Airborne Aviation Aviation Quotes

A collection on aviation related quotes collected over the years.

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Quotes

Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.

Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire. 

In a twin-engine aircraft, the purpose of the second engine is to supply the pilot with enough power to fly to the scene of the crash. 

When a prang seems inevitable, endeavor to strike the softest, cheapest object in the vicinity, as slowly and gently as possible. - Advice given to RAF pilots during W.W.II. 

When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky. 

Try to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself. 

If God had meant man to fly, he'd have given him lots more money. 

You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3.

Airspeed, altitude or brains: Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight. 

When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something may be forgotten.

Just remember, if you crash because of weather, your funeral will be held on a sunny day. - Layton A. Bennett 

Never fly the 'A' model of anything. - Ed Thompson 

A pilot who doesn't have any fear probably isn't flying his plane to its maximum. - Jon McBride, astronaut 

If you're faced with a forced landing, fly the thing as far into the crash as possible. - Bob Hoover 

If an airplane is still in one piece, don't cheat on it; Ride the bastard down. - Ernest K. Gann, advice from the 'old pelican' 

Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I Am 80,000 Feet and Climbing. - Sign over the entrance to the SR-71 operating location on Kadena.

Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you. - Richard Herman, Jr., 'Firebreak' 

There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime. - Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 1970.

The three best things in life are a good landing, a good orgasm, and a good bowel movement. The night carrier landing is one of the few opportunities in life to experience all three at the same time.

Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there. 

The three most common expressions in aviation are, "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh Crap". 

Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers. 

A smooth landing is mostly luck; two in a row is all luck; three in a row is prevarication. 

Helicopters are for the rich... or the enlisted. 

I remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous. 

We have a perfect record in aviation: we never left one up there! 

If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter - and unsafe. 

Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries. 

Helicopters don't fly... they just beat the air into submission. 

Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding it. 

What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws up, the pilot dies. 

If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to. 

Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect. - Captain A. G. Lamplugh 

In flying I have learned that carelessness and overconfidence are usually far more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks. - Wilbur Wright in a letter to his father, September 1900 

The ultimate responsibility of the pilot is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions of earthbound ancestors who could only stare skyward and wish.

Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly the earth repels them. 

If helicopters are so safe, how come there are no vintage / classic helicopter fly-ins?

A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the aeroplane again. 

Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory... in other words, for every take-off, there WILL be a landing. 

If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again. 

Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous. 

One of the most important skills that a pilot must develop is the skill to ignore those things that were designed by non-pilots to get the pilot's attention. 

A helicopter is a collection of rotating parts going round and round and reciprocating parts going up and down - all of them trying to become random in motion. 

It's always better to be down on the ground wishing you were up in the air than up in the air wishing you were down on the ground. 

The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice versa. 

Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another aircraft going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds. 

Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal the number of take-offs you've made. 

A meteorologist is just a common person who went to school long enough to be paid to guess what the weather is going to be. 

You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck. 

In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose. 

Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, experience usually comes from bad judgment. 

Keep looking around. There's always something you've missed. 

Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It's the law. And it's not subject to repeal. 

There are old pilots and there are bold pilots. However, there are no old, bold pilots. 

If you're ever faced with a forced landing at night, turn on the landing lights to see the landing area. If you don't like what you see, turn' em back off. 

Always remember you fly an aeroplane with your head, not your hands. 

"Unskilled" pilots are always found in the wreckage with their hand around the microphone. 

Remember that the radio is only an electronic suggestion box for the pilot. Sometimes the only way to clear up a problem is to turn it off. 

Flying the aircraft is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it. 

It is solely the pilot's responsibility to never let any other thing touch his aircraft. 

You know you've landed with the wheels up when it takes full power to taxi to the ramp. 

Those who hoot with the owls by night, should not fly with the eagles by day. 

Things which do you no good in aviation: The sky above you. The runway behind you. The fuel still in the truck. Half a second ago. Approach plates in the car. The airspeed you don't have. 

What's the difference between God and fighter pilots? God doesn't think he's a fighter pilot. 

Trust your captain but keep your seat belt securely fastened. 

An aircraft may disappoint a good pilot, but it won't surprise him. 

There are only two things required to fly a modern airliner: a pilot and a dog. It's the pilot's job to feed the dog. It's the dog's job to bite the pilot if he touches anything in the cockpit. 

Aviation is not so much a profession as it is a disease. 

There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. 

It's a good landing if you can still get the doors open. 

Passengers prefer old captains and young flight attendants. 

The only thing worse than a captain who never flew as copilot is a copilot who once was a captain. 

It's best to keep the pointed end going forward as much as possible. 

If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter... and therefore, unsafe. 

If something hasn't broken on your helicopter... it's about to. 

Any attempt to stretch fuel is guaranteed to increase head wind. 

A thunderstorm is never as bad on the inside as it appears on the outside. It's worse. 

I know there's a lot of money in aviation because I put it there. 

It's easy to make a small fortune in aviation. You just start off with a large fortune. 

A male pilot is a confused soul who talks about women when he's flying, and about flying when he's with a woman. 

A fool and his money are soon flying more aircraft than he can handle. 

The last thing every pilot does before leaving the aircraft after making a gear up landing is to put the gear selection lever in the 'down' position. 

You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back. 

Rule one: No matter what else happens, fly the airplane.

Flying is hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of stark terror.

Fly it until the last piece stops moving.

It's better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here.

Believe your instruments.

Think ahead of your airplane.

I'd rather be lucky than good.

The propeller is just a big fan in the front of the plane to keep the pilot cool. Want proof? Make it stop; then watch the pilot break out into a sweat.

If we are what we eat, then some pilots should eat more chicken.

Without fuel, pilots become pedestrians.

Regards engine power: Lots is good, more is better, and too much is just enough.

If you're ever faced with a forced landing at night, turn on the landing lights to see the landing area. If you don't like what you see, turn 'em back off.

A checkride ought to be like a skirt, short enough to be interesting but still be long enough to cover everything.

Experience is the knowledge that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

No one has ever collided with the sky.

Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

It's better to be down here wishing you were up there, than to be up there wishing you were down here.

Experience is a hard teacher. First comes the test, then the lesson.

Always remember you fly an airplane with your head, not your hands.

Never let an airplane take you somewhere you brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.

Don't drop the aircraft in order to fly the microphone.

If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger, if you pull the stick back they get smaller.

Hovering is for pilots who love to fly but have no place to go.

Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man.... Landing is the first!

The probability of survival is equal to the angle of arrival.

If you've got time to spare, go by air.

IFR: I Follow Roads.

You know you've landed with the wheels up when it takes full power to taxi.

If you don't gear up your brain before takeoff, you'll probably gear up your airplane on landing.

In thrust I trust.

The similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots?
If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies.
If ATC screws up, the pilot dies.

A helicopter is a collection of rotating parts going round and round and reciprocating parts going up and down - all of them trying to become random in motion.

Helicopters can't really fly - they're just so ugly that the earth immediately repels them.

Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

Chopper pilots get it up quicker.

Helicopters are for people who want to fly but don't want to go anywhere.

Flying is not Nintendo. You don't push a button and start over.

The future in aviation is the next 30 seconds. Long term planning is an hour and a half.

I'm not speeding officer — I'm just flying low.

The only thing that scares me about flying is the drive to the airport.

Young man, was that a landing or were we shot down?

Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

Things which do you no good in aviation:
Altitude above you.
Runway behind you.
Fuel in the truck.
A navigator.
Half a second ago.
Approach plates in the car.
The airspeed you don't have.

It is far better to arrive late in this world than early in the next.

You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

What's the difference between God and pilots? God doesn't think he's a pilot.

Flying is not dangerous; crashing is dangerous.

You can land anywhere once.

I want to die like my grandfather did, peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming in terror like his passengers.

Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.

Aviation is not so much a profession as it is a disease.

The nicer an airplane looks, the better it flies.

Remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous?

The real value of twin engine aircraft is it will double your chances of engine failure.

CAUTION: Aviation may be hazardous to your wealth.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it; if it ain't fixed, don't fly it.

The worst day of flying still beats the best day of real work.

A male pilot is a confused soul who talks about women when he's flying, and about flying when he's with a woman.

Airspeed, altitude, or brains; you always need at least two.

It at first you don't succeed, well, so much for skydiving.

It is said that two wrongs do not make a right, but two wrights do make an aeroplane.

Without ammunition the USAF would be just another expensive flying club.

It's best to keep the pointed end going forward as much as possible.

Nothing flies without fuel, so let's start with some coffee.

Any comment about how well things are going is an absolute guarantee of trouble.

A terminal forecast is a horoscope with numbers.

A thunderstorm is never as bad on the inside as it appears on the outside. It's worse.

I give that landing a 9 . . . on the Richtor scale.

It's easy to make a small fortune in aviation. You start with a large fortune.

Better to be on the ground wishing to be in the air than in the air wishing to be on the ground.

Keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down.

Aviation has created many millionaires, primarily from the ranks of multi-millionaires.

Some pilots will make an emergency out of a bad magneto check. Others, upon losing a wing, will ask for a lower altitude.

Remember, you’re always a student in an airplane.

Keep looking around; there's always something you've missed.

Fuel in the tanks is limited. Gravity is forever.

Never trust a fuel gauge.