1. Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.
2. 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.
3. Flying isn’t dangerous. Crashing is what’s dangerous.
4. It’s always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.
5. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.
6. The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot starts sweating.
7. When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
8. A ‘good’ landing is one from which you can walk away. A ‘great’ landing is one after which they can use the plane again.
9. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.
10. You know you’ve landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.
11. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice versa.
12. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn’t get to five minutes earlier.
12a. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds.
14. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you’ve made.
15. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.
16. 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
17. Helicopters can’t fly; they’re just so ugly the earth repels them.
18. If all you can see out of the window is ground that’s going round and round and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.
19. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminium going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.
20. Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgment.
21. It’s always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.
22. Keep looking around. There’s always something you’ve missed.
23. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It’s the law. And it’s not subject to repeal.
24. The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind you and a tenth of a second ago.
25. There are old pilots and there are bold pilots. There are, however, no old bold pilots.
“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
“If you can’t afford to do something right, then be darn sure you can afford to do it wrong.” – Charlie Nelson
“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, lest the earth come from below and smite thee.” – William Kershner
“When a prang seems inevitable, endeavour 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, 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, in “Firebreak”
“There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime.” – Sign over Squadron Ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 1970.
“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.”
Quantas Gripe Sheet:
Remember, it takes a college degree to fly a plane but only a high school diploma to fix one, but never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humour.
After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a ‘Gripe Sheet’ which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft.
The mechanics correct the problems; document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the Gripe Sheets before the next flight.
Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas’ pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.
By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident. (not including the Rolls Royce turbine blade that split up in mid flight…)
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.
P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.
P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute Descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That’s what friction locks are for.
P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you’re right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny…….
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.
And the best one for last………………
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.