Rules of the Air

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

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

3. Flying is not dangerous. Crashing is 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 see the pilot start sweating.

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

8. A ‘good’ landing is one from which one can walk away. A ‘great’ landing is one after which the aircraft can be used 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 the 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 aircraft coming in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide in clouds.

14. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of takeoffs.

15. There are three simple rules for ensuring 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 and going round and round and all you can hear are screams from your passengers …. then things aren’t as they should be.

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

20. Good judgement comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes for poor judgement.

21. It’s always a good idea to keep the pointed 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 not subject to repeal.

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

25. There are old pilots and bold pilots. Regrettably, there are no old bold pilots.

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