With Halloween behind us, it’s time to start gearing up for the holidays, and for many, that means buying presents for friends and family. We created this list of gift ideas for pilots and aviation enthusiasts to help you make their holiday season a special one!
Please keep in mind that the pricing information and availability of the items are subject to change.
The Wacaco Minipresso GR is a perfect companion for all your early-morning (or, really, any-time-of-day) flights. It’s a portable espresso machine that’s compact and lightweight, allowing you to enjoy quality java wherever your flying adventures take you. With an innovative semi-automatic piston at its core, it injects small quantities of water into the coffee adapter. After a few pushes and optimal extraction pressure, you’re rewarded with a rich and bold espresso. Measuring 6.89 inches and with an attractive and versatile carrying case, the Wacaco Minipresso GR is a welcome addition to any pilot’s flight bag.
Price: $54.90. Available at www.wacaco.com.
Yes, You Need Another Coffee Mug
…especially if it’s this stylish! A great gift to yourself or an aviator in your life, it shows off the classic silhouette of a Cessna 172 and can be personalized with a name and year. It’s dishwasher and microwave safe, is made of genuine ceramic and holds 16 ounces. Consider your gift list for a recent flying school graduate, a newly minted CFI or a retiring pilot complete. They’ll love this addition to their mug collection that truly shows off their aviation pride.
Price: Starts at $19.95. Available at homewetbar.com.
Plane & Pilot Membership
Because you’re a discerning pilot with an eye for excellent aviation content, you’ve probably already availed of a Plane & Pilot membership. In case you haven’t or are looking for the perfect present this Christmas, all our membership levels are invaluable, practical gifts that any aviator will love. Explore our complete range of flight reports, technique articles, gear reviews and aviation buyer’s guides written by our experts. Get great tips from Plane & Pilot’s experienced and insightful writers on how to get the most out of your flying. Access hundreds of articles looking at flying safety from a perspective that makes you think in new ways about how we take to the air. Learn amazing tips and techniques through members-only eWorkshops and eGuides, and enter all our contests for free.
Price: Starts at $3.99 a month. Available at planeandpilotmag.com.
Bring your hangar home with candles designed for lovers of all things flight. Our favorite is XC Candles’ Jet Fuel In The Morning, with top notes of high-performance fuel, middle notes of engine exhaust and motor oil, and base notes of greasy hangar. Handmade in small batches in Denver, Colorado, these soy wax candles are nontoxic and clean burning, environmentally friendly, biodegradable and with longer burn times than other commercial, mass-produced candles. They come in 16-, 8- and 4-ounce sizes, each burning 80+, 40+ and 20+ hours, respectively. The wicks are cotton and lead/zinc free. XC Candles sells other flying-themed scents, like Wake Turbulence, Preflight Walkaround and Love At First Flight.
Price: Starts at $16.99. Available at etsy.com/shop/XCCandleCo.
Simpsons-Style Custom Pilot Portraits
Doh! Immortalize yourself, Simpsons-style, through a custom portrait of you and your favorite aircraft. The artist will draw you as “a yellow cartoon character” based on photos you send them of you and your plane (or helo) and will email you a hi-res digital file within three to four days. No physical delivery is offered, which means you can have the portrait printed and framed affordably. You might even choose to have the image printed on a T-shirt, canvas or a mug. The artist can recommend a printing company if needed. Options are also available for a family or group portrait.
Price: Starts at $30. Available at etsy.com/shop/CartoonPortrait.
The Ultimate Pilot’s Watch
Garmin’s D2Air is the pinnacle of aviation technology…on your wrist. A beautiful AMOLED display makes for ease of use to access its host of cutting-edge features, which include Direct-To navigation, a pulse ox sensor, weather reports, an HSI course needle, airport information, barometric altimeter, flight logging and connectivity to the Garmin Pilot app, among others. Stylish, sleek and modern, it’s designed with a durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens, stainless-steel bezel and a premium black leather strap with a silicone band option. A smartwatch that goes above and beyond in both form and function.
Price: $499. Available at buy.garmin.com.
Sporty’s Electronic E6B Flight Computer
For fast planning and accurate FAA test calculations, trust what over 250,000 pilots have used over the years. Invaluable in the cockpit, Sporty’s Electronic E6B Flight Computer has all the useful and easy-to-access features of the original but with a more rugged design and other updated tools. It has a backlit screen for nighttime operations, a built-in storage case to afford screen protection when not in use, the large keypad is pilot-friendly for easier operation in turbulence, it has rubber feet to secure it in place, and it comes with a quick reference card. Even more, it has 20 aviation functions, such as density altitude and true airspeed, and is complemented by 20 aviation calculations that include nautical miles, kilometers and avgas gallons/pounds, among others.
Price: $69.95. Available at sportys.com.
Bose A20 With Bluetooth
A pilot’s wishlist isn’t complete without a headset on it. Our suggestion? Bose’s A20 with Bluetooth. It’s one of the lightest headsets on the market at only 12 ounces, and with its soft sheepskin headpad and minimal clamping force, its all-day comfort can’t be beat. Its active noise-canceling reduction is proprietary to Bose and makes it easy to call Flight Service or update family members in conjunction with its Bluetooth phone interface. With outstanding battery life and a fully adjustable mic that can be connected to the earcup or set in a range of stable positions, no wonder it’s a favorite choice for pilots who value form and function. The Bose A20 is certified to FAA TSO-C139 and EASA ETSO-C139 standards and comes with a five-year warranty.
Price: Starts at $1,095. Available at sportys.com.