AVIATION AND OTHER TRUISMS

Received via the Internet. Source credited where known.

  • Advice given to RAF pilots during WWII: “When a prang (crash) seems inevitable, endeavor to strike the softest, cheapest object in the vicinity as slow and gently as possible.”
  • “Airspeed, altitude and brains: Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight.”
  • “A smooth landing is mostly luck; two in a row is all luck; three in a row is prevarication.”
  • Basic Flying Rules: “Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there.
  • “Blue water Navy truism from an old carrier sailor: There are more aircraft in the ocean than submarines in the sky.”
  • “Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it.”
  • “If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to.”
  • “If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter - and therefore, unsafe.”
  • “If you're faced with a forced landing, fly the thing as far into the crash as possible.” - Bob Hoover (renowned aerobatic and test pilot)
  • “Mankind has one perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there!”
  • “Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you.”
  • “Never trade luck for skill.”
  • Sign at the entrance to the old SR-71 operating base, Kadena, Japan: “Though I fly through the Valley of Death, I shall fear no evil, for I am at 80,000 feet and climbing.”
  • Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB in 1970: “There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime.”
  • “The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.”
  • “The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you.” - Attributed to Max Stanley (Northrop test pilot)
  • “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.”
  • “When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.”
  • “Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.” - General Douglas MacArthur
  • “Without ammunition, the USAF would be just another expensive flying club.”
  • “You, you, and you… panic! The rest of you, come with me.” - U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt
  • “You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal.”
  • “You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3.” - Paul F. Crickmore (test pilot)