Aviation 101

Stolen from John Webb of the Confederate Air Force, with many additions along the way!!.. 

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

Don't drop the airplane in order to fly the mike.  

Remember, an airplane flies because of a principle discovered by Bernoulli, not Marconi.  

No Guts, No Glory.  (Corollary: Guts will do for brains, but not consistently.)  

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

"I'd rather be lucky than good..."  

If the Air Force built a runway around the world, Republic Aircraft Company would build a jet that would need every damn foot of it to take off.  

If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger.  If you pull the stick back, the houses get smaller.  Unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back -- then the houses get bigger again.  

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

If all you can see out of the window is ground 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.  

Flying's not dangerous; crashing is what's dangerous.  

Takeoffs are optional. But landings are mandatory.  

Try to keep the number of your landings equal to the number of your takeoffs.  

If you have to make 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....  

Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man...  landing is the first. 

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

Asking what a pilot thinks about the FAA is like asking a fireplug what it thinks about dogs.  

Any pilot who does not privately consider himself the best in the game is in the wrong game.  

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

Flying is perfect for a man who wants to feel like a boy, but not for one who still is one.  

Male pilots are confused souls who talk about women when they're flying, and about flying when they're with women.  

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

The nicer an airplane looks, the better it flies.  

Why did God invent women when airplanes were so much fun?  

Remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous?  

If an earthquake suddenly opened a fissure in a runway that caused an accident, NTSB would find a way to blame it on pilot error.  

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

The propeller is just a big fan in the front of the plane to keep the pilot cool.  In jets, third-stage bleed air provides cockpit air conditioning.  Want proof?  Make it stop --  then watch the pilot break out into a sweat.  

Speed is life, altitude is life insurance.  When in doubt, hold on to your altitude -- no one has ever collided with the sky.  

It's best to keep the pointy end going forward, and the shiny side facing up, as much (or as often) as possible.  

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

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

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

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.  

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

Things that do you no good while flying:  Altitude above you.   Runway behind you.  Fuel in the truck.  Half a second ago.  Approach plates in the car.  Airspeed you ran out of.  

There are four ways to fly:  the right way, the wrong way, the company way, and the captain's way.  Only one counts.  

A good simulator ride is like successful surgery on a cadaver.  

A smooth touchdown in a simulator ride is about as exciting as kissing your sister.  

A check ride ought to be like a mini-skirt: short enough to be interesting but still long enough to cover everything.  

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

Think ahead of your airplane.  

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

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

Any attempt to stretch fuel is guaranteed to increase headwind.  

An airplane will probably fly OK a little bit over gross, but it sure as hell won't fly without fuel.  

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

A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away.  A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the airplane again without a major repair.  

It's a "good" landing if you can still get the doors (or canopy) open.  

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

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

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

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.  

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

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

Trust your airliner crew .... but keep your seat belt securely fastened.  

Being an airline captain would be great if you didn't have to go on all those long trips.  

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

Be nice to your first officer, he may be your captain at your next airline.  (Air Force version:  Be nice to your flight lead, he may be your boss on your next assignment.)  

Passengers prefer old captains and young stewardesses.  

The friendliest stewardesses are those on the trip home.  

Forget all that stuff about thrust and drag, lift and gravity; an airplane flies because of money.  

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

If God meant man to fly, He'd have given him more money.  

A (rich) fool and his money are soon flying more airplane than he can handle.  

If God had intended man to fly, he would have given him enough money for at least a Beech Bonanza.  

If it flies or it floats, it's always cheaper to rent it than to buy it.  

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

Learning a little about flying is like leading a tiger by the tail--the end does not justify his means.  

Keep looking around; there's always something you've missed or somebody trying to kill you.  

"Let's make a 360 and get the hell out of here!!"  

IFR: I Follow Roads.  

A thunderstorm is nature's way of saying, "Up yours, sucker!"  

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

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

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

There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots -- but there are no old, bold pilots!  

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

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.  

"I had a fighter pilot's breakfast -- two aspirin, a cup of coffee, and a barf."  

Fighter pilots believe in clean living -- they never drink whiskey from a dirty glass.  

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.  

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

Gravity never loses -- the best you can hope for is a draw!  

I never trusted anything that depended on moving parts or an open flame to fly. 

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Copyright 2000 by Jim Foreman