuring a pleasurable experience even during extensive journeys. Moreover, its active noise reduction capabilities are exceptional, allowing for uninterrupted focus, while the audio quality it delivers is remarkably crisp and immersive.

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The David Clark H10 headset, a favored choice among students, offers an economical alternative. Often referred to as the Honda Civic of pilot headsets, this widely embraced option has undergone rigorous testing and boasts unrivaled functionality. Its simplicity is its strength, providing a reliable and durable companion for student pilots, capable of withstanding any challenges they may encounter.

Ideal for student aviators.

The David Clark H10-13

Among novice aviators, this headset stands out as a crowd favorite. With its affordable price tag and unwavering performance, it emerges as a stellar choice for aspiring pilots embarking on their journey into the skies.

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If you desire a wider selection of headsets, make sure to peruse our article on the top-rated pilot headsets.

New Flight Bag

For the seasoned aviator in your life, consider gifting them a splendid flight bag. The Flight Outfitters Lift bag is an exceptional choice, ideal for those pilots who prefer to travel light with essentials like their headset, iPad, and a handful of petite accessories. Notably versatile, this bag seamlessly caters to the needs of both experienced pilots and aspiring student aviators.

Explore the Flight Outfitters Bush Pilot bag, an incredibly sturdy flight companion that offers ample space for all your gear and could even double as a compact overnight bag.

If you’re in search of a flight bag tailored specifically for an airline pilot, this remarkable Brightline B7 flight bag may just catch your fancy. With its abundant pockets meticulously designed to ensure impeccable organization, it proves to be the epitome of convenience.

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To find more flight bag suggestions, take a look at our article on the top flight bags for aviators.

6 Gift Ideas for an Epic Pilot Crashpad

Although those technological devices are undeniably practical and impressive, they fail to embody the enchantment of a sincere home-centric present. There is an undeniable sense of comfort in receiving a gift that transcends mere work-related matters, and instead focuses on enhancing one’s enjoyment and coziness in life.

Airplane Spotter Print

Spruce up their living space or abode with these unique and exceptional vintage airplane spotter prints. These artistic prints emulate the cherished cards distributed in WWII to aid individuals in recognizing the aircraft soaring above them. They are highly sought-after presents for aviators and serve as an exquisite addition to any gallery wall. Explore the complete collection of prints available here.

Model of “Their” Plane

Every aviator requires a couple of replicas in their existence. There are two pathways a donor can choose.

Initially, you have the choice to present them with a replica of the aircraft they presently navigate. Alternatively, why not consider giving them a miniature version of their ultimate fantasy plane? The plane they aspire to be soaring through the skies with.

Online, one can find an exquisite array of wooden sculptures or meticulously painted replicas of military jets, classic aircrafts, and cutting-edge airliners, catering to the diverse interests of aviation enthusiasts.

Whiskey Decanter

Presenting a gift infused with a dash of sophistication and a sprinkling of whimsy. Behold this exquisite decanter, a true marvel that seamlessly blends elegance and aviation. For those jet-setting souls who harbor a private watering hole in their abode, this magnificent piece is destined to make a striking statement.

Some come with complementary eyewear, and there are various aircraft options housed within the globe.

Replica Wood Prop

Step inside the abode of any aviator and you’ll undoubtedly stumble upon a propeller, rendering it a splendid present for pilots. Behold, this is an imitation of a propeller hailing from the World War I era. As an impeccable ornamentation for the pilot’s sanctuary, it seamlessly enhances the aesthetics of any dwelling. Whether elegantly affixed to a wall or artfully positioned atop a surface, such as a table or bar, this propeller transcends mere decoration.

World Map and Scratch-Off Travel Poster

Countless aviators pursued a career in piloting due to their immense passion for exploration. If you happen to be acquainted with an individual who diligently capitalizes on their standby privileges to embark on envy-inducing voyages across the world, it is almost certain that they possess a cherished world map within their abode. This unique map permits them to elegantly scratch off the countries or states they have had the privilege to explore.

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Wall Art Airplane Blueprint Poster

When it comes to airplane wall art, the possibilities are endless. Don’t hesitate to select their most cherished aircraft! As an illustration, feast your eyes on blueprint posters showcasing the F-16 fighter jet, or indulge in the exquisite beauty of the Boeing 777.

5 Best Gifts for the Pilot Lifestyle

At last, behold a selection of presents perfectly tailored for the discerning FAA certificated individuals. These delightful gifts not only boast affordability but also embody a harmonious blend of functionality and sentimentality.

Yeti Insulated Water Bottle

Maintaining proper hydration levels during a flight is no laughing matter. In scorching conditions, small aircrafts are famously sweltering. As you ascend to higher altitudes, the atmosphere becomes refreshingly cool but significantly more arid. The importance of staying hydrated cannot be overlooked, especially when it comes to ensuring the safety of pilots.

Show some love to your pilot buddies by gifting them a sleek stainless steel water bottle that’s both unbreakable and everlasting. This remarkable accessory is a breeze to clean, spill-proof, and guarantees hours of icy cold refreshment or piping hot beverages.

Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses

Pilots truly appreciate sunglasses as a remarkable present. Similar to a trusty water bottle, they become an indispensable companion for every pilot. Just like selecting the perfect pair of shoes, pilots tend to be quite particular when it comes to the exact style and lenses they prefer for their flights.

As a starting point, pilots typically steer clear of polarized sunglasses. You can’t go astray with the authentic aviators from Ray-Ban.

Fisher Space Pen

Despite the increasing presence of electronics in modern cockpits, pilots continue to rely on the traditional method of pen and paper, scribbling down numerous notes. However, the challenging conditions within the cockpit often force pilots to skillfully maneuver their pens in tight spaces and uncomfortable positions.

Crafted exclusively for NASA’s pioneering astronauts, these remarkable pens were ingeniously engineered. With a pressurized mechanism, they effortlessly glide across paper, defying gravitational constraints and weather conditions.

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Nerdy? Yes.

Useful? Infinitely.

TRX Exercise Kit

Regrettably, numerous pilots discover themselves leading a more inactive way of life than they would prefer.

With their endless hours spent confined in compact cockpits, hurriedly consuming meals on the move, and swiftly navigating unfamiliar destinations, pilots often struggle to carve out time for exercise. Therefore, bestowing pilots with portable workout kits serves as a splendid gesture of thoughtfulness.

This portable training system can fit into a compact pouch and is suitable for use in various locations, including cramped hotel rooms.

Leatherman Wingman

No pilot’s flight bag is truly complete without a superb multitool. Leatherman, renowned for their practical and endlessly handy needle-nose pliers, offers the ideal tools for pilots. The “Wingman” model, in particular, seems remarkably fitting, wouldn’t you agree? It’s undoubtedly among my top choices for gifting pilots.

I’m also a big supporter of the “Signal” version.

Personalized Airplane Ornament or Stocking

Surprise your loved ones this holiday season with an extraordinary personalized aviation ornament, adding a touch of uniqueness to their Christmas tree. These exquisite ceramic ornaments make the ideal present for aspiring pilots or those embarking on their aviation journey. Additionally, consider gifting them one of these delightful personalized airplane stockings, perfect for concealing a multitude of small aviation treasures.

Books for Pilots

If you happen to be in search of a gift for a pilot who finds themselves with a surplus of leisure time, why not consider acquiring a selection of aviation literature for their reading pleasure? In my personal opinion, books make for delightful presents, particularly when it comes to pilots. In this post, you will discover a plethora of aviation books that are guaranteed to captivate their interest. Furthermore, if they are at the commencement of their flight training journey, allow me to recommend the finest private pilot books that will aid them in preparing for their checkride and the FAA written examination.

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  • Books for Pilots provide essential knowledge and guidance for those aspiring to navigate the skies, covering topics such as aviation regulations, flight planning, aircraft systems, and safety procedures. These books are designed to enhance pilot skills, improve decision-making abilities, and ensure a thorough understanding of the principles and practices of aviation.

    Liz Brassaw, a regional airline’s first officer, has an impressive background as the former Chief Pilot and Chief Flight Operations Officer for Thrust Flight. Holding various certifications such as ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, AMEL, ASES, Liz has accumulated over 2,500 hours of flight instruction given. Her educational journey includes earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the esteemed Utah Valley University School of Aviation Sciences. Beyond her expertise, Liz possesses a genuine passion for flying, which she enthusiastically imparts to the instructors on her team and the new students she guides.

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