Buying a gift for an aviation enthusiast can be a bit of a challenge. Short of getting them a plane, a lot of options, like airplane-print neckties, coasters, and mugs, can be a bit tacky. With a bit of consideration though, you can find some things that will bring a smile to a flying fanatic’s face, whether it belongs to a dreamy-eyed, pimple-faced boy or a grizzled veteran barnstormer.
1. Flying lessons
For the person who loves all things aviation but hasn’t gotten around to learning how to fly. This can be a really special experience for the recipient. Even trained pilots might appreciate additional training or flight time in a model they haven’t flown before.
2. Model Airplane
This is great for tinkerers. Just make sure it’s a good model – you want your gift to be something that’s worth the trouble of assembling, especially if you’re giving it to someone who’s already assembled a few of these. The recipient might be collecting a specific theme as well, whether it’s vintage aircraft, modern fighter planes, commercial planes, or what-have-you, so it’s good to take time to admire their collection if they have one and try to fill in any gaps that appear.
3. Airplane Statue
This can be the more sophisticated-looking alternative to a model airplane and more appropriate for older enthusiasts, especially if you get one of those monochromatic metal pieces mounted on a nice hardwood stand. A good one tends to cost more, though you might find it worth the price to see your gift displayed on the recipient’s desk.
A subscription to an airplane enthusiast’s magazine can be a good idea. It doesn’t even matter very much whether or not the recipient can make practical use of the articles as long as he likes the subject matter – magazines can be a live and constantly updated connection to a dream.
5. Music for Flying
This can be one of the more inexpensive gifts, yet at the same time one of the most thoughtful ones since time spent flying solo can be boring and a good playlist definitely helps. This gift means you need to understand the recipient’s tastes and choose accordingly. Try to choose something perky though, regardless of genre, since you don’t want to be responsible for the recipient falling asleep at the controls.
6. Flying Jacket
Whether given to a real aviator or to a would-be one, a nice, warm aviator jacket will always be welcome. Just make sure you know whether the recipient dreams of being a World War II flying ace or if they’d prefer an F-16, then choose accordingly.
7. In-flight Munchies
Because flying can make a guy/gal really hungry and there are no convenience-store pit stops in the sky. These can be bought or homemade, sweet or savory, as long as the packaging’s easy to open and they’re not messy to eat. Homemade is of course better and makes the receiver feel special, unless of course you’re really terrible at cooking and baking.
Brandon Peters is an entrepreneur, adventure enthusiast, and writer. He enjoys taking pictures of cloudscapes and dreams of being a professional skydiver.