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26 Best Gifts for Pilots

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

For someone outside of aviation, shopping for the pilot in your life might seem a bit of a challenge. But here’s a secret—they like flying machines! So most of the gift ideas for pilots on our list are centered on those and the pilot lifestyle.

So while most gift buyers aren’t whipping out the latest edition of Trade-a-Plane to shop for their loved ones, there are all sorts of fabulous aviation gifts available online that feature aircraft of every description.

You can roughly break down pilot gifts into a few categories. For one, there are technology items and gadgets that they can use in the cockpit and crew lounge.

These gifts for pilots range from the most expensive high-end aviation headsets to simple things like battery chargers. 

Then there are things that make their home life more aeronautically themed. Bar sets, wall art, and even airplane ties if your aviation bud is inclined to dress well. 

Here are 26 aviation gifts that any pilot will love, including the best picks for tech lovers, pilot home decor, and lifestyle gadgets they can’t live without.

And if you’re looking for flight school graduation gift ideas, this list has some great recommendations as well.

Top 3 Things on my Pilot Gift List for 2023

As an airline pilot I’ve always got something sitting on my wishlist. While there are many excellent gift ideas for pilots on this list, here’s the top 3 things I want to get this year.

New Edition
Bose A30 Aviation Headset
$1,299.00
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04/10/2024 02:26 am GMT
Private Pilot Favorite
LEATHERMAN, Rebar Multitool
$79.77
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02/18/2024 05:49 pm GMT
Best for Airline Pilots
Brightline Bags Flex B7 Flight Preconfigured Modular Bag
$287.00
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02/18/2024 06:03 pm GMT

9 High-Tech Aviation Gifts Pilots Will Love

Very few pilots aren’t gadget nerds at heart. But shopping for tech gifts requires knowing your pilot’s cockpit habits well.

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

One of the handiest things a pilot can carry in their flight bag these days is a backup battery for their devices. It’s one of the most practical aviation gifts for him. You can use these small power packs to recharge any small device.

They’re convenient for pilots since many older aircraft are not equipped with accessory outlets like cars are. They also make great gifts for flight attendants.

Anker Portable Charger, PowerCore Essential 20000mAh Power Bank
$33.95


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02/18/2024 08:13 am GMT

These batteries come in any shape and size you can imagine.

Apple Airpods

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds
$177.74
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02/18/2024 04:03 am GMT

Some small plane pilots might be tempted to use Airpods under their headsets on long cross-country flights, but it’s the exception rather than the rule.

More accurately, pilots simply love the functionality of these Airpods for use during their downtime, hanging out in pilot lounges waiting for passengers to arrive or weather to clear up!

Foreflight – Top Gift for Pilots

If you’re looking for the most useful gifts for pilots, this is it.

You can purchase either a Foreflight Basic Plus plan or Pro Plus plan. Most of the students at our school go with the Pro Plus plan but the Basic plan will work as well.

iPad

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.

There are countless helpful apps for flying (one mentioned below) as well as study aids that are all used best on the iPad.

The two biggest things to consider when purchasing an iPad for a pilot in training is the size of the iPad and cellular connection. The vast majority of pilots prefer the iPad Mini because it’s easier to use in the cockpit. We’ve surveyed our students and about 70% of them use the Mini.

The other thing to remember is that they’ll need the cellular-equipped iPad. You don’t need to have a cellular plan for the iPad, you just needs to be cellular equipped to work with the apps they’ll use in training.

2021 Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi + Cellular, 64GB) – Space Gray
$549.99


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02/18/2024 04:28 pm GMT

Icom Handheld NAV/COM

Icom IC-A25N VHF Airband Transceiver (NAV & COM channels)
$579.98
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02/18/2024 03:28 pm GMT

But they’re great for day-to-day pilot life, too. Instructors love to use these so they can listen in on their students during those stressful solo flights.

In addition, they can usually receive the ATIS and weather broadcast a few miles from the airport, so pilots can tune into local conditions on the way to work. 

Smartwatches are still catching on, but there are certainly some activities in life where these wearables are super handy. Of course, we’re all pretty familiar with how they’ve improved health and fitness. But some brands are making great strides in things like aviation, too.

Garmin D2 Air – GPS Smartwatch for Aviators
$449.99


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02/18/2024 03:03 am GMT

The pulse oxygen sensor and barometric altimeter are especially welcome features on such a device. One word of warning, though—Garmin watches work best for pilots who already use Garmin products and the Garmin Pilot app on their mobile devices. 

A New Headset

New Edition
Bose A30 Aviation Headset
$1,299.00
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04/10/2024 02:26 am GMT

A more affordable option that’s incredibly popular with students is the David Clark H10 headset. It’s basically the Honda Civic of the pilot headset world. This headset has been tested extensively and simply works. There’s nothing complicated about it. It’s just a dependable headset that will handle the abuse a student pilot will probably put it through.

Best for Student Pilots
David Clark H10-13.4 Aviation Headset
$384.64

This is one of the most popular headsets for new pilots. Its lower price point and reliable performance make it an excellent option for any student pilot just getting started.

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04/09/2024 02:34 am GMT

New Flight Bag

Kindle Paperwhite

They make a smaller, 8 GB version and a larger 32 GB version. If you’re trying to find great gifts for airline pilots be sure to add this one to your list.

Kindle Paperwhite (8 GB) – Now with a 6.8″ display and adjustable warm light
$139.99


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02/18/2024 06:13 pm GMT

6 Gift Ideas for an Epic Pilot Crashpad

While those tech gadgets are all useful and cool, they lack the whim of a heartfelt gift for the home. Something is reassuring about receiving a gift that isn’t just about your job but is instead about making your life more fun and more comfortable. 

Airplane Spotter Print

Help them decorate their hanger or home with these one-of-a-kind vintage airplane spotter prints. These posters are designed to look like the cards passed out during WWII to help people identify what airplanes were flying overhead. They’re popular gifts for pilots and make for a great gallery wall. Check out all of the prints here.

Personalized Airplane Hangar Sign

Help the pilot in your life decorate their hangar (or home) with a personalized hangar sign.

This 4″ x 18″ metal sign is a wonderful customized gift that can hang inside or outside.

Personalized Hangar Sign
$10.99
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02/18/2024 03:49 am GMT

Model of “Their” Plane

Every pilot needs a few models in their life. There are two routes a gift-giver can take.

B-29 Superfortress Plastic Model kit Made in The USA Atlantis 1:120 Scale WWII Bomber
$24.15 $21.99


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02/18/2024 05:53 pm GMT

Whiskey Decanter

Some are available with matching glasses, and there are multiple aircraft available inside the globe.

Replica Wood Prop

Warbird Airplane Propeller – 20 Inch 2 Blade WWI German Axial Replica
$49.99


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02/18/2024 11:28 am GMT

World Map and Scratch-Off Travel Poster

Scratch Off World Map Poster – Deluxe Travel Map, World Map Scratch Off with US States and Country Flags
$27.97 $24.97


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02/18/2024 06:18 pm GMT

Wall Art Airplane Blueprint Poster

Vintage Wright Brothers Flying Machine Patent Poster Prints, Set of 4 (8×10) Unframed Photos, Wall Art Decor
$19.49


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02/18/2024 04:59 pm GMT

Personalized Airplane Ornament or Stocking

And if your shopping for a young aviation enthusiast, a personalized airplane ornament is the perfect aviation gift.

5 Best Gifts for the Pilot Lifestyle

Finally, here are some gifts for the lifestyles of the FAA certificated. These gifts are less expensive and are both practical and thoughtful.

Yeti Insulated Water Bottle

Staying hydrated during a flight is no joke. In hot environments, small planes are notoriously hot. When you get to altitude, the air is cool but much drier. Hydration is a safety issue for pilots.

YETI Rambler 26 oz Bottle, Vacuum Insulated, Stainless Steel with Chug Cap
$44.04 $40.00


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02/18/2024 08:03 am GMT

Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses

Sunglasses make an excellent gift for pilots. Like the water bottle, they’re an item that every pilot needs. Like buying shoes, many pilots are fickle about precisely which styles and lenses they use during flight.

For more suggestions on sunglasses check out this post on the best sunglasses for flying.

Ray-Ban Rb3025 Classic Aviator Sunglasses
$171.00


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02/18/2024 08:28 am GMT

Fisher Space Pen

Pilots take a lot of notes, and while electronics have filled new cockpits, many pilots still resort to the old-school pen and paper. But pilots often write in cramped spaces and at awkward angles.

Nerdy? Yes.

Useful? Infinitely.

fisher SPACE PEN Space AG7 Original Astronaut Space Pen
$64.00
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02/18/2024 03:23 am GMT

TRX Exercise Kit

Unfortunately, many pilots find themselves living a more sedentary lifestyle than they’d like.

With all the long hours in small cockpits, fast meals on the go, and quick turns in strange cities, pilots can have difficulty finding time to work out. So packable workout kits are great gifts for pilots.

TRX All-in-One Body Suspension Trainer, Suspension Anchor, Door Anchor
$179.95


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02/18/2024 07:43 am GMT

Leatherman Wingman

LEATHERMAN, Wingman Multitool with Spring-Action Pliers and Scissors, Built in the USA, Stainless Steel with Nylon Sheath
$69.95


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02/18/2024 10:48 pm GMT

Leather Pilots Jacket

A high-quality leather jacket combines style, durability, functionality, and sentimental value, making it an excellent gift for pilots who appreciate both fashion and the aviation heritage.

It’s a gesture that not only keeps them warm but also warms their heart.

While high quality leather jackets are pricier, they will also last them for years to come and will come in handy on those cold flying days. This is truly one of the quintessential aviation gifts for him.

Landing Leathers Men Air Force A-2 Leather Flight Bomber Jacket Black
$199.99


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02/18/2024 07:39 pm GMT

What are some of the best gifts for pilots you’ve seen? Share them in the comment section below.

Best Aviation Gifts Under $50

Top Pick
The Wright Brothers
$13.49 $11.80
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02/18/2024 02:29 am GMT
NITECORE MT20A 360 Lumens 2x AA White/Red LED Flashlight Penlight with a Keychain Light
$44.95
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02/18/2024 03:28 am GMT
Skechers Men's Se6016 Aviator Sunglasses
$24.00 $15.98
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02/19/2024 12:24 am GMT
Men's Airplane Necktie
$12.99 $10.99
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02/18/2024 05:58 am GMT
Sterling Silver Earrings Heart-Shaped Airplane Small Stud
$16.99
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02/18/2024 05:53 am GMT
FlyBoys Classic Kneeboard – Clipboard & Pen Holder
$44.95 $37.95
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02/18/2024 03:38 am GMT
BioLite HeadLamp 200 Lumen No-Bounce Rechargeable Head Light
$43.76
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02/18/2024 05:13 pm GMT
Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying
$36.00 $22.52
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02/18/2024 06:24 pm GMT

Aviation Gifts $50-$100

Editors Pick
Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag
$99.95


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02/18/2024 11:28 pm GMT
MyPilotPro Aviator Mount for GoPro
$79.95


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02/18/2024 02:43 am GMT
Private Pilot Favorite
LEATHERMAN, Rebar Multitool
$79.77
Buy Now
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02/18/2024 05:49 pm GMT
fisher SPACE PEN Space AG7 Original Astronaut Space Pen
$64.00
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02/18/2024 03:23 am GMT
MyPilotPro Spider Swivel Cockpit Mount for GoPro
$78.99


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02/18/2024 02:09 am GMT
Fossil Men's FOS3060s Rectangular Sunglasses
$60.00 $25.99
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02/18/2024 11:58 pm GMT
Rod Machados Private Pilot Handbook
Buy Now
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Anker PowerCore 20,100mAh Portable Charger Ultra High Capacity Power Bank
$49.99
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02/18/2024 03:53 am GMT

Pilot Gifts $100-$200

ASA CX-3 Flight Computer
$118.50
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02/18/2024 03:58 am GMT
Flight Outfitters Bush Pilot Bag
$129.95
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02/18/2024 03:38 pm GMT
MYGOFLIGHT PLC Lite iPad Aviation Flight Bag
$129.00
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02/18/2024 08:08 am GMT
Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) Wireless Earbuds
$139.99
Buy Now
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02/18/2024 04:08 am GMT
TRX All-in-One Body Suspension Trainer, Suspension Anchor, Door Anchor
$179.95
Buy Now
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02/18/2024 07:43 am GMT
Kindle Paperwhite (8 GB) – Now with a 6.8″ display and adjustable warm light
$139.99
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02/18/2024 06:13 pm GMT

Pilot Gifts for $200+

AO Original Pilot Sunglasses
$250.00
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02/18/2024 11:44 pm GMT
Our Pick
ICOM A25C Handheld Airband Radio – Communication Channels Only
$510.87
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02/18/2024 07:33 am GMT
Yaesu FTA-850L Color Bluetooth NAV/COM Aviation Transceiver
$492.80
Buy Now
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02/18/2024 07:08 am GMT
New Edition
Bose A30 Aviation Headset
$1,299.00
Buy Now
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04/10/2024 02:26 am GMT
Best for Airline Pilots
Brightline Bags Flex B7 Flight Preconfigured Modular Bag
$287.00
Buy Now
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02/18/2024 06:03 pm GMT
Premium 2023 Private Pilot Ground School – FLY8MA Flight Training
$349
Buy Now Lower Priced Membership Option
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GoPro HERO11 Black
$299.00
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02/18/2024 04:23 am GMT
Best for Student Pilots
David Clark H10-13.4 Aviation Headset
$384.64
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04/09/2024 02:34 am GMT
2021 Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi + Cellular, 64GB) – Space Gray
$549.99
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02/18/2024 04:28 pm GMT

Book Gifts for Pilots

  1. The Wright Brothers
    $16.41
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    02/18/2024 06:33 pm GMT
  2. Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying
    $36.00 $22.52
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    02/18/2024 06:24 pm GMT
  3. Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History
    $18.99 $10.49
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    02/18/2024 06:28 pm GMT
  4. Into the Abyss: An Extraordinary True Story
    $15.59
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    02/18/2024 06:38 pm GMT
  5. Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice
    $20.00 $11.19
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    02/18/2024 06:44 pm GMT
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