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Q-talk 143 - Aviation Wisdom

submitted by Doug Humble

  1. Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills.
  2. Rule One: No matter what else happens, fly the airplane.
  3. Forget all that stuff about thrust and drag, lift and gravity; an airplane flies because of money.
  4. The propeller is just a big fan in the front of the airplane to keep the pilot cool. Want proof? Make it stop; then watch the pilot break out into a sweat.
  5. 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.
  6. A check ride should be like a skirt, short enough to be interesting but still long enough to cover everything.
  7. Speed is life; altitude is life insurance.
  8. Never let an airplane take you somewhere your brain didn’t get to five minutes earlier.
  9. Don’t drop the aircraft in order to fly the microphone.
  10. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller.
  11. Hovering is for pilots who love to fly but have no place to go.
  12. The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.
  13. Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man; landing is the first!
  14. You know you’ve landed with the wheels up when it takes full power to taxi.
  15. Those who hoot with the owls by night should not fly with the eagles by day.
  16. Young man, was that a landing or were we shot down?
  17. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.
  18. Fighter pilots believe in clean living. They never drink whiskey from a dirty glass.
  19. Things which do you no good in aviation: Altitude above you. Runway behind you. Fuel in the trunk. A navigator. Half a second ago. The airspeed you don’t have.
  20. If God meant man to fly, He’d have given him more money.
  21. Flying is not dangerous; crashing is dangerous.
  22. Flying is the perfect vocation for a man who wants to feel like a boy, but not for one who still is.
  23. Take-off is optional, landing is mandatory!

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."

[Editor's Note: I quote number 19 all the time. Thanks Doug!]