Darren Smith, Flight Instructor
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Memorable Aviation Quotes

From the Copyright Page of every book I've written:

“...the safety of the operator is more important than any other point. 
Greater prudence is needed rather than greater skill.” 

 — Wilbur Wright, 1901

From the Appendix Chapter of every book I've written

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”  —  Confucius

From Winter Flying (Pocket Learning), Winter & Icing Chapter

"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow
from the sky."  — Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)


"If you were born on an airliner in the US in this decade and never got off you would encounter your first fatal accident when you were 2300 years of age and you would still have a 29% chance of being one of the survivors."

— Les Lautman, Safety Manager Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, 1989.


"Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree
than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect."

— Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London. 1930's

From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, FAR Part 91 Review Chapter

“I owned the world that hour as I rode over it . . .  Free of the earth, free of
the mountains, free of the clouds, but how inseparably I was bound to them.”
— Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974)

From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, Airspace Review Chapter

A map says to you, "Read me carefully, follow me closely, doubt me not." It says,
"I am the earth in the palm of your hand. Without me, you are lost and alone."

–Beryl Markham, West of the Night (1942)

From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, Airspace Review Chapter

“More than anything else, the sensation of flying is one of perfect peace mingled with an
excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost ~ if you can conceive of such a combination.”

— Wilbur Wright (1867-1912)

From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, Weather Chapter

"You'll be bothered from time to time by storms, fog, snow. When you are, think of those who
went through it before you, and say to yourself, 'What they could do, I can do.' "

— Antoine de Saint Exupéry, 'Wind, Sand, and Stars,' 1939

From Braking Action

 "Do not let yourself be forced into doing anything before you are ready." — Wilbur Wright 

 "Always keep an 'out' in your hip pocket." — Bevo Howard

"The tendency of an event to occur varies inversely with one’s preparation for it."
— David Searles

"For us as pilots, the question is: What do I do with this? Go or no go?"
— Wolfgang Langewiesche, as quoted in Weather Flying, 1977 by Robert N. Buck

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." — Margaret Mead

"Habits are safer than rules; you don't have to watch them. And you don't have to keep them either. They keep you."
 — Frank Crane

"There I was, fog was so thick I couldn't see the instruments. Only way I knew I was inverted was my flying medals were in my eyes. But I knew I was really in trouble when the tower called me and told me to climb and maintain field elevation."
— Anonymous

From Criticism of Memory Item Checklists

  "The pilot who teaches himself has a fool for a student." — Robert Livingston, Flying the Aeronca 

From Professionalism

"The important thing in aeroplanes is that they shall be speedy." — Baron Manfred Von Richthofen 

From Flight Computers on the Checkride

 "What is chiefly needed is skill rather than machinery." — Wilbur Wright, 1902 

 "What is that mountain goat doing way up here in the clouds?" — Gary Larson, The Far Side 


From Fundamentals of a Safe Approach
From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, IFR Cross Country Chapter

"The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. 
Any why shouldn't it be... its the same the angels breathe."
--Mark Twain

From GPS on the Checkride

 "Navigating by the compass in a sea of clouds over Spain is all very well, it is very dashing,
but - you want to remember that below the sea of clouds lies eternity."
— Antoine de St. Exupery, Wind, Sand and Stars

From Runway Incursions Solutions
From Aviation Acronyms (Pocket Learning), Aircraft Types Chapter

 "You're in charge but don't touch the controls."
— Shannon Lucid, recounting what the two Russian cosmonauts
told her every time they left the Mir space station for a space walk, 1996.

From Memory (Recall) Item Checklists

 "When the weight of the paper equals the weight of the airplane, only then can you go flying."
— attributed to Donald Douglas (Mr. DC-n).

From Weather Radar:  Clear Mode vs Precipitation Mode
From Aviation Acronyms (Pocket Learning), Acronyms Related to Winter & Icing Chapter

 "One learns by doing a thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try." — Sophocles 

From Accelerated Training Programs
From Aviation Acronyms (Pocket Learning), Acronyms Related to Winter & Icing Chapter
 "Instrument flying is an unnatural act probably punishable by God."
— Gordon Baxter 

From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, Pre-Flight Actions Chapter

"I fly because it releases my mind from
the tyranny of petty things.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944)

"Flying alone! Nothing gives such a sense of mastery over mechanism,
mastery, indeed over space, time, and life itself, as this."

Cecil Arthur Lewis, Sagittarius Rising
RAF pilot and founder of the BBC

"Travelers are always discoverers, especially those who travel by air. There are no signposts in the air to show a man has passed that way before. There are no channels marked. The flier breaks each second into new uncharted seas."
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh, North to the Orient, 1935  

"I learned that danger is relative, and that inexperience can be a magnifying glass."
— Charles A. Lindbergh

"Courage is the price that life extracts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not knows no release from little things ~ Knows not the livid loneliness of fear, or mountain heights, Where bitter joy can hear the sound of wings."
- Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

From Teaching Beliefs

"There's a big difference between a pilot and an aviator.  One is a technician, the other is an artist in love with flight."
  E Jeppesen

From Answers to Common Aviation Questions

"The natural function of the wing is to soar upwards and carry that which is
heavy up to the place where dwells the race of gods."

—  Plato, Phaedrus

From Bio

"There is no excuse for an airplane unless it will fly fast!" 
—  Roscoe Turner, 1895-1970, 1930's Barnstormer & Hollywood stunt pilot

From Master Instructor Information

"Caution: Cape does not enable user to fly."  —  Batman Halloween costume warning label, Wal-Mart, 1993.

From Commercial Pilot Information

"I learned the discipline of flying in order to have the freedom of flight....Discipline prevents crashes." 
--Captain John Cook, British Airways, Concorde Pilot

From CRM Resources, Callouts & Briefings
From Winter Flying (Pocket Learning), Aeronautical Decision Making Chapter

"Airplanes are near perfect, all they lack is the ability to forgive." -- Dick Collins, Author

From CRM Resources Checklist Usage
From Winter Flying (Pocket Learning), Hypothermia & Survival Chapter

"Trouble in the air is very rare.  It is hitting the ground that causes it." --Amelia Earhart

From CRM Resources Resolving Conflict

"Any landing you can walk away from is a good one!"
-- Gerald Massie, Army Photographer and Survivor of 1944 crash of B-17

From CRM Resources Error Management

"If the Wright brothers were alive today Wilber would have to fire Orville to reduce costs."
—  Herb Kelleher, 1931-, founder Southwest Airlines, USA Today, June 8, 1994

From CRM Fundamentals

"If the engine stops for any reason, you are due to tumble, and that's all there is to it!" --Clyde Cessna

From CRM Resources Main Page

"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular."
--Burce Landsberg, AOPA Safety Foundation

From CRM Resources Workload Management

"Construction of an aerial vehicle which can carry even a single man . . . requires the discovery of some
new metal or force. Even with such a discovery, we could not expect one to do more than carry its owner."  
-- Simon Newcome, U.S. Astronomer, 1903

From CFI Resources, Sample Budget While In CFI Training

“Not long ago, when I was a student in college, just flying an airplane seemed a dream. But that dream turned into reality.”
— Charles A. Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. Louis, 1953

From CFI Academy (Ground School)
From Using the NASA Form (Pocket Learning), Step by Step Chapter
From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, Your [Instrument] Rating Chapter

“Mistakes are inevitable in aviation, especially when one is still learning new things.
The trick is to not
make the mistake that will kill you.”
— Stephen Coonts

From CFI Ground School - Syllabus
From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, Weather Chapter

"I was sold on flying as soon as I had a taste for it."  -- John Glenn

From Tactics for the Professional CFI
From Aviation Acronyms (Pocket Learning), Acronyms Related to Weather Chapter

"Flying is done largely with the imagination." -- Wolfgang Langwiesche

From Recurrent Training - The BFR

"Mark my word:   A combination airplane and motorcar is coming.  You may smile.  But it will come..."  Henry Ford, 1940

From General Information on BFR & IPC

"I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty.  That the reasons flyers fly,
whether they know it or not, is the aesthetic appeal of flying."  -- Amelia Earhart

From Recurrent Training - The IPC
From Aviation Acronyms (Pocket Learning), Misc Acronyms Chapter

"Flying has torn apart the relationship of space and time.  It uses our old clock but with new yardsticks."
-- Charles A. Lindbergh

From Ground Training Information
From Aviation Acronyms (Pocket Learning), Acronyms Related to METARs Chapter

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

From Helicopter General Information
From Aviation Acronyms (Pocket Learning), V-Speeds Chapter

"Aeronautics was neither an industry nor a science.  It was a miracle."   
— Igor I. Sikorsky, 1889-1972, Father of the Helicopter

From Helicopter Pilot Ground School
From Aviation Acronyms (Pocket Learning), Mnemonics Chapter

"What freedom lies in flying, what Godlike power it gives to men... I lose all consciousness
in this strong unmortal space crowded with beauty...." Charles A. Lindbergh, 1902-1974.

From Helicopter Private Pilot Certificate

"Science, freedom, beauty, adventure... aviation offers it all." --Charles A. Lindbergh

From Helicopter Turbine Transition Program

"We who fly, do so for the love of flying. We are alive in the air
this miracle that lies in our hands and beneath our feet."
Cecil Arthur Lewis (1898-1997)
Broadcaster, Aviator and Writer

From Reading Library - Free Educational Articles
From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, The Approach Chapter

"Flying was a very tangible freedom in those days,
it was beauty, adventure, discovery -- the epitome of breaking into new worlds." 

--Anne Morrow Lindbergh

From General Information - Instrument Rating
From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, The Approach Chapter

"You won't spend much more than 10% of your time flying IMC but flying IFR is about flying with precision at all times."  
-- J. Mac McClellan, Writer, Flying

From Instrument Ground School Syllabus

"The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. 
Any why shouldn't it be... its the same the angels breathe."

 --Mark Twain

From Instrument Rating Ground School
From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, Manuevers Guide Chapter

"The airplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth."
  -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

From Accelerated Instrument Rating Training Syllabus
From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, IFR Cross Country Chapter

"The engine is the heart of the airplane, but the pilot is its soul."  -- Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

From Private Pilot Ground School Syllabus

"In soloing--as in other activities--it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it." --Amelia Earhart

"Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you.Richard Herman Jr., 'Firebreak'

From Commercial Pilot Requirements

"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

From Website Guestbook

"You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3."  Paul F Crickmore

From Foreign Student Requirements

"If you're faced with a forced landing, fly the thing as far into the crash as possible."  Bob Hoover

From Aviation Safety Programs

"A pilot who doesn't have any fear probably isn't flying his plane to its maximum."  Jon McBride, astronaut

From Accelerated Instrument Rating for Helicopter Pilots

"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'

From Costs of Learning to Fly Helicopters

"The Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you."  Attributed to Max Stanley, Northrop test pilot

From Helicopter Rules that Differ from Airplane Rules

“When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something was forgotten.” Robert Livingston, 'Flying The Aeronca

From  Helicopter Commercial Pilot General Information

“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

From Using the NASA Form (Pocket Learning), Official Briefing Chapter

“If you can't afford to do something right, then be darn sure you can afford to do it wrong.” Charlie Nelson

From Helicopter Timebuilding
From Instrument Rating Checkride Reviewer, Weather Chapter

“Just remember, if you crash because of weather, your funeral will be held on a sunny day.” Layton A. Bennett

From Multi-engine Ground School

“I hope you either take up parachute jumping or stay out of single motored airplanes at night.”
Charles A. Lindbergh to Wiley Post, 1931

From Multi Engine Rating - General Information

“Never fly the 'A' model of anything.” Ed Thompson

From Multi Engine Checkride Maneuvers

“Keep thy airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee.” William Kershner

From Multi Engine Timebuilding Suggestions

"If there is nothing new on the earth, still the traveler always has a resource in the skies. They are constantly turning a new page to view. The wind sets the types on this blue ground, and the inquiring may always read a new truth there."

— Henry David Thoreau

From Multi-Engine Time Building

“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 WWII

From Instrument Rating Requirements

“If an airplane is still in one piece, don't cheat on it; Ride the bastard down.” Ernest K. Gann

"We had always worried about being near thunderstorms in this airplane. We had worried about being in the dark in this airplane. And we worried most about being in a thunderstorm at night in this airplane."
— Dick Rutan,
 Voyager , 1987

"If we love to fly so much, how come we’re always in such a hurry to get there?"
— Louie Manyak

"Once the decision to start out is made, the situation has to be continually evaluated. In a slow airplane, it’s okay to take it 20 miles at a time. Is it okay 20 miles just ahead? If not, in which direction would it be okay for the next 20 miles? If you can see, remember that human vision is the best storm-avoidance system available. Continually check the weather along the way. If there is a doubt, switch to an alternate plan of action."
— Richard Collins, Flying IFR, 1978

"There is no such thing as a natural-born pilot."
— Brigadier General Charles "Chuck" Yeager

"Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven."
— William Shakespeare

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

"There's nothing like an airport for bringing you down to earth."
— Richard Gordon

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