Great Aviation Quotes: Quotable Flyer: Pilot and Flying Quotations
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and welcome to my collection of man's great thoughts on flying, airplanes, and being a pilot. The quotations are loosely arranged into broad topics for browsing, there's a search function for querying the entire aviation quote database, plus there's a facebook page and a twitter feed for updates and conversation.

Own Both Books

|  The Magic and Wonder of Flight  |

|  Airports  |  Air Power  |  Balloons  |  Birds  |  Bums On Seats  |  Combat  |  Clichés  |

|  First Flights  |  High Flight  |  Humor  |  Last Words  |  Lots of Miscellaneous  |  ORD ATC  |

|  Piloting  |  Poetry  |  Predictions  |  Safety  |  Skydive  |  Space  |  Women Fly  |  9-11  |

Search my aerospace quotation database:  

‎‎‎‎"Clearly this was an out of the ordinary landing, but I was just doing my job and any one of our pilots would have taken the same actions."

— Captain David Williams, Virgin Atlantic flight 43. He safely landed his B747 at London Gatwick with 447 people on board with no starboard outer main landing gear. BBC News, 31 December 2014.

"What happens if a drone falls right next to her?"

— Kayne West, in a lawsuit deposition against paparazzi drone pilots filming his little daughter swimming. He may be crazy, but he may also have reason to fear current generation drones. August 2014.

"There's a real opportunity to have a vertical takeoff and landing electric supersonic jet."

— Elon Musk. If anybody else said it, it's crazy talk. For the founder of Paypal, Solar City, Tesla and Space X it's something to work on. TV interview with Stephen Colbert, 24 July 2014.

"A drug seductive to even the fiercest Luddite, GPS makes skill, knowledge and intuition obsolete. It makes us at once infants and Gods. Observer and observed, we watch from on high as our icon, a digital metaphor of self-awareness, creeps across the map. With GPS, there is no longer such a thing as “lost.” Navigation, a great and noble art whose traditions stretch back into prehistory, has been replaced by a computer game. Its tools, the products of so much experience, ingenuity and self-sacrifice, will soon become curiosities; its methods and skills, so recently separating life and death, will eventually be forgotten."

— Peter Garrison, contributing editor Flying magazine, The Importance of Being Lost: We Lost Something When We Lost "Lost", July 2014.

"We actually are waiting for more people to be killed before we can do something that makes sense. We don't kill enough people in aviation to merit regulatory changes."

— Deborah Hersman, former US NTSB chairwoman, explaining to USA Today newspaper why the FAA doesn't change old regulations. 20 June 2014.

"If you are bored flying, your standards are too low."

— Lauran Paine Jr., article in Sport Aviation, June 2014.

"Disneyland takes something that's safe and gives you the illusion that it's dangerous. We take something that's dangerous and give you the illusion it's safe."

— Larry Salganek, jet warbird instructor, article in AOPA Pilot magazine, June 2014.

New York to Tokyo could be less than an hour. You could be traveling at 19,000 miles per hour orbitally. After we've done the space program, we will be producing supersonic planes, which will go far, far, faster than Concorde."

— Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Atlantic & Virgin Galatic, interview on CNBC TV, 6 May 2014.


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"Feathers shall raise men even as they do birds towards heaven :— That is by letters written with their quills."

— Leonardo da Vinci, English translation by Edward McCurdy, Leonardo Da Vunci's Note-books.

"Thousands of volumes have been written about aviation, but we do not automatically have thousands of true and special friends in their authors. That rare writer who comes alive on a page does it by giving of himself, by writing of meanings, and not just of fact or of things that have happened to him. The writers of flight who have done this are usually found together in a special section on private bookshelves."

— Richard Bach, 'The Pleasure of Their Company,' in Flying magazine, April 1968.

"Or like a poet woo the Moon,
Riding an armchair for my steed,
And with a flashing pen harpoon
Terrific metaphors of speed."

— Roy Campbell, The Festivals of Flight, 1930.

"It isn't often that a writer of superlative skills knows enough about flying to write well about it."

— Samuel Hynes, 'A Teller of Tales Tells His Own,' in the New York Times, 7 September 1997.

The object here is to capture man's first-hand experiences with flight in all its forms, to collect flying quotes, aviation and space quotations and sayings. It is the ultimate online quotable flyer. It is not 'under construction,' but it very much is a 'work in progress.' If you can supply dates or sources for existing quotes, or correct typos, or suggest further sources of information, or of course if you know of some aerospace, airline, or pilot quotes, please please send them in to me. I'm always happy to add new sections, and to correct mistakes. This collection is growing into something no one person could have created, a real product of the worldwide Internet community. You can contact me directly.

Now hear this: opinions expressed are considered to be those of the speaker. Flying quotes are as accurate as possible, but not more so. Corrections and additions are all welcome, but editorial rights reserved. Compiled by Dave English © All quote pages are Copyright 1996-2014 Dave English and covered under a legal agreement with McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved. See my small print page for many more boring details.

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."

— This must be the most famous aviation quote that is not a verifiable quote. It is attributed everywhere (including some Smithsonian publications and the Washington Post newspaper) to Leonardo da Vinci, but I've never found definitive source information. Neither did some nice folks I talked with at National Geographic Magazine, who contacted one of the world's leading Leonardo authorities in Italy as part of a long research process and were told that Leonardo da Vinci did not write it. If you have uncovered any source information, please email me or post on the Facebook page.



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