1. Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.

2. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.

3. Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous.

4. It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.

5. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

6. The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot start sweating.

7. When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.

8. A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again.

9. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

10. You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.

11. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice versa.

12. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.

13. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds.

14. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you've made.

15. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

16. You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

17. Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly the earth repels them.

18. If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round & round & all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.

19. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles per hour & the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.

20. Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgment.

21. It's always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.

22. Keep looking around. There's always something you've missed.

23. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It's the law. And it's not subject to repeal.

24. The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind you, and a tenth of a second ago.

Oh! I've slipped through the swirling clouds of dust, a few feet from the dirt,
I've flown the Phantom low enough, to make my bottom hurt.
I've TFO'd the deserts, hills, valleys and mountains too,
Frolicked in the trees, where only flying squirrels flew.
Chased the frightened cows along, disturbed the ram and ewe,
And done a hundred other things, that you'd not care to do.
I've smacked the tiny sparrow, bluebird, robin, all the rest,
I've ingested baby eaglets, simply sucked them from their nest!
I've streaked through total darkness, just the other guy and me,
And spent the night in terror of things I could not see.
I've turned my eyes to heaven, as I sweated through the flight,
Put out my hand and touched, the master caution light.
-Author Unknown

Jet and piston engines work on the same principle: Suck and squeeze, blow and go.

There are three rules for making a smooth landing: Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

Any pilot who does not privately consider himself the best in the game is in the wrong game.

I'm waiting to be told how cobras, hooks, or vectored thrust help in combat. They're great at air shows, but zero energy is a fighter pilot's nightmare. Shoot your opponent down and his number two will be on your tail thinking it's his birthday - a target hanging there in the sky with zero energy.
- Ned Firth of Eurofighter at Farnborough '94

Son, never ask a man if he is a fighter pilot. If he is, he'll let you know. If he isn't, don't embarrass him.
- The Great Santini "Get ready for a fighter pilot".

"Every F-4 takes off with two in flight emergencies:
        1.  It's on fire
        2.  It's low on fuel."
        - Anonomous (Navy) F-4 Pilot

The dreaded seven-engine approach
A reader wrote us, retelling the story about the military pilot calling ATC for a priority landing because his single-engine jet fighter was running "a bit peaked." ATC told the fighter jock that he was number two behind a B-52 that had one shut down.
"Ah," the pilot remarked, "the dreaded seven-engine approach!"

A young guy in an F-14 fighter was flying escort for a B-52 and generally being a nuisance, acting like a hotdog, flying rolls around the lumbering old bomber. The hotdog said over the air, "Anything you can do, I can do better."
The veteran bomber pilot answered, "Try this hot-shot." The B-52 continued its flight, straight and level.
Perplexed, the hotdog asked, "So? What did you do?"
"I just shut down two engines, kid."

Why did the chicken cross the road?
USAF reactions to this event follow:
Air Education and Training Command:
The purpose is to familiarize the chicken with road-crossing procedures. Road-crossing should be performed only between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Solo chickens must have at least three miles of visibility and a safety observer.
Special Ops:
The chicken crossed at a 90 degree angle to avoid prolonged exposure to a line of communication. To achieve maximum surprise, the chicken should have performed this maneuver at night using NVGs, preferably near a road bend in a valley.
Air Combat Command:
The chicken should log this as a GCC sortie only if road-crossing qualified. The crossing updates the chicken's 60-day road-crossing currency only if performed on a Monday or Thursday or during a full moon. Instructor chickens may update currency any time they observe another chicken cross the road.
Tanker Airlift Control Center:
We need the road-crossing time and the time the chicken becomes available for another crossing.
Command Post:
What chicken?
The chicken was instructed to hold short of the road. This road-incursion incident was reported in a Hazardous Chicken Road-Crossing Report (HCRCR). Please re-emphasize that chickens are required to read back all hold short instructions.
C-130 crewmember:
Just put it in back and let's go.
C-141 crewmember:
I ordered a #4 with turkey and ham, NOT chicken. Besides, where the heck are my condiments?! We ain't taking off til' I get my condiments!!!
Fighter dude:
Look, dude, that was the frag, OK? I've flown my 1.0 for the day and I ain't got time for anymore questions!
B-1 crew:
Missed the whole show--we had an IFE so we couldn't get out to see it; you'll have to ask the SOF.
Air Force Personnel Center:
Due to the needs of the Air Force, the chicken was involuntarily reassigned to the other side of the road. This will be a 3-year controlled tour and we promise to give the chicken a good-deal assignment afterwards. Every chicken will be required to do one road-crossing during its career, and this will not affect its opportunities for future promotion.
John Warden:
The chicken used its unique ability to operate in 2 dimensions to bypass the less important strategic rings on this side of the road and strike directly into the heart of the enemy, thereby destroying the will of the enemy to fight and thus ending the conflict on terms favorable to the chicken.
The chicken will do anything to get the C-17 and the F-22.

What is the ideal cockpit crew? .......
A pilot and a dog...the pilot is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to bite the pilot in case he tries to touch anything.
How many pilots does it take to change a lightbulb?
Just one. He holds the bulb and the world revolves around him.
How do you know if there is a pilot at your party?
He'll tell you.
What do pilots use for birth control?
Their personality.