Soar to the Heavens With These 7 Top-Flight Gift Ideas for Pilots

There are a select few professions where the idea of actually performing the job seems unfathomable for those who aren’t trained in the field. The job of a pilot has to be among them. From the sheer wealth of knowledge you need to truly understand a cockpit to the cool head you need to fly in exceptional conditions, this isn’t a job that just anyone can do. Most commercial airline pilots got their training in the Air Force or the Navy, and while automatic controls may do the bulk of the heavy lifting in today’s modern jets, there is no substitute for the skill and proficiency a good pilot needs to possess.

If you have a pilot in your family or friend circle, you may want to get them a gift that reflects their unusual and celebrated profession. But what? You can’t exactly afford to get them a plane for Christmas. And while commercial pilots arguably aren’t paid what they’re worth, they make enough to afford to buy what they want, when they want it. This makes buying them a meaningful gift a challenge…which is why we’ve devoted today’s list to the best gift ideas for pilots! Read on for some of our favorite examples.

7 – Travels Notebook

Travel is the name of the game for any professional pilot, and we have to imagine that it never gets old. Sure, the “wheel o’ hotel rooms” wears on a person after a while, but who could ever get tired of seeing the world? Especially from 10,000 feet! The unfortunate reality, though, is that pilots see so many different cities and countries throughout their careers that one place may easily blur into another. With a dedicated travels notebook, however, the pilot in your life can jot down notes about every destination. Depending on their tendencies, those notes may range from a few basic facts and dates to descriptive anecdotes about their personal time spent there. Either way, this notebook makes for a wonderful gift.

6 – Great Books About Flight

A pilot is likely to be at least somewhat interested in the complicated and expansive history of flight itself. You can help them indulge in that fascination with some of the top books about planes and those who pushed humanity into the skies. One great example is David McCullough’s comprehensive biography, The Wright Brothers, which spent weeks at the top of the New York Times Bestseller’s List. This book reads like a great piece of fiction, detailing the drama that went into Wilbur and Orville’s first tentative flights. You can also go with a celebrated book like The Next Hour by Richard Collins, which collects the author’s best advice from a lifetime of flying.

5 – Custom Text Tote

Every pilot has a good travel bag at their disposal, but sometimes they may need to take with them some items that won’t fit into their traditional pilot bag. What’s the solution? No pilot wants to carry a small suitcase and an old Target bag filled with toiletries that wouldn’t fit into the first piece of luggage! You can help them avoid this embarrassing eventuality with a custom text tote. Customize it with any text you want, and you have a gift that is both practical and meaningful.

4 – Pilot Watch

If you want to get the pilot in your life something they’ll truly use and treasure, consider a high-quality pilot watch from one of today’s top timepiece manufacturers. Good watches are on the market from brands like Marathon, Bulova, and Orient, and they come in a wide range of prices. Yes, you can spend thousands of dollars on one of these beauties! But the point is, you don’t necessarily have to. Even a watch barely more than $100 will come with the glowing dials and small-scale instrumentation that pilots need.

3 – State and City Wood Sign

As much as a pilot must love travel to endure the difficult burdens of the job, we have no doubt that it is a pleasure to return home. Of course, when you spend half of your life traveling to different cities, it may be challenging to truly feel “home.” Family and friends are the natural touchstones for the wayward pilot, but sometimes you need something tangible you can look at, touch, and know instantly that you’re back where you belong. This customizable state-and-city wood sign is just what the doctor ordered.

2 – Bomber Jacket

Bomber jackets and pilots go together like Netflix and chill, so this should definitely be at the forefront of your mind when thinking up gift ideas for the pilot in your life. If all you can imagine is Tom Cruise in Top Gun, you may be surprised to realize that these versatile jackets come in a variety of colors and styles. They are just as suited to today’s fashionable male as they were in the 1940s, the 1980s, or any other era. Look for quality versions from Everlane, Alpha Industries, and Sandbank.

1 – Compass Wood Sign

Today’s pilot probably doesn’t have a lot of practical use for an old-style magnetic compass, but that doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate the fundamentals. This wooden sign pays tribute to the origins of modern instrumentation, and even if all of the satellites in space stopped working tomorrow, a skilled pilot would still be able to use a compass to find true north. If you’re looking for a gift that will earn a cherished spot on the wall in your favorite pilot’s home, this is the one you want. Get it today, and you’ll have a great gift for the right occasion!

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