By Chris Oquist
While this may sound strange coming from a pilot (I hope my wife and kids are reading), but gift-giving an aviator isn’t as hard as it may sound. We’re people, obviously, so treat us the same as you would a cowboy who loves rustic-themed décor. As a private pilot myself I love getting little trinkets and souvenirs that represent my love and passion: flying. While those RC helicopters aren’t really what I had in mind, the possibilities are endless in terms of holiday or birthday gifts that we will love. Some examples include a model of the first plane a pilot ever flew in as a kid or some aviation artwork for decorating the home. Other ideas for the aviator can include the following:
- Bose A20 Headset (pictured below right) – Yes, this is a hint, dear. The Bose A20 Aviation Headset is amazing. Much improved over the Bose X, the
Bose A20 includes Bluetooth capability and improved passive noise cancellation technology.
- Aviation Doormat – I’m not sure what it is about doormats, but they are one of the best gifts a gift-giver can give, to anyone. The gift receiver probably doesn’t have a doormat or the doormat has worn out its welcome and the owner needs a new one. It’s not very expensive and provides good utility. Heck, the aviator may choose to throw it down on the floor of the plane for all to see.
- Instrument Coasters (pictured right) – Coasters are a great companion gift, meaning they work well for “that extra something” if you need to get someone one last gift that isn’t expensive but isn’t just junk. Check out some examples to the right – pretty cool right? As an aviator I would love to get some coasters like these for a couple reasons. First it helps keep coffee stains off my desk, coffee table, and off an airplane’s dash. Second, they just look cool!
- Electronics – This goes into a fairly broad category because you really need to know exactly what the aviator wants. One of my biggest pet peeves as a gift giver is to shell out a ton of money for something I think a person will love only to find out the person already owns the device or the model you bought is outdated and not as useful as the most updated version.
- Art – Most pilots I’ve met are also deeply interested in history. Whether that military aviation or otherwise, anything having to do with old planes get pilots’ juices flowing. Above my bed board, you’ll find a large picture of the plane my father piloted during the Second World War, the P-51D Mustang. It’s a reminder of my roots and one of the reasons I love to fly. It is and will continue to be the greatest gift my wife has ever gotten me.
Like gift giving for anyone else, creativity is the key when getting gifts for an aviator. Sentimental gifts are the most meaningful. When gone for days on a flight assignment it is the gifts that family or close friends get for aviators that help us cope with being away from family and home. Give a gift that really means something to the pilot and I guarantee we won’t forget it.
About the author - Chris Oquist is a private pilot and web developer at Banyan Pilot Shop in South Florida. He is an avid blogger and article writer whose expertise includes the Bose A20 headset. As an aviation enthusiast, Chris is passionate about sharing his knowledge on all-things-aviation.