Keep the aeroplane in such an attitude that the air pressure is directly in the pilot's face.

Horatio C. Barber, 1916


When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something was forgotten.

Robert Livingston, ‘Flying The Aeronca’


The only time an aircraft has too much fuel on board is when it is on fire.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, sometime before his death in the 1920's.


Flexible is much too rigid, in aviation you have to be fluid.

Verne Jobst


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

Layton A. Bennett


I hope you either take up parachute jumping or stay out of single motored airplanes at night.

Charles A. Lindbergh, to Wiley Post, 1931


Never fly the 'A' model of anything.

Ed Thompson


Never fly anything that doesn't have the paint worn off the Rudder Pedals.

            Harry Bill


Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee.

William Kershner


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.


Instrument flying is when your mind gets a grip on the fact that there is vision beyond sight.

U.S. Navy 'Approach' magazine circa W.W.II.



Always keep an 'out' in your hip pocket.

Bevo Howard


The Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you.

attributed to Max Stanley, Northrop test pilot


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


It occurred to me that if I did not handle the crash correctly, there would be no survivors.

Richard Leakey, after engine failure in a single engine aircraft.

Nairobi, Africa, 1993.


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 at 80,000 feet and Climbing.

sign over the entrance to the SR-71 operating location on Kadena AB, Okinawa


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

Paul F Crickmore


The emergencies you train for almost never happen.  It's the one you can't train for that kills you.

Ernest K. Gann, advice from the 'old pelican'


If you want to grow old as a pilot, you've got to know when to push it, and when to back off.

Chuck Yeager


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.

(It was still there in 1972.)


An airplane might disappoint any pilot but it'll never surprise a good one

Len Morgan


To most people, the sky is the limit.  To those who love aviation, the sky is home.


Life is simple.  Eat, sleep, fly.


Try not to die all tensed up.



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.


(A DC-9 captain trainee attempting to check out on the 'glass cockpit' of an A-320.)

Now I know what a dog feels like, watching TV."


It only takes two things to fly: -*- airspeed and money.


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.


It's better to break ground and head into the wind, than to break wind and head into the ground.


The difference between flight attendants and jet engines is that the engine usually quits whining when it gets to the gate.


A copilot is a knot head until he spots opposite direction traffic at 12 o'clock, after which, he's a goof-off for not seeing it sooner.


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


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


I give that landing a 9 . . . on the Richter scale!


Basic Flying Rules:

1. Try to stay in the middle of the air.

2. Do not go near the edges of it.

3. The edge of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, and trees.

4. The other edge is called interstellar space.  It is much more difficult to fly there.


Unknown landing signal officer to carrier pilot after his 6th unsuccessful landing attempt: "You've got to land here son, this is where the food is."


***And MY airline pilot informant's personal favorite: New FAA motto:

"We're not happy, till you're not happy.


"When you come to a fork in the road, take it".

Yogi Berra