Military Flyingisms

Courtesy of David R.

  • Blue water Navy truism; There are more planes in the ocean than there are submarines in the sky.
  • Navy carrier pilots to Air Force pilots: Flaring is like squatting to pee.
  • When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.
  • Without ammunition the USAF would be just another expensive flying club.
  • 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.
  • Never trade luck for skill.
  • The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in aviation are: "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and " Oh shit!"
  • Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers.
  • Airspeed, altitude or 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.
  • Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries.
  • Advice given to RAF pilots during W.W.II. When a prang (crash) seems inevitable, endeavor to strike the softest, cheapest object in the vicinity as slowly and gently as possible.
  • The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you. (Attributed to Max Stanley, Northrop test pilot)
  • A pilot who doesn't have any fear probably isn't flying his plane to its maximum. (Jon McBride, astronaut)
  • 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)
  • Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing. (sign over the entrance to the SR-71 operating location Kadena, Japan).
  • You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3. (Paul F. Crickmore - test pilot)
  • Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you.
  • There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime. (Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 1970).
  • The three best things in life are a good landing, a good orgasm, and a good bowel movement. The night carrier landing is one of the few opportunities in life where you get to experience all three at the same time. (Author unknown, but someone who's been there)
  • "Now I know what a dog feels like watching TV." (A DC-9 captain trainee attempting to check out on the 'glass cockpit' of an A-320).
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