Flying Quotes of All Kinds

We are collecting quotes about airports, flying, pilots, flight attendants, and aviation pros from the last 100 years.

About Flying

“Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.”
― Henry David Thoreau

“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.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

“More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination.” –Wilbur Wright

“Aren’t we all dreamers? It’s only because man dreamt of flying that we are travelling in planes. Behind all inventions, we see the dreams of people.” –Ajith Kumar

“Mostly, my flying has been solo, but the preparation for it wasn’t. Without my husband’s help and encouragement, I could not have attempted what I have. Ours has been a contented and reasonable partnership, he with his solo jobs and I with mine. But always with work and play together, conducted under a satisfactory system of dual control.” — Amelia Earhart

“There is an art to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” — Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

“Flying is a great equalizer. The plane doesn’t know or care about your gender as a pilot, nor do the ground troops who need your support. You just have to perform. That’s all anyone cares about when you’re up there – that you can do your job, and that you do it exceptionally well.” — Lt. Col. Christine Mau, 33rd Fighter Wing Operations Group Deputy Commander.

“Same with anyone who’s been flying for years and loves it still… we’re part of a world we deeply love. Just as musicians feel about scores and melodies, dancers about the steps and flow of music, so we’re one with the principle of flight, the magic of being aloft in the wind!” — Richard Bach

“The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.” –Walter Raleigh

“A great nation must have its own large commercial aircraft. The air transportation industry of China cannot completely rely on imports.” — Li Jiaxiang, head of China’s civil aviation authority.

“I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty.” — Amelia Earhart

“The Wright Brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing. The airplane became the first World Wide Web, bringing people, languages, ideas, and values together.” — Bill Gates

“There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.” –Orson Welles

“Anyone can do the job when things are going right. In this business we play for keeps.” — Ernest K. Gann

“A pilot who says he has never been frightened in an airplane is, I’m afraid, lying.” — Louise Thaden

It’s congenital really. We’re an aspiring species that doesn’t have wings. What else would we dream of?” — Mark Vanhoenacker

“Nobody ever thought about having to protect the passengers from the pilots.” — David Neeleman

“The way I see it, you can either work for a living or you can fly airplanes. Me, I’d rather fly.” —  Len Morgan

“For God’s sake, open the door!” — Captain Patrick Sondheimer

“Some of our freighter companies are asking us for [single pilot airliners]. We are quite confident, technologically, that the toolkit is filled. With respect to commercial airplanes, there is no doubt in our minds that we can solve the problem of autonomous flight.” — John Tracy, Chief Technology Officer, Boeing.

“I have seen the curvature of the earth. I have seen sights most people will never see. Flying at more than 70,000 feet is really beautiful and peaceful. I enjoy the quiet, hearing myself breathing, and the hum of the engine. I never take it for granted.” — Lt. Col. Merryl Tengesda

“I hate sailing.” — Troy Bradley, after landing his balloon in the ocean.

“We don’t really have any kind of regulatory structure at all.” — President Barack Obama, concerning drone regulations.

Hangover cure: Rigorous sex, hydration, hot bath, then “go up for half an hour in an open aeroplane. (needless to say, with a non-hungover person at the controls).” — Kingsley Amis

“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

“Feathers shall raise men even as they do birds towards heaven: That is by letters written with their quills.” — Leonardo da Vinci

“Never fly the A model of anything.” — Edward Thompson, World War II Pilot 

“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 

“I was always afraid of dying. Always. It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment, and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit.” — General Chuck Yeager

“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’

“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.”

“I think it is a pity to lose the romantic side of flying and simply to accept it as a common means of transport.” — Amy Johnson