Gift Guide: What to buy this holiday season for the aerospace professional in your life, including the best welding helmets, flight watches, and much more!

Now that we’re flying through the holiday season, we thought it’d be a great idea to put together a little guide to shopping for the aerospace professionals in your life! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a pilot looking for something to “suggest” to your wife as a present for you, or a partner looking to get a special something for your special someone in the flight biz. Our editors took some suggestions from the forum, and came up with this list of ideas to get you started with your holiday shopping!


For the pilot:


If you have a pro aviator in your life, here are three gift ideas to help them soar even higher.


A watch: every great aviator loves their instruments, so get yours a pilot’s watch! Pilot’s watches have altimeters, chronographic time displays, and lots of world clocks to help a flyer feel on top of absolutely everything. Plus, as you’ll see from all the pictures members posted in the forum, they’re a lifelong heirloom that so many of us treasure until our last flight and long after.

Sully: the ultimate inspirational story to remind the pilot in your life of the best of the profession. It’s a great movie, and it’s a nice emotional journey for you to go on together this holiday season. Find it on DVD and Blu-ray.


A good coffee mug: Whether they’re strolling around an airport pre-flight, or trying to stay focused during the last leg of a long journey, every pilot needs a good travel mug. We’re not talking about some chintzy free one, no, no, no-you want the ultimate travel mug, like a mountaineering one. Something that can stay hot for 10 hours, so your pilot can still have perfect coffee over the Atlantic! Patagonia make a few great ones which are favorites among our members, and the mountaineering/outdoors manufacturers are usually safe bets overall.


For the attendant:


Flight attendants thrive on class and sophistication, so the ideal gifts help them dress even classier, and always be ready to manage a situation with grace and tact.

A smart shirt: A flight attendant can always use another good shirt. Always. Most folks wear vests as a uniform, so a shirt is a chance to show off some personal flair. Just remember to check that the color or pattern will match your flight attendant’s company clothes.


Cufflinks: cufflinks are highly, highly underrated these days. They’re a classic symbol of the class and sophistication of air travel, since back when people smoked cigars in private airliner lounges. Pick a pair that has a special significance for your friendship or relationship with the flight attendant in your life, or get some classic winged ones!


Luggage organizers: most flight attendants have treasured luggage bags. But the thing they probably don’t have is a perfect system for organizing within that bag. And, as you know, squeezing all the necessary changes of clothes, toiletries, and other must-haves is hard enough for the casual traveller, let alone the attendant who always has to look immaculate. Organizers are a thoughtful gift that lets them know you get it.


Solar Cell Charger


As any of us former flight attendants know, international flights can be a logistical nightmare. You’ve got to keep track of all your belongings, know how to get to your bed at night, and all the rest. The trickiest part is charging your phone, especially if you go between continents, or to places with unreliable power. Solar phone/tablet chargers are a super convenient gift for flight attendants, since they can recharge their battery literally anywhere.


For the Mechanic


There are lots of different gifts that suit the mechanic in your life. Here are a few that are easy to find without going to specialist stores.


wrenches: who doesn’t love a good set of wrenches? To go above and beyond the call of duty, get a set that’s in both metric and imperial, so your mechanic can work on planes built anywhere in the world.

welding helmet: if your mechanic does any sort of metal work, and chances are they do, the best welding helmet model is a super personal way to give them protection on the job. You can personalize it with cool decals or designs, and it’ll remind them of you with every job.


gloves: Enough said. Gloves need no introduction or explanation, they’re simply the difference between a great workday and a pain in the behind. Again, they’ll be a constant reminder of you, and they’re one of the most concrete differences you can make with a  gift in your special someone’s work life.

Writen by Jonah Greene