Last weekend was a big one for me, I finally earned my full gliders licence. I can now officially go anywhere in the world and make clubs nervous about me bringing their aircraft back. To celebrate this milestone, I thought I would post some of the sage advice I have collected from wiser pilots than me. (Click 'Read More' for the Rules of the Air)
The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee.--- Gunter's Second Law of Air Travel
The three worst things to hear in the cockpit:
The second officer says, "Damn it!" The first officer says, "I have an idea!" The captain say, "Hey, watch this!"
Lady, you want me to answer you if this old airplane is safe to fly? Just how in the world do you think it got to be this old?
"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute."--- George Bernard Shaw
When asked why he was referred to as 'Ace': "Because during World War Two, I was responsible for the destruction of six aircraft, fortunately three were enemy." - Captain Ray Lancaster, USAAF.
If helicopters are so safe, how come there are no vintage/classic helicopter fly-ins- Anonymous
Death is just nature's way of telling you to watch your airspeed. - Anonymous
"When it comes to testing new aircraft or determining maximum performance, pilots like to talk about "pushing the envelope." They're talking about a two dimensional model: the bottom is zero altitude, the ground; the left is zero speed; the top is max altitude; and the right, maximum velocity, of course. So, the pilots are pushing that upper-right-hand corner of the envelope. What everybody tries not to dwell on is that that's where the postage gets canceled, too."--- Admiral Rick Hunter, U.S. Navy.
"It only takes five years to go from rumor to standard operating procedure." - Dick Markgraf
"Real planes use only a single stick to fly. This is why bulldozers & helicopters -- in that order -- need two." --- Paul Slattery
"I've flown every seat on this airplane, can someone tell me why the other two are always occupied by idiots?" --- Don Taylor
The only three things a wingman should ever say are: 1. Two's up. 2. You're on fire. 3. I'll take the ugly one.
There are only three things the copilot should ever say: 1. Nice landing, Sir. 2. I'll buy the first round. 3. I'll take the ugly one.
As a new copilot on a bomber I was told to say these three things and to otherwise keep my mouth shut and not touch anything: 1. Clear on the right. 2. Outer (marker) on the double (indicator) 3. I'll eat the chicken. (Crew meals consisted of one steak and one chicken to avoid possible food poisoning of the cockpit crew).
As an aviator in flight you can do anything you want... As long as it's right... And we'll let you know if it's right after you get down.
You can't fly forever without getting killed.
As a pilot only two bad things can happen to you and one of them will.
a. One day you will walk out to the aircraft knowing that it is your last flight in an airplane..
b. One day you will walk out to the airplane not knowing that it is your last flight in an airplane..
Any flight over water in a single engine airplane will absolutely guarantee abnormal engine noises and vibrations.
There are Rules and there are Laws. The rules are made by men who think that they know better how to fly your airplane than you. Laws (of Physics) were made by the Great One. You can, and sometimes should, suspend the Rules but you can never suspend the Laws.
More about Rules: a. The rules are a good place to hide if you don't have a better idea and the talent to execute it. b. If you deviate from a rule, it must be a flawless performance. (e.g., If you fly under a bridge, don't hit the bridge.)
The ideal pilot is the perfect blend of discipline and aggressiveness.
About check rides: a. The only real objective of a check ride is to complete it and get the bastard out of your airplane. b. It has never occurred to any flight examiner that the examinee couldn't care less what the examiner's opinion of his flying ability really is.
The medical profession is the natural enemy of the aviation profession.
Ever notice that the only experts who decree that the age of the pilot is over are people who have never flown anything? Also, in spite of the intensity of their feelings that the pilot's day is over I know of no expert who has volunteered to be a passenger in a non-piloted aircraft.
It is absolutely imperative that the pilot be unpredictable. Rebelliousness is very predictable. In the end, conforming almost all the time is the best way to be unpredictable.
He who demands everything that his aircraft can give him is a pilot; he that demands one iota more is a fool.
If you're gonna fly low, do not fly slow! Anti Submarine Warfare pilots know this only too well.
It is solely the pilot's responsibility to never let any other thing touch his aircraft.
If you can learn how to fly as a 2nd Lt and not forget how to fly by the time you're a Maj. you will have lived a happy life.
a. Remember that the airplane doesn't know that it's dark.
b. On a clear, moonless night, never fly between the tanker's lights.
c. There are certain aircraft sounds that can only be heard at night.
d. If you're going to night fly, it might as well be in the weather so you can double count your exposure to both hazards.
e. Night formation is really an endless series of near misses in equilibrium with each other.
f. You would have to pay a lot of money at a lot of amusement parks and perhaps add a few drugs, to get the same blend of psychedelic sensations as a single engine night weather flight.
One of the most important skills that a pilot must develop is the skill to ignore those things that were designed by non-pilots to get the pilot's attention.
At the end of the day, the controllers, ops supervisors, maintenance guys, weather guessers, and birds; they're all trying to kill you and your job is to not let them!
Remember that the radio is only an electronic suggestion box for the pilot. Sometimes the only way to clear up a problem is to turn it off.
It is a tacit, yet profound admission of the preeminence of flying in the hierarchy of the human spirit, that those who seek to control aviators via threats always threaten to take one's wings and not one's life.
Remember when flying low and inverted that the rudder still works the same old way but hopefully your instructor never taught you "pull stick back, plane go up".
A tactic done twice is a procedure. (Refer to unpredictability discussion above)
The aircraft G-limits are only there in case there is another flight by that particular airplane. If subsequent flights do not appear likely, there are no G-limits.
One of the beautiful things about a single piloted aircraft is the quality of the social experience.
If a mother has the slightest suspicion that her infant might grow up to be a pilot, she had better teach him to put things back where he got them.
The ultimate responsibility of the pilot is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions of earthbound ancestors who could only stare skyward...and wish.
There are bold pilots, and there are old pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.