Quotes

Famous Quotes

Quotes

"It's congenital really. We're an aspiring species that doesn't have wings. What else would we dream of?"
- Mark Vanhoenacker, British Airways B747 pilot and aviation author, on dreams of flight. Story in Financial Times newspaper, 17 April 2015.

"For God’s sake, open the door!"
- Captain Patrick Sondheimer, Germanwings 9525, 10:32 local time, 24 March 2015.

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? —it is the same the angels breathe.
- Mark Twain, Roughing It, Chapter XXII, 1886.

My first wife didn't like to fly, either.
- Gordon Baxter, long-time writer for Flying magazine.

That's not flying, that's just falling with style.
- Woody, from the 1996 movie Toy Story, regarding Buzz Lightyear.

There is an art … to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Every time I fly and am forced to remove my shoes, I'm grateful Richard Reid is not known as the Underwear Bomber.
- Douglas Manuel, aerospace executive regards airport security. Reported in USA Today, 13 March 2003.

Landing on the ship during the daytime is like sex, it's either good or it's great. Landing on the ship at night is like a trip to the dentist, you may get away with no pain, but you just don't feel comfortable.
- LCDR Thomas Quinn, USN.

Ted: "We're gonna have to come in pretty low on this approach."
Elaine: "Is that difficult?"
Ted: "Well sure it's difficult. It's part of every textbook approach. It's just something you have to do ... when you land."
- from the 1982 movie "Airplane II, The Sequel."

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.
- George Bernard Shaw

Leader, bandits at 2 o'clock!
Roger; it's only 1:30 now—what'll I do 'til then?
— The Bill Waterson comic character Calvin, of "Cavin and Hobbes." fame.

High-performance jet fighter, fully armed with missiles, guns. ECM equipment, fresh paint (stars and bars painted over), single seat, 97% reliability rate, will outclimb, outturn F-16, outrun F-14, low fuel burn (relatively), all digital avionics, radar, terrain following, INS, GPS, Tacan, used only for testing and sales promotion. Now in storage. Contact Northrop Corp. Will trade for Mig-25 and home address of Air Force Acquisition officer.
"Flying is a great equalizer. The plane doesn't know or care about your gender as a pilot, nor do the ground troops who need your support. You just have to perform. That's all anyone cares about when you're up there - that you can do your job, and that you do it exceptionally well."
- Lt. Col. Christine Mau, 33rd Fighter Wing Operations Group deputy commander, on being the first female to fly the F-35. Story in MyPanhandle.com, 6 May 2015.

"Some of our freighter companies are asking us for [single pilot airliners]. We are quite confident, technologically, that the toolkit is filled. With respect to commercial airplanes, there is no doubt in our minds that we can solve the problem of autonomous flight."
- John Tracy, Chief Technology Officer, Boeing. Article in Air Transport World, March 2015.

"Flying is a great equalizer. The plane doesn't know or care about your gender as a pilot, nor do the ground troops who need your support. You just have to perform. That's all anyone cares about when you're up there - that you can do your job, and that you do it exceptionally well."
- Lt. Col. Christine Mau, 33rd Fighter Wing Operations Group deputy commander, on being the first female to fly the F-35. Story in MyPanhandle.com, 6 May 2015.

"I have seen the curvature of the earth. I have seen sights most people will never see. Flying at more than 70,000 feet is really beautiful and peaceful. I enjoy the quiet, hearing myself breathing, and the hum of the engine. I never take it for granted."
- Lt. Col. Merryl Tengesda, first African-American female to pilot the U-2. Article in Good Black News, 18 February 2015.

"Clearly this was an out of the ordinary landing, but I was just doing my job and any one of our pilots would have taken the same actions."
- Captain David Williams, Virgin Atlantic flight 43. He safely landed his B747 at London Gatwick with 447 people on board with no starboard outer main landing gear. BBC News, 31 December 2014.

"Thousands of volumes have been written about aviation, but we do not automatically have thousands of true and special friends in their authors. That rare writer who comes alive on a page does it by giving of himself, by writing of meanings, and not just of fact or of things that have happened to him. The writers of flight who have done this are usually found together in a special section on private bookshelves."
- Richard Bach, 'The Pleasure of Their Company,' in Flying magazine, April 1968.

Never stop being a kid. Never stop feeling and seeing and being excited with great things like air and engines and sounds of sunlight within you. Wear your little mask if you must to protect you from the world but if you let that kid disappear you are grown up and you are dead.
- Richard Bach, Nothing by Chance, 1963.

Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved. There was science in each curve of an airfoil, in each angle between strut and wire, in the gap of a spark plug or the color of the exhaust flame. There was freedom in the unlimited horizon, on the open fields where one landed. A pilot was surrounded by beauty of earth and sky. He brushed treetops with the birds, leapt valleys and rivers, explored the cloud canyons he had gazed at as a child. Adventure lay in each puff of wind.

I began to feel that I lived on a higher plane than the skeptics of the ground; one that was richer because of its very association with the element of danger they dreaded, because it was freer of the earth to which they were bound. In flying, I tasted a wine of the gods of which they could know nothing. Who valued life more highly, the aviators who spent it on the art they loved, or these misers who doled it out like pennies through their antlike days? I decided that if I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary life time.
- Charles A. Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. Louis.

Once you have learned to fly your plane, it is far less fatiguing to fly than it is to drive a car. You don't have to watch every second for cats, dogs, children, lights, road signs, ladies with baby carriages and citizens who drive out in the middle of the block against the lights. . . . Nobody who has not been up in the sky on a glorious morning can possibly imagine the way a pilot feels in free heaven.
- William T. Piper, president of Piper Aircraft Corporation.

This is all about fun. You can grab ahold of an airplane here, and literally take your life in both hands. One for the throttle and one for the stick, and you can control your own destiny, free of most rules and regulations. It may not be better than sex, but it's definitely better than the second time. Adrenaline is a narcotic; it may be a naturally induced narcotic, but it is a narcotic. And once you get it movin' around in there, it's a rush like none other, and when this puppy gets movin...
- Alan Preston, air race pilot

Flying makes me feel like a sex maniac in a whorehouse with a stack of $20 bills.
- Pancho Barnes

Flying without feathers is not easy; my wings have no feathers.
- Titus Maccius Plautus, Paenulus, Act v, scene 2, c. 220 BCE Original, "Sine pennis volare hau facilest: meae alea pennas non habent."

He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
- Old Testament: Psalms XVIII, 10, c. 150 BCE

The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.
- Sir James Matthew Barrie

The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who, in their grueling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space, at full speed, above all obstacles, on the infinite highway of the air.
- Wilbur Wright

Real flight and dreams of flight go together. Both are part of the same movement. Not A before B, but all together.
- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow.

I ask people who don't fly, "How can you not fly when you live in a time in history when you can fly?"
- William Langewische, 2001

I cannot imaging anyone looking at the sky and denying God.
- Abraham Lincoln.

We contrive to make the invisible air support us, we relinquish the security of feet on the ground because flying is demanding, delightful, beautiful: because we love it. Very few of us are actually crazy, and nearly all of us manage the risks as well as we can, but we all willingly trade some of our security for the immeasurable beauty of the sky.
- Paul J. Sampson

No bird ever flew nonstop from New York to Tokyo, or raced 15 miles high at triple the speed of sound. But birds do something else. They do not conquer the air; they romance it.
- Peter Garrison

"Some of our freighter companies are asking us for [single pilot airliners]. We are quite confident, technologically, that the toolkit is filled. With respect to commercial airplanes, there is no doubt in our minds that we can solve the problem of autonomous flight."
- John Tracy, Chief Technology Officer, Boeing. Article in Air Transport World, March 2015.

"I have seen the curvature of the earth. I have seen sights most people will never see. Flying at more than 70,000 feet is really beautiful and peaceful. I enjoy the quiet, hearing myself breathing, and the hum of the engine. I never take it for granted."
- Lt. Col. Merryl Tengesda, first African-American female to pilot the U-2. Article in Good Black News, 18 February 2015.

"I hate sailing."
- Troy Bradley, first words upon landing in the sea just off Mexico after crossing the Pacific from Japan in a balloon, smashing the all-time balloon distance and endurance records. Reported by The Guardian newspaper, 31 January 2015.

"We don’t really have any kind of regulatory structure at all."
- President Obama, commenting on the state of FAA regulations regards drones, UAVs and model flying airplanes. Interview with CNN following a drone flown by a drunk crash landing on the White House lawn. 27 January 2015.

By day, or on a cloudless night, a pilot may drink the wine of the gods, but it has an earthly taste; he's a god of the earth, like one of the Grecian deities who lives on worldly mountains and descended for intercourse with men. But at night, over a stratus layer, all sense of the planet may disappear. You know that down below, beneath that heavenly blanket is the earth, factual and hard. But it's an intellectual knowledge; it's a knowledge tucked away in the mind; not a feeling that penetrates the body. And if at times you renounce experience and mind's heavy logic, it seems that the world has rushed along on its orbit, leaving you alone flying above a forgotten cloud bank, somewhere in the solitude of interstellar space.
- Charles A. Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. Louis, 1953.

It's wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky, Behind me and before me is God and I have no fears.
- Helen Keller, at age 74, on flight around the world, news reports of 5 February 1955.

My airplane is quiet, and for a moment still an alien, still a stranger to the ground, I am home.
- Richard Bach, Stranger to the Ground, 1963.

Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there's a reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!
- Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, 1970.

The airplane is just a bunch of sticks and wires and cloth, a tool for learning about the sky and about what kind of person I am, when I fly. An airplane stands for freedom, for joy, for the power to understand, and to demonstrate that understanding. Those things aren't destructable.
- Richard Bach, Nothing by Chance, 1963.

I finally overcame my phobia, and now I approach flying with a sort of studied boredom - a learned habit, thanks to my learn-to-fly-calmly training - but like all former flying phobics, I retain a weird and feverish fascination with aviation news, especially bad news.
- Susan Orlean

Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
- Eddie Rickenbacker

The fact is Qatar, Etihad, Emirates, Singapore, Garuda, all of the three Chinese airlines, Air New Zealand - the fact is that international aviation relies very much upon agreements between nation-states, and it is not an area in which you have free market operations.
- Anthony Albanese

In the coming era of manned space exploration by the private sector, market forces will spur development and yield new, low-cost space technologies. If the history of private aviation is any guide, private development efforts will be safer, too.
- Burt Rutan

"There's a real opportunity to have a vertical takeoff and landing electric supersonic jet."
- Elon Musk. If anybody else said it, it's crazy talk. For the founder of Paypal, Solar City, Tesla and Space X it's something to work on. TV interview with Stephen Colbert, 24 July 2014.

- Deborah Hersman, former US NTSB chairwoman, explaining to USA Today newspaper why the FAA doesn't change old regulations. 20 June 2014.

"If you are bored flying, your standards are too low."
- Lauran Paine Jr., article in Sport Aviation, June 2014.

"Disneyland takes something that's safe and gives you the illusion that it's dangerous. We take something that's dangerous and give you the illusion it's safe."
- Larry Salganek, jet warbird instructor, article in AOPA Pilot magazine, June 2014.

whhheeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! The scream of jet engines rises to a crescendo on the runways of the world. Every second, somewhere or other, a plane touches down, with a puff of smoke from scorched tyre rubber, or rises in the air, leaving a smear of black fumes dissolving in its wake. From space, the earth might look to a fanciful eye like a huge carousel, with planes instead of horses spinning round its circumference, up and down, up and down. Whhheeeeeeeeeee!
- David Lodge

My senses of space, of distance, and of direction entirely vanished. When I looked for the ground I sometimes looked down, sometimes up, sometimes left, sometimes right. I thought I was very high up when I would suddenly be thown to earth in a near vertical spin. I thought I was very low to the ground and I was pulled up to 3,000 feet in two minutes by the 500-horsepower motor. It danced, it pushed, it tossed. . . . Ah! la la!
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, letter to his mother regards his first flight in a SPAD-Herbemont. This was one of his first flights, and these are his first words on the experience of flight, Lettres à sa mère, 1921.

Dad, I left my heart up there.
- Francis Gary Powers, CIA U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union, describing his first flight at age 14.

As soon as we left the ground I knew I myself had to fly!
- Amelia Earhart, after her first flight in an airplane, a ten minute sight-seeing trip over Los Angeles, 1920.

Even before [we] . . . had reached 300 feet, I recognized that the sky would be my home. I tumbled out of the airplane with stars in my eyes.
- Geraldyn Cobb, regards her first flight, piloted by her father when she was 12 years old.

I wanted to go higher than Rockefeller Center, which was being erected across the street from Saks Fifth Avenue and was going to cut off my view of the sky. . . . Flying got into my soul instantly but the answer as to why must be found somewhere back in the mystic maze of my birth and childhood and the circumstances of my earlier life. Whatever I am is elemental and the beginnings of it all have their roots in Sawdust Road. I might have been born in a hovel, but I determined to travel with the wind and stars.
- Jacqueline Cochran, The Stars at Noon, 1954.

"A drug seductive to even the fiercest Luddite, GPS makes skill, knowledge and intuition obsolete. It makes us at once infants and Gods. Observer and observed, we watch from on high as our icon, a digital metaphor of self-awareness, creeps across the map. With GPS, there is no longer such a thing as "lost." Navigation, a great and noble art whose traditions stretch back into prehistory, has been replaced by a computer game. Its tools, the products of so much experience, ingenuity and self-sacrifice, will soon become curiosities; its methods and skills, so recently separating life and death, will eventually be forgotten."
- Peter Garrison, contributing editor Flying magazine, The Importance of Being Lost: We Lost Something When We Lost "Lost", July 2014.

"We actually are waiting for more people to be killed before we can do something that makes sense. We don't kill enough people in aviation to merit regulatory changes."
- Deborah Hersman, former US NTSB chairwoman, explaining to USA Today newspaper why the FAA doesn't change old regulations. 20 June 2014.

"Disneyland takes something that's safe and gives you the illusion that it's dangerous. We take something that's dangerous and give you the illusion it's safe."
- Larry Salganek, jet warbird instructor, article in AOPA Pilot magazine, June 2014.

"New York to Tokyo could be less than an hour. You could be traveling at 19,000 miles per hour orbitally. After we've done the space program, we will be producing supersonic planes, which will go far, far, faster than Concorde."
- Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Atlantic & Virgin Galatic, interview on CNBC TV, 6 May

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? —it is the same the angels breathe.
- Mark Twain, Roughing It, Chapter XXII, 1886.

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. More than any other thing that pertains to the body it partakes of the nature of the divine.
- Plato, Phaedrus.

To be able to rise from the earth; to be able, from a station in outer space, to see the relationship of the planet earth to other planets; to be able to contemplate the billions of factors in precise and beautiful combination that make human existence possible; to be able to dwell on an encounter of the human brain and spirit with the universe— all this enlarges the human horizon . . .
- Norman Cousins, 1973.

Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight—how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. More than anything else, Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly.
- Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Within all of us is a varying amount of space lint and star dust, the residue from our creation. Most are too busy to notice it, and it is stronger in some than others. It is strongest in those of us who fly and is responsible for an unconscious, subtle desire to slip into some wings and try for the elusive boundaries of our origin.
- K O Eckland, Footprints On Clouds.

By day, or on a cloudless night, a pilot may drink the wine of the gods, but it has an earthly taste; he's a god of the earth, like one of the Grecian deities who lives on worldly mountains and descended for intercourse with men. But at night, over a stratus layer, all sense of the planet may disappear. You know that down below, beneath that heavenly blanket is the earth, factual and hard. But it's an intellectual knowledge; it's a knowledge tucked away in the mind; not a feeling that penetrates the body. And if at times you renounce experience and mind's heavy logic, it seems that the world has rushed along on its orbit, leaving you alone flying above a forgotten cloud bank, somewhere in the solitude of interstellar space.
- Charles A. Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. Louis, 1953.

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”
- C. JoyBell C.

“Pain is a pesky part of being human, I've learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can't be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.”
- C. JoyBell C.

“For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right wing and a left wing: for the wing of love there is anger; for the wing of destiny there is fear; for the wing of pain there is healing; for the wing of hurt there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride there is humility; for the wing of giving there is taking; for the wing of tears there is joy; for the wing of rejection there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment there is grace; for the wing of honor there is shame; for the wing of letting go there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance. Two beautiful wings is perfection. There is a generation of people who idealize perfection as the existence of only one of these wings every time. But I see that a bird with one wing is imperfect. An angel with one wing is imperfect. A butterfly with one wing is dead. So this generation of people strive to always cut off the other wing in the hopes of embodying their ideal of perfection, and in doing so, have created a crippled race.”
- C. JoyBell C.

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