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50 Cool Gifts For Pilots: That Will Spin Their Propellers

If you believe in the power of flight, then read on to find the most awesome gift ideas for pilots.

Do you know a commercial airline pilot, an Airforce aviator, a weekend flying junkie, or all-around aviation enthusiasts? And one that needs a great gift?

They likely can’t get enough of any tool to help them along with their flights. Pilots often love their specialized travel gear, anything and everything aviation-related, and, of course, funny pilot-themed items to let the world know that they are a pilot and/or love flying planes.

Look ahead for some of the most helpful and gratifying gifts for pilots this side of the horizon.

50 Cool Gift Ideas For Pilots

Up, up, and away with 50 of the best aviation gifts for pilots that will keep them flying high.

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Whiskey Decanter Airplane Set

  • Drink Up In The Sky

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Aviation, Airplane

For the aviation enthusiast, there is this stylish and functional whiskey decanter safely housed in a model airplane, complete with two hand-blown glasses. The liquor is even extracted via a spout on the bottom of the plane. A great way to honor the beauty inherent in airplanes, especially when they house a fine whiskey.

User Experience

I'm delighted by this plane-shaped alcohol decanter, which is a hit in our aviation-themed home bar. This decanter, adorned with world-silhouette glasses, sparks intriguing conversations and compliments from our guests, especially for my husband, a seasoned pilot with a knack for identifying planes by their engine noise. However, be mindful of the delicate filling process, as applying too much pressure can cause the decanter to break, and the spigot valve must be aligned correctly to avoid leaks; minor inconveniences for such a unique and well-crafted piece.

Born to Fly Hoodie

  • Learning to Fly

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Airplane, Cute

A wonderful choice as a gift for a burgeoning pilot or aviation school newbie, this Born To Fly hoodie will keep them warm and show off a classic bush plane. They’ll be able to toss this comfortable gift into their flight bag, luggage or wear it proudly as they clock up the hours towards becoming an official pilot.

Personal Perspective

I've noticed that the quality of the material for this sweater is not as high as I expected, feeling a bit rough to the touch. Despite this, the design is visually appealing and the size seems accurate, which is a plus. After washing, the graphic did not fade and the sweater maintained its shape, possibly due to its 80% cotton and 20% polyester composition. I was also pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful packaging, with the sweater neatly folded upon arrival.

Pilot License Plate Frame

  • Rather Be Flying

  • $$$$$
  • Funny, Cool, Airplane

When a pilot has to run an errand, they have to get behind the wheel of a…car. What a downer. Help them deal with the hours spent outside of the cockpit with this funny and apt license plate frame that reads “Life Is Better Flying.” It fits nicely on either license plate, so others will know who the pilot is whether they’re coming or going.

Community Feedback

This license plate frame, while visually appealing, left me disappointed in its quality. Although it has a sturdy metal-like appearance, it turned out to be made of flimsy plastic that seemed more suitable for a dollar store find. It did fit over my license plate well, but the lack of durability and its pre-wavy condition were definitely not worth the price I paid.

Pilot Kneeboard

  • Take A Knee In The Cockpit

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Travel, Aviation

A pilot’s kneeboard is a lifesaver. The board is used to place over the knee so that the pilot can have use of their iPad, flight book, or other materials during flight. This particular kneeboard is more compact, so it works great for an aviation student in training, helicopters, and planes with the control stick located between the legs. Make a pilot happy and more organized at the same time!

First-Hand Impression

Excellent in its compact design, this kneeboard has proven to be a valuable asset in my regular flight routine. Despite its small size, it has ample room for my checklists, emergency procedures, and other vital documents, which are easily accessible and do not disturb my top sheet. While the writing surface may be a tad smaller than expected, its superb quality, coupled with its convenience in a snug cockpit, makes this kneeboard a worthwhile addition for any pilot.

Airplane Bottle Opener

  • Open Up With A Plane

  • $$$$$
  • Cute, Cool, Airplane

This airplane bottle opener is a great way to add a party favor to a wedding when one or two pilots are tying the knot. The shiny little plane will open bottles or just look adorable on the desk of a pilot, air force veteran, or aviation enthusiast.

User Experience

I recently presented this gift to a newly-minted commercial pilot friend of mine, hoping it would serve him well in his new career. Upon first glance, the aesthetic appeal of this gift was undeniable, drawing the eye with its pleasing design. However, I did notice that as a bottle opener, the gift felt somewhat flimsy in hand, which slightly marred my overall impression. Yet, I must acknowledge that the quality of the gift seemed otherwise solid. Despite its minor shortcomings, I still believe this gift possesses a certain charm and utility that makes it a worthwhile purchase.

Runway Light Table Lamp

  • A Smooth Landing For This Lamp

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Aviation, Cool

This is a gift for aviation lovers who crave something beautiful for their home that reflects their love for flying. This handcrafted table lamp is made from an actual vintage runway light that shined so planes could safely hit the ground. The gift for pilots is a heartfelt way for a retiring pilot to give a good home to a retired beacon of light.

Ray Ban Pilot Sunglasses

  • Look Like A Pilot

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Accessories, Aviation

It might seem a cliche to wear aviator sunglasses as a pilot, but it is a necessary part of any pilot’s travel kit. With 100% UV protection (which is necessary since UV rays increase the higher up from the ground one ascends), the sunglasses also reduce the fatigue associated with the hard sunlight one might find at 10,000 feet. Oh, and they’ll look as cool as they dreamed they would when becoming a pilot.

Top Gun Strategy Board Game

  • Fast Flyers In Training

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Home, Funny

When a child has a pilot for a dad or a mom (or just dreams of becoming a pilot), they will enjoy this awesome Top Gun board game for players 10 and up. The whole family can take on the well-known characters in the film and team up to complete combat training. A fun night for any aviation family.

Retro Airplanes Curtain

  • Vintage Planes Are Good Company

  • $$$$$
  • Unique, Cute, Home

For the true aviation lover comes this darling retro-style blackout curtain for any room at home. The kicker? The curtain has a bunch of cute vintage airplanes flying here and there. Whether a child’s bedroom, a guest room for a pilot friend, or a whole home decked out in aviation curtains, this airplane-themed home decor is a sweet way to add a little flight to any home surrounding.

Aviation Clusters Pint Pack

  • For A Home Pilot Bar

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Home, Airplane

A good gift for a pilot dad or husband, this set of pint glasses and matching coasters are a wonderful addition to any home bar. The glass is durable and each glass has a different aviation-themed design, including an altitude meter and a soaring plane. Your favorite pilot will enjoy the look and feel of the glasses and be thankful that the coasters will keep things nice and tidy.

Personal Perspective

These pint glasses, despite their initial fragility during shipping, have proven to be a delightful addition to my kitchen. The quality of the glasses is commendable, and the designs on them are attractive, although they did start leaving a chalky residue after some time. The accompanying coasters are a nice touch, albeit a bit thin, but they complement the glasses wonderfully. Despite these minor issues, these pint glasses have truly exceeded my expectations and have added a unique charm to my home bar.
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Vintage Propeller Wall Decor

  • Spinning Propellers At Home

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Cool, Airplane

A very cool, retro way to decorate the home of a pilot, soon-to-be pilot, or wannabe pilot. The vintage crafted metal airplane propeller houses a well-designed wall clock. The sleek industrial look adds a touch of aviator to any room in the house and represents the pilot profession with style.

Community Feedback

As an aviation enthusiast, this piece is a charming addition to my collection. The quality is top-notch with a perfect finish, though the fan blades could be a tad thicker and have some pitch to them for better alignment. It's smaller than you might expect, so bear in mind the dimensions if you're planning to feature it on a large wall. Despite some initial concerns about the propellers staying in position, they've held up well and have received numerous compliments from visitors.

Airplane Night Light

  • Light Up The Night Skies

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Gadgets, Airplane

An amazing 3D lamp that acts as a night light, this gorgeous airplane image shines in a soft, golden light to illuminate the bedside of the child of a pilot or the pilot themselves. Keep a lover of the skies dreaming of being up and away and into the clouds, even when they are stuck at home. This 3D visual airplane light is a really meaningful gift for aviation lovers everywhere.

First-Hand Impression

In assembling and testing this airplane gift before giving it to my husband, I was pleasantly surprised by its larger-than-expected size and the brightness of its light. Despite noticing a few scratches on the product, the overall design and the excitement it brought to my aviation-enthused loved ones, make it more than worth it.

Pilot Bag Flight Bag

  • Packed And Ready

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Aviation, Airplane

There is hardly any gift for pilots out there that holds as much importance as a good flight bag. If pockets were like assistants, this flight bag would provide an entire team of well-organized assistance to any pilot before entering the cockpit. With ample compartments for the large (headsets, flight plan) to the small (flashlight, pens), the bag is a handsome, durable way to make sure each flight is a success.

User Experience

My personal excitement was palpable the moment I unboxed this flight bag; its high-quality build and thoughtful design immediately evident. From the robust zippers to the multitude of specialized compartments perfect for organizing flight gear, this bag masterfully balances size and functionality, making it an ideal companion for any pilot.

Spark Plug Plane Paperweight

  • Park Each Plane On Papers

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Unique, Cute

A unique little addition to any home, this paperweight for home office is made from a spark plug and other recycled materials to form the world’s most adorable little airplane. What they get is the perfect quirky gift idea for pilots who need a little help keeping their old flight plans from blowing away.

Resealable Disposable Urinal

  • Prepared For Anything In-Flight

  • $$$$$
  • Funny, Unique, Gadgets

A pilot’s worst nightmare is being trapped in a situation where bathrooms are not present or working. Even so, any pilot’s mind will be at ease when they can’t stop laughing long enough to worry. The laughter will begin the moment you give your favorite pilot this disposable urinal. The “urinal” turns any liquid waste both odorless and non-toxic. A gag gift with possible purpose!

Travel Dopp Kit

  • Pilots Need Grooming Too

  • $$$$$
  • Airplane, Travel, Accessories

A Dopp bag may be just what the pilot in your life needs these days. Tactical tools aside, any commercial pilot who flies on a regular basis needs a good Dopp bag, otherwise known as a grooming or toiletry bag. This hanging bag is built to last with multiple compartments and refillable bottles, so any pilot will be ready for whatever they’ve got planned after the flight.

Airplane Bookends

  • Flying High With Books

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Airplane, Aviation

Where does a pilot or aviation lover keep all of their favorite aeronautical books? If you’ve noticed a messy pile of books in their home, you can add a little flying style to their collection with these homey airplane bookends. Made of wood and pewter, the bisected biplane will improve any book collection and show any pilot that you care about their books just as much as you care about them.

User Experience

Definitely, these aviation-themed bookends have an artistically represented biplane design that adds a unique charm to my book collection. Despite one of the bookends being a bit warped, the dark color scheme and the sturdy feel of the bookends have really impressed me, although they could benefit from some rubber pads for better stability. Gifted to a pilot friend, these bookends were appreciated not just for their utility but also for their thoughtful design that resonates with his profession.

Emergency Survival Kit

  • Safety Above All

  • $$$$$
  • Gadgets, Airplane, Travel

Safety is always in the back of a pilot’s mind. Even flying for the best commercial airlines doesn’t render any pilot immune from the possibility of an emergency situation. One of the most useful gift ideas for pilots that includes multiple components is this emergency survival gift. Including everything from a military knife, wire saw, compass, and so much more, this kit will keep a pilot busy and prepared.

Personal Perspective

This survival kit is a fantastic gift, packed with a wide assortment of useful items for explorers and adventurers. I've found the quality of the kit to be commendable, though the box it comes in could be a bit larger to accommodate everything comfortably. The lack of instructions for each tool was a minor inconvenience, requiring a bit of internet research to fully understand their uses. Despite these small drawbacks, the kit proved to be a hit as a gift, especially among those with a love for outdoor activities.

Personalized Pilot Tumbler

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  • Personalized For Pilot

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Cute, Accessories

A good way to show a pilot that you want them to have a comfortable flight is to provide them with a personalized high-flying airplane tumbler. Engraved with their name, the tumbler will keep their favorite beverage hold or cold. They will make sure not to forget themselves or their airplane tumbler when next deplaning.

Mechanical Paper Plane Launcher

  • Beauty Meets Plane

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Airplane, Home

For the aviator who craves the artisan quality of a well-built plane, these mechanical paper plane launchers leave the folded pieces of paper made as a child behind. Instead, these planes are exquisite enough to keep in any pilot’s home or have a fun afternoon setting them up and launching them into the air.

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Pilot Aviation Headset

  • A Pilot Must Have

  • $$$$$
  • Airplane, Gadgets, Aviation

Any pilot worth their salt is only as dependable as their headset. If your boyfriend, husband, or loved one is just finishing training, starting them off with a top-notch headset is the best gift you can offer. This aviation headset is ideal for noise reduction and for being heard clearly over the mic. Comfort and ability are key and this headset will prepare any new or experienced pilot for triumphant flights to come.

User Experience

These headsets exceeded my expectations in comparison to previously used brands like David Clarks and Telex Echelons. When I started my flight training in a Cessna 172, I found that this headset handled the background noise perfectly, allowing me to hear the engine without feeling overwhelmed. The microphone was sensitive and picked up my voice easily even in the midst of the engine buzz. The sleek and subtle design is appealing and the headband provides great comfort. However, the pre-installed ear seals were a disappointment and I had to buy Kore gel seals separately for better comfort. Over time, I noticed the metal mic adjuster had difficulty staying in place, and the headset exerted considerable pressure on my head, causing discomfort especially when I wore glasses.

SEIKO Men's Pilot Watch

  • A Wrist And A Flight

  • $$$$$
  • Gadgets, Cool, Travel

A well-crafted wristwatch is the secret weapon of any good pilot. This Seiko pilot watch is an accomplished chronograph that features both a gorgeous display and can be utilized as a stopwatch. The dependable Seiko name and quartz movement will sit perfectly on any pilot’s wrist, help calculate flight speeds, and guide them through all kinds of skies with classic style.

Personal Perspective

Definitely, this Seiko Aviator watch has exceeded my expectations as both a long-time pilot and watch enthusiast. From its iconic design, which sadly isn't produced anymore, to the interesting blend of functionality and aesthetics, this watch has been a reliable companion in my aviation journeys. Reading the watch face can be a bit challenging due to its size and the magnifying crystal, but it adds a unique charm to the piece. The slide rule function, though it requires some learning, and the domed crystal are standout features that add to its allure. However, while the band is decent, it could benefit from a bit more robustness.

Airplane Bottle Holder

  • For A Snazzy Pilot’s Bar

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Home, Plane

A lovely addition to any bar, this silver nickel bottle holder in the shape of an airplane fits nicely between glasses and bottles to improve the look and feel of any aviation lover’s home bar. Visitors and guests will love to talk about and touch the airplane that is holding whatever bottle of wine is on display. Add a little airplane style to every bar and watch the fun begin.

Community Feedback

This wine opener has a truly unique design that's perfect for wine enthusiasts and aviation lovers alike. I purchased it as a present and the recipient, a retired pilot, was thrilled with it. It's lightweight and smaller than I initially thought, but this doesn't take away from its aesthetic appeal. The only minor setback is that it doesn't accommodate standard size wine bottles. Despite this, it's a well-crafted piece that consistently garners compliments.

Pilot Wall Sign

  • Spell Out The Rules

  • $$$$$
  • Funny, Cute, Home

Most pilots have learned to have a good sense of humor. Let them know you appreciate them and make them laugh at the same time with a pilot wall sign that lets all who read it know the rules of being a pilot, including “the pilot is ready when he is ready,” as well as many others. This wall sign will remind all that pilots are just people who know how to fly planes!

First-Hand Impression

Definitely, this product fits the bill of "it is what it is." My personal experience aligns with this sentiment; there's no fluff or pretense. It's refreshingly straightforward, delivering exactly what it promises without any unnecessary bells or whistles. While some may see this as a drawback, I appreciate the product's simplicity and straightforwardness.

Vintage Airplanes Patent Prints

  • The Art of Planes

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Home, Airplane

Any active or former private in the air force will love this tasteful set of six prints of vintage military airplanes. The high-quality paper and hand-crafted designs will leave the pilot you know, speechless at the retro power of their multiple details. Add some vintage style to the home of any current or former pilot, military or commercial with this homage to the great fighter and pursuit planes of their day.

User Experience

These prints harmoniously complemented my son's bedding, adding an aesthetic touch to his room that surpassed my expectations. When framed in sleek silver frames, they created a modern look that was nothing short of amazing. With their stunning images, excellent quality, and impressive sturdiness, these prints truly enhanced the overall decor.

Tactical Flashlight

  • A Light In The Sky

  • $$$$$
  • Gadgets, Accessories, Aviation

The ultimate in flashlights for a pilot, whether in the cockpit or stuck in an uncomfortable situation on the ground, this tactical flashlight has it all. A red light meant for seeing flight controls when there is no light, night vision, and a zoom that is adjustable will all keep any pilot prepared for the unexpected with confidence and know how.

Personal Perspective

For anyone looking for a sturdy and reliable flashlight, my experience with this flashlight has been noteworthy. Initially, I was disappointed with the brightness, but after a few tweaks and resistor replacement, it was as good as new. The body is lightweight yet robust, surviving a fall from an attic onto a concrete floor with just a minor scratch. However, the color-changing feature can be tricky to handle and may require some getting used to.

Pilot Handheld Radio

  • Communication Machine

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Gadgets, Aviation

Any new pilot will tell you that they need few things as much as a good quality handheld radio. Flying a plane is no small thing and, when things go wrong, a solid means of communication is held up above all things. This handheld radio is easy to use, easy to see with backlit buttons, and offers great audio when speaking, listening, and using to make it successfully through every flight.

Community Feedback

My experience with this radio has been a mixed bag. On one hand, the ruggedness and preset features are commendable; I've dropped it a few times during my off-roading trips and it persisted without a hitch, never requiring me to fiddle with settings. However, its proprietary nature and limited compatibility with other GMRS brands or FRS two-way radios have proven to be significant drawbacks, making it less versatile for group communication.

First Flight Throw Pillow

  • First Flight At Home

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Cool, Unique

There aren’t many places at home where a pilot can show off their love of planes better than a throw pillow, is there? This throw pillow includes a gorgeous, blueprint-style design of a plane that settles into any design style with gusto. The handmade charm of this pillow will serve as a reminder that pilots, whether male or female, have great taste in planes and in home decor.

Pilot Survival Knife

  • A Knife For Every Challenge

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Gadgets, Airplane

The right knife can mean the difference between a bad situation and a bad situation made better. This survival knife is made for the pilot’s life, able to act as both a window breaker and seatbelt cutter. It also contains an LED flashlight and is as dependable as a good friend who knows how to survive the most harrowing situations. The great design and build will become any pilot’s best friend.

User Experience

Best decision I made was purchasing this knife a few months back. It's compact and intuitive, with a sturdy design that feels perfect in hand—not like the cheaper version I tried later. This knife’s flashlight is extremely bright, an unexpected but appreciated feature. The blade is easy to open and the quality is top-notch. I carry this knife everywhere, from my flying lessons to hiking trips, and it always does the job.

Novelty Airplane Ice Cube Trays

  • A Plane In Every Drink

  • $$$$$
  • Funny, Home, Cute

You can’t get a pilot or lover of planes enough plane-themed items for their home or bar. These airplane ice cube trays are an adorable way to pep up an ordinary beverage and make it into something more exciting and more…aeronautical. The silicone molds make solid ice cubes that will have a plane soaring through any beverage it dips its wings into.

Personal Perspective

This penguin ice cube tray is simply adorable and a hit with the kids. I've found it to be versatile, using it not only for ice cubes but also for making chocolate treats which turned out beautifully, despite some minor issues with air bubbles. While the size is a bit large for everyday ice cubes, it's perfect for creating cute, edible decorations.
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Airplane Tie

  • Wearing Airplanes

  • $$$$$
  • Cute, Funny, Accessories

Is there any way an airline pilot can work his love for flying into his wedding day? There is now with this thoughtful gift for pilots, a necktie full of airplanes soaring around its stitched fabric. Beyond the groom, this tie makes a wonderful addition to any number of groomsmen’s suits. Support a pro-aviation wedding today with this sweet, quality airplane lovers’ tie.

Community Feedback

Love how this tie exceeded my expectations in terms of quality and style; it was thick, well-made, and definitely not one of those easily creased, thin ones I was dreading. I've received a ton of compliments on the design, although there was some confusion on the flag's nationality, it's definitely Italian, not Mexican. One thing to note, though, is that it leans more towards a very dark navy than black and it's a skinny tie, which might not be everyone's cup of tea.

Pilot Parking Sign

  • Parking For Planes

  • $$$$$
  • Funny, Home, Airplane

Another whimsical gift for pilots, this pilot parking sign is made of metal and can hang in any wannabe pilot’s room, especially if that one-day pilot is a teenage boy or child. You can’t go wrong with a classic “pilot parking only” sign, which also makes a great accent to an office, den, or man cave.

First-Hand Impression

Bought this gift for my father, who is a professional pilot, and he was overjoyed with it, his enthusiasm matching my brother-in-law's when I gifted him the same. However, my experience was marred when one piece arrived damaged beyond repair, a crumpled mess that was a stark contrast to its normally sturdy build.

Flight Computer

  • First In Computing

  • $$$$$
  • Gadgets, Aviation, Accessories

Of the few indispensables for a new pilot or one who is depended upon by others (which is all pilots), a first-class flight computer can mean the difference between a good flight and a great one. This flight computer has multiple functions yet remains easy to use. Time zones are covered and extras include a timer and stopwatch. The computer can even be given to use as a tool for the commercial pilot’s exam.

User Experience

From the moment I started using this flight computer, I was pleasantly surprised by its compact size, resembling a large phone, and superior build quality with a tactile, rubberized button texture. Despite a few issues, such as the lack of scientific calculations and a slightly problematic battery compartment, this device really shines in its quick calculations, memory feature, and user-friendly interface, while the night mode backlight and protective cover add to its practicality and durability.

Fixed Navigational Plotter

  • Every Mile Accounted For

  • $$$$$
  • Gadgets, Accessories, Aviation

Every pilot, whether military, commercial, or private needs to keep a solid navigational plotter in their flight bag. This plotter is durable and uses a scale reference to calculate miles. A practical tool for pilots, this navigational plotter will keep their eye on the horizon with preciseness and clarity.

Personal Perspective

I'm quite impressed with the effectiveness of this plotter, which has become a reliable tool in my Civil Air Patrol duties. Despite the lack of inch markers on one part and a minor mislabel of the 150-degree mark on the outer protractor, it has proven to be a suitable replacement for my mom's old gear from the 70s. While my preference leans towards a plotter with a rotating bezel, the quality, functionality, and reasonable price of this one can't be overlooked.

Security Cable Luggage Lock

  • Security In Travel

  • $$$$$
  • Travel, Accessories, Gadgets

Pilots are still travelers and have the same needs as the rest of us when it comes to packing their bags and securing what is precious to them from destination to destination. A well-built luggage lock will keep all that they hold dear safe and sound until touchdown and beyond. This cable luggage lock is made from zinc alloy and uses a 3 dial combination to ensure a secure journey through the skies.

Coccyx Seat Cushion

  • A Comfy Seat In The Cockpit

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Airplane, Travel

The one drawback of being a pilot is having to sit in the same, sometimes uncomfortable chair for hours and hours on end. The hips, low back, and glutes all suffer from this seated monotony. There’s no shame in getting your favorite pilot a well-made seat cushion to comfort their coccyx during flight. The cooling gel and non-slip surface will keep their muscles and nerves in good shape until deboarding the plane.

First-Hand Impression

I've found that this cushion, despite being a bit stiffer than expected, has significantly alleviated my lower back stress and hip discomfort during long sitting hours in my home office. Even though it's not the most attractive without its cover, and can be a tad uncomfortable in shorts, it provides essential support, maintaining its shape better than others I've tried, and offers a great sigh of relief for my aching legs.

Pilot Off Duty Socks

  • Off Duty

  • $$$$$
  • Funny, Home, Cute

Every pilot needs their off time. Whenever they are home kicking their feet up in their private office or in front of the television, you can make sure they have the right pair of socks on. A wonderful Christmas or birthday gift, these “Do Not Disturb / This Pilot Is Off Duty” socks speak volumes for those hard-working flyers who just need a little time to decompress before taking to the skies again.

User Experience

I've been wearing these socks since I received them as a present and I must say, they are really pleasant. They arrived promptly, and their quality is quite commendable. These socks have become a nice addition to my wardrobe and I appreciate them being gifted to me.

Helicopter Whiskey Decanter

  • Helicopter Cocktails

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Cool, Unique

If you know a helicopter aficionado that maintains a well-stocked bar, then this whiskey decanter is for you (for them). Attached to the spout inside the attractive globe-shaped decanter is a glass helicopter seemingly soaring upwards. To go along with the well-designed decanter are four glass with a silhouette of a world map on each one. The world can belong to helicopter pilots, one drink at a time.

Personal Perspective

My experience with this helicopter decanter has been a journey of highs and lows. While its design and capacity exceeded my expectations, I found the overall quality not quite up to par; it felt delicate and required gentle handling. A missing glass stopper in one of my orders was a disappointment, revealing a lack of attention to detail, but when all elements were present, this decanter made for a stunning and meaningful gift.

Airplane Wine Cork

  • Planes Put To Good Use

  • $$$$$
  • Aviation, Home, Cool

Lovers of planes and aviation might agree that you can’t have too many airplane themed objects in the home. Add another into the life of your lover of flying with this wine cork shaped like an airplane. A quirky addition to any home, the cork turns by twisting its propeller and is comfortable to use. Each bottle will remind them of their favorite thing in the world: airplanes.

Community Feedback

This pilot-themed gift was a huge hit with my son-in-law, rendering him speechless with its unique coolness. The craftsmanship and quality of this item is impressive, making it a standout piece in its category. However, based on my experience, its durability could be improved as it seems to have a lifespan of about a year before it needs replacement.

Scratch Map

  • Map Of Travels

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Home, Unique

Each pilot likes to keep a log of where they’ve been. They can’t always open up a journal or revisit each location all the time. This colorful map is so special because it allows the user to scratch off each physical location that they’ve stepped foot onto. It can be displayed on any wall, so the importance of each place will never be forgotten no matter how much time has passed in-between visits.

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Continental Airlines iPhone Case

  • Airline Loyalty Case

  • $$$$$
  • Airplane, Accessories, Cool

Whether you know someone who is an active pilot, a retired commercial pilot for Continental Airlines, or a frequent flyer/aviation lover who just lives and breathes airline-themed gifts, you’ve got a terrific little present with this Continental Airlines case for iPhones. Able to be customized for multiple models, the case is a stylish way to show off a love of flying.

Pilot Gift T-Shirt

  • Wearing It Like A Captain

  • $$$$$
  • Funny, Cool, Travel

Every solid profession needs an equally solid (and funny) t-shirt. This “Because I’m The Captain – That’s Why” t-shirt is one of the easiest gift ideas for pilots around. Lightweight and breathable, the plane design is classic, and the shirt is a great way for any pilot to let the world know that they are the captain of their ship (when it’s a plane).

Personal Perspective

I recently gifted this shirt to a friend and was thrilled to see his grin upon receiving it. This shirt runs true to size, but be aware it might appear a bit smaller than expected. The quality is good although the black print on the navy blue one seemed a bit faded, giving it an old look, which may not be everyone's cup of tea.

Boeing Gift Wrap

  • The Gift Before The Gift

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Unique, Airplane

Is it important to get the perfect gift for a pilot or aviation fan? Yes, but the gift could truly knock it out of the sky when it’s wrapped inside this brilliant Boeing gift wrap. The strong gift wrapping paper displays the dimensions of a Boeing plane in all its glory. A double whammy for airplane lovers, the specialized gift wrap may just end up being their favorite part of the present.

Community Feedback

My experience with this gift wrap was a bit of a rollercoaster. Initially, I was taken aback when I realized it was not a roll but folded sheets, and there were only two of them which seemed a bit pricey. However, the design was undeniably beautiful and the paper's sturdiness was impressive, which made it perfect for stuffing into gift bags. Despite having to be cautious to conserve the paper, it was a hit with my pilot husband, so I'd say the quality truly made up for the quantity.

First Class Travel Kit

  • For Flying Off Duty

  • $$$$$
  • Airplanes, Cool, Travel

Even pilots need to fly commercial sometimes as a passenger. With their usual hyper-organization and attention to detail, they will appreciate a gift that prepares them for the great challenge of sleeping in a plane seat and keeping the crying babies at bay. An eye mask, earplugs, and lots of other extras make this travel kit a great way to improve airline travel for pilots when they are not at the helm.

Powershuttle Travel Case

  • Securing All Electronics

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Travel, Airplane

Just as a pilot needs a flight bag and secure luggage, they carry a bunch of power cords, chargers, batteries, and the like for their many aviation gadgets. This travel case is focused on storing and organizing all manner of electronics for travel. Why force a pilot to reach around various bags when they can have one all to themselves for any of their electronic accessories and even charge a phone when in flight?

Utility Bracelet

  • Captain Fix Anything

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Gadgets, Unique

Some bracelets look good. This utility bracelet looks good and serves as a multipurpose tool, ideal for any pilot when taking off into the blue. They will be thankful you were thinking of their safety when they see this bracelet that has both a screwdriver and a knife that can be used for detailed work or just opening an envelope. Everything is in one place and it looks pretty cool too.

Pilot Aviation Headset Bag

  • Where Headsets Can Call Home

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Aviation, Travel

A good flight bag is one thing in a pilot’s life, but wait until you see the surprised, delighted look on their face when you give them a bag made just for their beloved headset. This “Pilot” embossed aviation bag for an aviator’s headset is the ideal place to keep the precious pilot cargo. With padding to offer protection and pockets for organization, the pilot you know will be set for years to come.

Community Feedback

This bag is a perfect fit for my David Clark 13.4 when positioned lengthwise, offering ample space without putting undue stress on the cable. The backside even snugly accommodates my Cessna logbook. It impresses me with its various compartments, giving it a nice size and good functionality. I appreciate it, much like my husband who has shown a particular fondness for this bag.

Plane KeyChain

  • Keys To The Plane (Or Car)

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Airplane, Funny

A keychain is a nice trinket to add to any gift basket, but this keychain is made solely for pilots. It reads, “My Other Car Is A Plane.” When having to be forced behind the wheel of a car, they will love the fact that you knew how much they wished to be at the helm of an airplane.

First-Hand Impression

My experience gifting this keychain was nothing short of joyous. My granddaughter, who's learning the ropes of flying, was thrilled to receive it; it's a fitting accessory for her budding pilot journey. Similarly, my stepfather, who's already a pro at maneuvering planes, found it endearing, a nod to his beloved pastime. It seems this keychain has a unique appeal to both novice and seasoned pilots alike, making it a cherished token in our household.

Altimeter Wall Clock

  • Bring The Cockpit Home

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Unique, Aviation

A clock hangs on a wall in a home, but does it reflect the love for flying of its owner? This clock does. The Altimeter wall clock is built to look like an actual altimeter found in the cockpit of a plane. It doesn’t actually measure altitude but tells the time at ground level accurately and with an eccentric charm.

User Experience

I'm an avid user of this altimeter clock, which has been a reliable and stylish addition to both my office and home for many years. Even though it's slightly heavier than expected, its authentic aviation theme, excellent timekeeping, easy visibility, and silent operation make this clock a unique and practical piece.

Mount for GoPro

  • For the Creative Type Pilot

  • $$$$$
  • Gadgets, Airplane, Cool

Some pilots take the notion of art into the skies with them when they fly. They can use this mount for a GoPro camera and hook it up to the inside or outside of an airplane. The mount is made from super sturdy, aircraft-proof aluminum that will keep GoPro steady and ready to record the ups and downs of the entire journey through the clouds.

Personal Perspective

Bought this MPP mount for my GoPro and it's proven to be a sturdy, high-quality product. Despite it not coming with a hex bolt, I've found it to be solid and reliable when attached to my airplane. I did face a slight issue initially due to not being able to tighten the standard bolt enough, but after using an optional wrench, the problem was resolved and the mount performed excellently. While the swivel version of this mount might have more versatility, this mount is a cost-effective solution for those who already own extenders, making it a fantastic choice for aviation enthusiasts.
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Pilot Gift FAQs

What to Buy Someone Who Wants to be a Pilot?

Inflight Pilot training states that those currently in flight school definitely need to get an iPad with the Garmin Flight and Foreflight pilot apps installed. Also helpful as they earn their hours is a logbook, a kneeboard with pen and paper, and don’t forget the FAA textbooks so they can learn all the tools and tricks of the trade, preferably not while actually flying a plane (1).

What Does Every Pilot Need?

According to ThrustFlight, every pilot needs some basic essentials to help them along their way. They include a great flight bag in which to keep their pilot certificate and medical clearance, a headset, a kneeboard for writing, and non-polarized sunglasses. It really all comes together in a great flight bag and/or piece of luggage where they can pack everything needed safely and in an organized manner (2).

What Do Pilots Bring With Them?

Aviator Tips tells us that a lot of the paperwork normally associated with pilots can now be accessed via an “electronic flight bag,” which includes apps like Foreflight. GPS units also prove invaluable to any pilot. Other items include a navigational plotter, handheld radio, headset, and even a camera for documenting the flight for professional or personal reasons (3).

What Does a Beginner Pilot Need?

Three great starter pilot gifts can include the all-important flight bag, which can hold everything from flashlight and chargers to iPad and kneeboard. Also, the new pilot needs books to keep the studying going long after graduation and a really strong headset that can keep them in communication with the ground at all times (4).

What Is a Good Gift to Get a Private Pilot?

According to Santa Monica Flyers, private pilots need most everything that commercial pilots need, but a great idea might be to buy them an AOPA Membership. AOPA is a government lobby with an indispensable flight planning program. The membership costs $45 and would definitely ease their costs and stresses as they begin professional life as a private pilot (5).

What Is a Good Gift for a Retired Pilot?

When a lifelong pilot decided to stay grounded upon retirement, a wonderful retirement gift would be any that personalizes the gift for the pilot. Everything from a plaque to a mug or a decanter set would be a lovely keepsake that includes the name, rank, or plane of a pilot and offer them a daily reminder of their hours, flights, and miles in the sky (6).

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.