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Presents for pilots

Something for everyone on your list

Were you always told that the best gifts are ones you’d want to receive yourself? Me too. So, it stands to reason if you’re a pilot giving a gift to a pilot, you should shop at a place that is made for pilots, by pilots. Let’s go shopping.
Photography by David Tulis
AOPA Pilot Gear Store merchandise is modeled by aviation students and enthusiasts at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Maryland, May 17, 2022. Photo by Rebecca Boone.

Dad—Has he told you a thousand times about his past flying exploits and how important it is to support organizations such as AOPA that defend our freedoms? Then he needs a Balsa Wood T-shirt or Vintage Airplane T-shirt or a Freedom to Fly T-shirt from the Pilot Gear Store ($25 each). Or has he not flown in years because he’s been so busy with you darn kids or bringing home a paycheck or mowing the lawn? Time to get that man back into the left seat. Rusty Pilot online courses are free to AOPA members (

Mom—She’s been your biggest supporter. Anxious at first but confident in your abilities. First sign her up for an introductory flight or her first lesson if you haven’t already, then buy her the pink AOPA appliqued sweatshirt that everyone is wearing ($50) or a ladies’ long-sleeve floral tee ($35). Don’t forget to check her into the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Companion Co-pilot Video Series (

Big brother—So now he’s a lawyer. Make him remember he’s still fun with windsock or gauges designed socks so when he crosses his legs at that next big meeting, they’ll know who he really is ($15 each).

Sister—She’s as accomplished as you (maybe even more) and supremely tired that people think only men fly. There are many shirts and tops designed just for her—from polos ($59) to hoodies ($55) and pullovers ($65)—I think she’s going to forgive you for that last hard landing.

Your significant other—Flying is the greatest gift; it takes you to places others won’t see as intimately, such as the islands of the Bahamas or the Caribbean from a GA vantage point. Our guides to the Bahamas and Caribbean are the perfect gift ($79.90 for both).

That crazy cousin—Check out all our tees like the Get Outside, Blue Skies, or the Freedom Flyin’ T-shirts ($15-$28). And if all else fails, remember everyone loves an AOPA hat ($19-$25).

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Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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