Observations: The Art of Flying Friday, 20 September 2002 12:00:00 CDT David-Braverman Entertainment (0) Never trade luck for skill. The three most common expressions in aviation are, "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Shit!" Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers. Progress in airline flying: Now a flight attendant can get a pilot pregnant. 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 (to deviate from the truth). I remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous. Will Rogers never met a fighter pilot. We have a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there! If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter—and unsafe. Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries. Navy carrier pilots to Air Force pilots: Flaring is like squatting to pee. Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding it. When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something was forgotten. (Robert Livingston, "Flying The Aeronca") Just remember, if you crash because of weather, your funeral will be held on a sunny day. (Layton A. Bennett, "Never fly the 'A' model of anything") 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 W.W.II) The 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) If an airplane is still in one piece, don't cheat on it; ride the bastard down. (Ernest K. Gann, advice from the 'old pelican') Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I Am 80,000 Feet and Climbing. (Sign over the entrance to the SR-71 operating location on Kadena) You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3. (Paul F. Crickmore) Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you. (Richard Herman, Jr., "Firebreak") There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime. (Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., 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) "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) 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. Without ammunition the USAF would be just another expensive flying club. If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to. 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. Submitted by reader C.L.