Buying your loved ones gifts is a time-honored tradition. However, finding unique, personalized gifts for them can be tricky.
For someone outside the aviation industry, shopping for a gift for a pilot can be a daunting task. However, pilots are one of the easier professionals to shop for. They love machines, they love flight, and they adore travel giving you a wide array of gifts to choose from.
To prove that, we scoured the internet and found 25 of the best gifts for pilots. From casual but thoughtful gifts to deeply personal tools and souvenirs, this list covers every possible gift for a pilot.
So before you purchase a Trade-a-Plane edition, or settle for a pen, check out this list for some more personalized and unique ideas.
1. Leather Bomber Jacket
Every pilot has watched Top Gun, both the new and the old one. So we are pretty sure that they would love a leather bomber jacket.
It is the quintessential American pilot jacket that works with casual and smart casual looks. It’s a classical piece of clothing that is genderless and compliments everybody if bought in the right size.
2. Personalized, Handmade Logbook
All pilots must have a flight logbook. Why not make theirs unique, personal, and sentimental?
You can order a beautiful, handmade logbook from Aileron Pilot Store on Etsy. They use recycled leather, so if your pilot is a green-fiend, they’ll certainly appreciate it.
Moreover, you get to pick the size, color, and print, meaning you can match this logbook with your loved one’s style.
3. Handheld Radio Transceiver
Every pilot needs a radio transceiver. But sometimes, new pilots may not have gotten around to buying one.
If your loved one is a more experienced pilot, they may need a new transceiver or want a backup. Either way, this gift is one that only pilots can truly appreciate.
Some transceivers are rechargeable, which might not be a viable option for some pilots. However, this one runs on two AA batteries. So, if it runs out of power, it’s as simple as changing the batteries.
4. Document Holder
Another practical yet thoughtful gift is a personalized document holder. It can hold a passport, ID, credit card, medical certificate, and more.
This insightful gift made by FlightFLevel is made of leather. It comes in a beautiful box and is portable.
5. All-In-One Exercise Kit
Is the pilot in your life a fitness fanatic? They may find traveling around a lot for work to make health and fitness a hardship. It can be hard to get to hotel or hostel gyms when all you have is ten hours between flights.
This all-in-one home gym kit makes it easy to stay active even as they move around. It provides several resistance bands for strength and mobility work, a jump rope for cardio, a headband, and even a cooling towel.
It all fits in one small, portable, handy exercise bag, making it great for working out on the go.
6. Pilot’s Lounge Sign
While pilots spend most of their time in the sky, they do have to go home. However, with so many flight hours logged, home can start to feel a bit generic.
This personalized pilot’s lounge sign is the perfect gift for a pilot’s home. Your loved one can hang it over a bar area or in their lounge, shed, or home office.
7. Aviation Headset
Here is another gift idea that meets a professional need. Bose is one of the best headset manufacturers, and buying your loved one this upgrade will make their year. It performs well and comes with a great warranty.
The Bose headset is also very comfortable for those long flights and has superior active noise reduction. In addition, the exceptionally clear audio allows pilots to do their work with maximum efficiency.
8. Power Bank
Think about it, long flights plus stopping at different countries with different outlets equals a rarely charged phone.
It is a convenient, functional, and affordable gift for any long-distance pilot. Power banks charge any other device with a USB cable, so your pilot will never be without their favorite music or podcast or the ability to talk or message with family and friends!
9. Personalized Airplane Metal Sign
This is a perfect gift for a surprise party at their home. Order a personalized metal airplane sign to hang over their living room, office, or kitchen wall.
You can add LED lights to make it truly pop. This sign is durable, customizable, and will add a warm and personal feeling to their home, which any pilot will appreciate.
10. Garmin D2 Watch
The Gamin aviator watch is a coveted watch amongst pilots. It is equipped with a pulse oxygen sensor and barometric altimeter.
The watch works well with other Garmin products and the Garmin Pilot App, allowing for seamless data synchronization. It is compact, light, and has excellent flight planning tools.
11. Aviation Jewelry
If your pilot loves jewelry and staple pieces, buy them some unique and personalized aviation jewelry. Beautiful gold or silver pieces can tie an outfit together and make it stylish.
Wearing jewelry is a great way to ward off homesickness and missing loved ones since they’ll be reminded of home every time they see it! This can make a long plane ride a bit more bearable.
12. Personalized Cartoon Pilot Portrait
This cartoon portrait is a funny, thoughtful gift idea that will surely crack your pilot up. It is a downloadable digital piece of art that can be printed and added to a book or hung up as a piece of art.
13. Plane Model
You can choose to buy a plane model kit for your pilot to reconstruct in their free time. There are several plane model reconstruction kits available on Amazon, but the B-29 is a favorite.
This is an exceptionally wonderful gift for pilots who also enjoy World War memorabilia or those who fought in the war. This gift encourages rest and relaxation while still letting them enjoy their career choice.
14. Replica Propeller
Most pilots are obsessed with historical planes and plane parts. If they love vintage artifacts, they are probably doubly obsessed with old plane parts.
This small replica of a vintage propeller is a nice way to acknowledge that interest and encourage it. It is wooden with a distressed ivory finish and can work well as a decor piece for a pilot’s office.
15. Aviation Plaque
This is a great gift option for both first-time and retiring pilots. This personalized flight plaque is a nice way to pay homage to their first flight.
You can feature a thoughtful excerpt, a loving message, an inside joke, a quirky quote, or leave it blank for them to add details later. The wood finish is beautiful, and they can hang the piece in any room.
16. Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses
The sun is bright and hot, especially when you are above the clouds. So a trendy yet practical gift is any of the Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses.
These classic sunglasses protect a pilot’s eyes from harmful UV rays and keep them cool and relaxed in the cockpit. They are made to aviation standards and last longer than typical sunglasses, making them a worthwhile investment for any pilot.
With a name like Aviator, you can’t go wrong when searching for gifts for pilots!
17. World Map and Scratch-Off Travel Poster
Most pilots enjoy traveling, which is one reason why they chose their job. They travel to many countries, states, cities, provinces, and towns for their jobs. Some pilots even use their downtime to travel some more, making this world map and scratch-off travel poster the perfect gift.
They get to commemorate every place they’ve been to by scratching it off the map. So this display will act as a souvenir and a planner all in one. This map from Etsy is a beautiful black and gold color, with any scratched-off location turning into the typical map color.
18. Swivel Mount for GoPro
Getting good footage of the flight could be a dream for your pilot. This mount for their GoPro allows for 360 views as they take off. It is easy to attach and work, versatile, and lightweight.
It is compatible with any general aircraft and action camera. The swivel mount makes a perfect gift for pilots who post on social media or double as influencers and bloggers.
19. Vintage Aviation Sign
A vintage aviation sign makes a great decor piece. You can choose from multiple options or mix and match to create a personalized aesthetic for our pilot.
These metal signs are durable and unique, making them perfect for decorating a personal office. You can use them to decorate an aviation-themed welcome back party as well.
20. Insulated Water Bottle
Long flights, airports, and strange places can make a person forget to hydrate. An insulated water bottle is perfect for pilots. They can store their coffee or tea as they move from home to the airport, rinse it out, and fill it with water for the flight.
The Hydro Cell water bottle is unbreakable, affordable, easy to clean, and spill-proof. It keeps cold liquids cold for hours and hot liquids hot for hours. It also comes in a wide variety of sizes.
21. Kindle Paperwhite
If the pilot in your life likes to read, they will greatly appreciate this gift. With 32GBs of storage and a clean, sleek design, the Kindle Paperwhite is the ideal gift for any reader.
To make it more special, you can add aviation-themed novels, pilot guides, audiobooks, and their favorite books onto the Kindle before you give it to them.
22. Wireless Earphones
Yes, like AirPods, but there are other brands out there. We like these because they are compatible with multiple devices, can play for 80 hours without charge, look sleek, and charge fast. They also have ear hooks for a secure hold onto the ear.
The sound is clear during calls, and the bass is deep. In addition, they are waterproof and can be used while working out. These wireless earphones are perfect for long layovers, privacy in a busy airport, and workouts in hotel rooms.
23. Personalized Fly Safe Key Chain
Yes, keychains historically don’t exactly scream, “I thought of you when I saw this.” However, with Etsy and personalization becoming accessible to everyone, you can buy a keychain that feels authentic.
This fly-safe keychain is sweet, portable, and very affordable. It’s a great gift for when you don’t have the budget to splurge or as an addition to a gift set. And the pilot in your life will know how much you mean to them every time they take out their keys.
24. Aviation Coffee Mug
Coffee mugs get a bad reputation for being impersonal, but this one will definitely be well received. This aviation-themed coffee mug from Etsy has the image of the cockpit dial.
It’s a great gift to give to a new pilot friend or to add to a set of gifts you are giving to a retired pilot. It can also work as a Father’s or Mother’s Day gift if your parent is a pilot who enjoys coffee in the morning.
25. Leatherman Wingman Multitool
This is a perfect practical pilot flight tool. It’s a great gift for a new pilot as it completes a flight bag. The leatherman wingman is an excellent multitool that is infinitely useful.
There are 14 tools in these handy pliers, including a sharp knife, bottle and can openers, screwdrivers, a wire stripper, a file, wire cutters, a pair of scissors, a package opener, and a ruler.
It is aptly named the Wingman and can be used in both life-threatening and just mildly inconvenient situations.
There are many ways to show the pilot in your life that you care for them. We hope you find one of these gifts for pilots the perfect present for the beloved pilots in your life.
Use one of these unique gift ideas to make their next trip home a better one. Put together several gifts from this list as your pilot’s ultimate retirement, birthday, or career start gift set!
Cardi “likes to party” Clark has 15+ years of designing, planning, and executing successful parties and events. Highly skilled in event strategy, management, planning, and execution with a track record of exceeding expectations. I make it happen. I get it done and people have fun!