Racking your brain trying to think of the best gift for a pilot?

We have you covered.

Whether you’re buying for a student, private, or airline pilot, here are some gifts they’re sure to love.

Best Gifts for Student Pilots

The best gifts for pilots in training are practical gifts that will prove useful as they learn to fly and work towards their private pilot license.

Stick and Rudder Book

Stick and Rubber Book A timeless classic that any student pilot will appreciate

$28.88
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First published in 1944, Stick and Rudder is a timeless classic that any aspiring pilot needs to add to their bookshelf.

There is no better book that covers the fundamentals of flight and will set anyone who is learning to fly on the right path from the very start.

Flyboys F-16 Viper Kneeboard

Flyboys F-16 Viper Combat tested and designed for fighter pilots, any student pilot would love to receive this kneeboard as a gift

$39.95
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Every student pilot needs a kneeboard, and they don’t come much better than the Flyboys F-16 Viper.

The F-16 was originally designed for fighter pilots and combat-tested in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo. Pretty cool, right? So you know that it can be relied upon, and features everything a pilot needs in the cockpit.

Rod Machado Private Pilot Handbook

Rod Machado Private Pilot Handbook The best book to help student pilots to pass their exams

$69.95
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The goal of every student pilot is to pass the checkride and knowledge test required to get their private pilot license.

Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook is usually the go-to resource for any student pilot who wants to make sure they are properly prepared and able to pass the test the first time of asking.

It is unique in the way that the content isn’t dry, but written in a way that is humorous, and the knowledge sticks.

Ray-Ban RB30235 Aviator Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses The iconic pair of sunglasses worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

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It can get real bright way up there in the skies, which is why every student pilot needs a good pair of sunglasses that they can rely on.

We recommend the classic Ray-Ban RB30235, which are the sunglasses that Tom Cruise wore in Top Gun.

Whether you buy these Ray-Bans or another pair of sunglasses, just make sure that you get a non-polarized pair. Polarized lenses filter out too much glare, making them unsuitable for flying.

Alpha Industries MA-1 Flight Bomber Jacket

Alpha Industries MA-1 True to its classic military specifications, the MA-1 flight bomber jacket is perfect for inside and outside the cockpit.

$160.00
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We have yet to meet a pilot who doesn’t love a good bomber jacket. It’s even common to see non-pilots wearing the MA-1 jacket, making it perfect for use inside and outside the cockpit, especially with how cold it can get up high and in the winter.

For its authenticity, the Alpha Industries MA-1 Flight Bomber Jacket is the one to get. The company won the contract to manufacture the MA-1 for the military, and still make them today. A student pilot will definitely look the part in this jacket.


Best Gifts for Private Pilots

Learning to fly can be expensive, so student pilots usually start off with gear and equipment that is sufficient to get the job done. But now with a private pilot license in their hands, the best gifts for private pilots are higher quality gear and equipment.

Any of the following gifts are sure to put a big smile on a private pilot’s face.

ipad Mini

iPad Mini The convenience of using an iPad in the cockpit can't be overstated 

$399.00
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Any pilot will tell you that the convenience of using an iPad instead of relying on paper charts, maps, sectionals, books, and all the other items they need to fly can’t be overstated.

An iPad Mini, therefore, makes a great gift for student and private pilots, especially as space is at a premium in the cockpit.

We recommend getting the model with 256GB of memory, as the additional storage space will be useful away from the cockpit. The WiFi and Cellular option is also recommended so a pilot can activate moving map capabilities in popular flight apps, like ForeFlight.

Flying Magazine Subscription

Flying Magazine Subscription Any pilot will enjoy reading about and keeping up to date with all things aviation.

$14.00
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A great inexpensive gift for private pilots is a yearly subscription to Flying magazine.

Any pilot will enjoy reading and being informed about aviation-related news, pilot technique and flight safety tips, product and service announcements and reviews, and all other kinds of relevant piloting information.

Garmin D2 Air Aviator Smartwatch

Garmin D2 Smartwatch GPS doesn't get more practical or portable than a watch.

$439.00
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Every pilot needs a GPS device to rely on, and it doesn’t get much more practical, portable, and fashionable than a watch.

The Garmin D2 Air Aviator Smartwatch fits a lot into its touchscreen display, including weather reports, a pulse oxygen checker, and full GPS functionality.

Bose A20 Aviation Headset

Bose A20 Headset Comfortably the best headset on the market, there is no better gift to receive than the Bose A20.

$1,095.00
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If you’re feeling particularly generous, there is no better gift for a private pilot to receive than a Bose A20 headset. It is comfortably the best headset on the market, famed for its best-in-class noise-canceling performance, battery life, and comfort.

The headset is also TSO-certified, so bonus points if a pilot wants to eventually become an airline pilot, as the use of a TSO-certified headset is mandatory.

The Bose A20 is available with Bluetooth, which is the model we recommend, and without Bluetooth.


Best Gifts for Airline Pilots

An airline pilot usually already has the best gear and equipment, so the best gifts for airline pilots are those that they either haven’t thought of but will prove to be very useful when flying, or only touch upon aviation and are also useful away from the cockpit.

Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine

Wacaco Minipresso Make the perfect cup of espresso every time wherever you are

$54.90
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As the Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine doesn’t require batteries or electricity it is ideal for in-flight use.

Just add coffee grounds, hot water, and pump to produce the perfect cup of espresso every time.

SKROSS PRO Plus USB World Adapter

SKROSS PRO Plus USB Adapter This SKROSS Pro Plus USB World Adapter means there is one less thing airline pilots will have to worry about

$39.99
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Any international airline pilot will tell you that it can be a nightmare traveling to different countries, getting to the hotel late, and then trying to charge their phone or other devices in sockets they’re not used to.

With two USB ports, two and three-prong cords, and compatible in over 150 countries, the SKROSS PRO Plus USB World Adapter means that there is one less thing that airline pilots will have to worry about.

Godinger Whiskey Decanter Airplane Globe Set

Godinger Whiskey Decanter Surprise the airline pilot in your life with this beautiful whiskey decanter set.

$89.95
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This beautiful-looking whiskey decanter set is sure to be a hit with airline pilots.

Placed on a mahogany-stained wooden airplane, the decanter features an etched globe design and airplane in the bottle, with 2 matching globe design old-fashioned whiskey glasses.

Fly Safe i Love You Keychain

Fly Safe I Love You Keychain Show your love to the airline pilot in your life with this inexpensive yet heartfelt gift.

$9.99
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Sometimes the most inexpensive gift can be the most heartfelt.

There is no better way to express your love to the airline pilot in your life with a simple keychain and a touching message, whatever the occasion.

Gentleman Jon Complete Wet Shave Kit

Gentleman Jon Shave Kit A quality wet shaving kit that airlines pilots will appreciate on those long layovers and stopovers.

$49.50
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A quality wet shaving kit is sure to be appreciated by airline pilots on those long layovers and stopovers.

The Gentleman Jon Complete Wet Shave Kit features a safety razor, a 100% authentic black badger hair brush, a stainless shave bowl, shaving soap, 5 razor blades, and alum block to prevent razor burn.