The three worst things to hear in the cockpit:
The second officer says, "Damn it!"
The first officer says, "I have an idea!"
The captain say, "Hey, watch this!"
"In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three
hours of gas than vice versa."--- Kurt Wien
Lady, you want me to answer you if this old airplane is safe to
fly? Just how in the world do you think it got to be this old?
"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The
optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute."---
George Bernard Shaw
"The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are
composed entirely of lost airline luggage."--- Mark Russell
When asked why he was referred to as 'Ace': "Because during World
War Two, I was responsible for the destruction of six aircraft,
fortunately three were enemy." - Captain Ray Lancaster, USAAF.
helicopters are so safe, how come there are no vintage/classic
helicopter fly-ins? - Anonymous
Death is just nature's way of telling you to watch your airspeed.
never liked riding in helicopters because there's a fair
probability that the bottom part will get going around as fast as
the top part."--- Lt. Col. John Wittenborn, USAFR.
"When it comes to testing new aircraft or determining maximum
performance, pilots like to talk about "pushing the envelope."
They're talking about a two dimensional model: the bottom is zero
altitude, the ground; the left is zero speed; the top is max
altitude; and the right, maximum velocity, of course. So, the
pilots are pushing that upper-right-hand corner of the envelope.
What everybody tries not to dwell on is that that's where the
postage gets canceled, too."--- Admiral Rick Hunter, U.S. Navy.
"It only takes five years to go from rumor to standard operating
procedure." - Dick Markgraf
"Real planes use only a single stick to fly. This is why
bulldozers & helicopters -- in that order -- need two." --- Paul
"I've flown every seat on this airplane, can someone tell me why
the other two are always occupied by idiots?" --- Don Taylor
The only three things a wingman should ever say are:
1. Two's up.
2. You're on fire.
3. I'll take the ugly one.
There are only three things the copilot should ever say:
1. Nice landing, Sir.
2. I'll buy the first round.
3. I'll take the ugly one.
a new copilot on a bomber I was told to say these three things and
to otherwise keep my mouth shut and not touch anything:
1. Clear on the right.
2. Outer (marker) on the double (indicator)
3. I'll eat the chicken. (Crew meals consisted of one steak and
one chicken to avoid possible food poisoning of the cockpit crew).
1. As an aviator in flight you can do anything you want... As
long as it's right... And we'll let you know if it's right after
you get down.
2. You can't fly forever without getting killed.
3. As a pilot only two bad things can happen to you and one of
a. One day you will walk out to the aircraft knowing that it is
your last flight in an airplane.
b. One day you will walk out to the airplane not knowing that it
is your last flight in an airplane..
4. Any flight over water in a single engine airplane will
absolutely guarantee abnormal engine noises and vibrations.
5. There are Rules and there are Laws. The rules are made by men
who think that they know better how to fly your airplane than
you. Laws (of Physics) were made by the Great One. You can, and
sometimes should, suspend the Rules but you can never suspend the
a. The rules are a good place to hide if you don't have a better
idea and the talent to execute it.
b. If you deviate from a rule, it must be a flawless
performance. (e.g., If you fly under a bridge, don't hit the
7. The pilot is the highest form of life on earth.
8. The ideal pilot is the perfect blend of discipline and
a. The only real objective of a check ride is to complete it and
get the bastard out of your airplane.
b. It has never occurred to any flight examiner that the examinee
couldn't care less what the examiner's opinion of his flying
ability really is.
10. The medical profession is the natural enemy of the aviation
The job of the Wing Commander is to worry incessantly that his
career depends solely on the abilities of his aviators to fly
their airplanes without mishap and that their only minuscule
contribution to the effort is to bet their lives on it.
12. Ever notice that the only experts who decree that the age of
the pilot is over are people who have never flown anything? Also,
in spite of the intensity of their feelings that the pilot's day
is over I know of no expert who has volunteered to be a passenger
in a non-piloted aircraft.
13. It is absolutely imperative that the pilot be unpredictable.
Rebelliousness is very predictable. In the end, conforming almost
all the time is the best way to be unpredictable.
14. He who demands everything that his aircraft can give him is a
pilot; he that demands more is a fool.
15. If you're gonna fly low, do not fly slow! ASW pilots know
this only too well.
16. It is solely the pilot's responsibility to never let any
other thing touch his aircraft.
17. If you can learn how to fly as a 2nd Lt and not forget how to
fly by the time you're a Maj. you will have lived a happy life.
a. Remember that the airplane doesn't know that it's dark.
b. On a clear, moonless night, never fly between the tanker's
c. There are certain aircraft sounds that can only be heard at
d. If you're going to night fly, it might as well be in the
weather so you can double count your exposure to both hazards.
e. Night formation is really an endless series of near misses in
equilibrium with each other.
f. You would have to pay a lot of money at a lot of amusement
parks and perhaps add a few drugs, to get the same blend of
psychedelic sensations as a single engine night weather flight.
19. 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.
20. At the end of the day, the controllers, ops supervisors,
maintenance guys, weather guessers, and birds; they're all trying
to kill you and your job is to not let them!
21. The concept of "controlling" airspace with radar is just a
form of FAA sarcasm directed at pilots to see if they're gullible
enough to swallow it. Or to put it another way, when's the last
time the FAA ever shot anyone down?
22. 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.
23. It is a tacit, yet profound admission of the preeminence of
flying in the hierarchy of the human spirit, that those who seek
to control aviators via threats always threaten to take one's
wings and not one's life.
24. Remember when flying low and inverted that the rudder still
works the same old way but hopefully your IP never taught you
"pull stick back, plane go up".
25. Mastering the prohibited maneuvers in the Natops Manual is
one of the best forms of aviation life insurance you can get.
26. A tactic done twice is a procedure. (Refer to
unpredictability discussion above)
27. The aircraft G-limits are only there in case there is another
flight by that particular airplane. If subsequent flights do not
appear likely, there are no G-limits.
28. One of the beautiful things about a single piloted aircraft
is the quality of the social experience.
29. If a mother has the slightest suspicion that her infant might
grow up to be a pilot, she had better teach him to put things back
where he got them
30. 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.