Flight Quotes


The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? —it is the same the angels breathe.— Mark Twain, Roughing

 

The natural function of the wing is to soar upwards and carry that which is heavy up to the place where dwells the race of gods. More than any other thing that pertains to the body it partakes of the nature of the divine.— Plato, Phaedrus.

 

Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.— Socrates

 

A single lifetime, even though entirely devoted to the sky, would not be enough for the study of so vast a subject. A time will come when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them.— Seneca

 

O to speed where there is space enough and air enough at last!— Walt Whitman.

 

All the calculations show it can't work. There's only one thing to do: make it work.— Pierre Georges Latécoère

 

Sometimes, flying feels too godlike to be attained by man. Sometimes, the world from above seems too beautiful, too wonderful, too distant for human eyes to see . . .— Charles A. Lindbergh

 

The most beautiful dream that has haunted the heart of man since Icarus is today reality.— Louis Bleriot

 

There is no sport equal to that which aviators enjoy while being carried through the air on great white wings.— Wilbur Wright

 

You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky.— Amelia Earhart

 

Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight—how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. More than anything else, Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly.— Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

My soul is in the sky.— William Shakespeare

 

All agreed that the sensation of coasting on the air was delightful.— Octave Chanute

 

Gliders, sailplanes, they are wonderful flying machines. It's the closest you can come to being a bird.— Neil Armstrong

 

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

 

The exhilaration of flying is too keen, the pleasure too great, for it to be neglected as a sport.— Orville Wright

 

Within all of us is a varying amount of space lint and star dust, the residue from our creation. Most are too busy to notice it, and it is stronger in some than others. It is strongest in those of us who fly and is responsible for an unconscious, subtle desire to slip into some wings and try for the elusive boundaries of our origin.— K O Eckland

 

No one can realize how substantial the air is, until he feels its supporting power beneath him. It inspires confidence at once.— Otto Lilienthal

 

We returned home, after these experiments, with the conviction that sailing flight was not the exclusive prerogative of birds.— Otto Lilienthal

 

When gliding operators have attained greater skill, they can maintain themselves in the air for hours at a time.— Wilbur Wright

 

The soaring pilot makes an aerial excursion, not an incursion. His passage leaves a whisper, not a shriek.— Richard Miller

 

The air to a glider pilot is a reality. . . . He is trying to understand it in all its moods; to learn its flow, its laws, and to try and use this knowledge to his own ends.— Philip Wills

 

By day, or on a cloudless night, a pilot may drink the wine of the gods, but it has an earthly taste; he's a god of the earth, like one of the Grecian deities who lives on worldly mountains and descended for intercourse with men. But at night, over a stratus layer, all sense of the planet may disappear. You know that down below, beneath that heavenly blanket is the earth, factual and hard. But it's an intellectual knowledge; it's a knowledge tucked away in the mind; not a feeling that penetrates the body. And if at times you renounce experience and mind's heavy logic, it seems that the world has rushed along on its orbit, leaving you alone flying above a forgotten cloud bank, somewhere in the solitude of interstellar space.— Charles A. Lindbergh

 

It's wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky, Behind me and before me is God and I have no fears.— Helen Keller

 

My airplane is quiet, and for a moment still an alien, still a stranger to the ground, I am home.— Richard Bach

 

Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there's a reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!— Richard Bach

 

The airplane is just a bunch of sticks and wires and cloth, a tool for learning about the sky and about what kind of person I am, when I fly. An airplane stands for freedom, for joy, for the power to understand, and to demonstrate that understanding. Those things aren't destructable.— Richard Bach

 

Never stop being a kid. Never stop feeling and seeing and being excited with great things like air and engines and sounds of sunlight within you. Wear your little mask if you must to protect you from the world but if you let that kid disappear you are grown up and you are dead.— Richard Bach

 

The fascination of flight can't be expressed with words. But it really lies beyond the capabilities of human endeavor. Once you've experienced it, you'll never be able to forget it.— Friedrich Oblessor

 

Can the magic of flight ever be carried by words? I think not.— Michael Parfit

 

Lovers of air travel find it exhilarating to hang poised between the illusion of immortality and the fact of death.— Alexander Chase

 

It is as though we have grown wings, which thanks to Providence, we have learnt to control.— Louis Blériot

 

Flying was a very tangible freedom. In those days, it was beauty, adventure, discovery — the epitome of breaking into new worlds.— Anne Morrow Lindbergh

 

Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved. There was science in each curve of an airfoil, in each angle between strut and wire, in the gap of a spark plug or the color of the exhaust flame. There was freedom in the unlimited horizon, on the open fields where one landed. A pilot was surrounded by beauty of earth and sky. He brushed treetops with the birds, leapt valleys and rivers, explored the cloud canyons he had gazed at as a child. Adventure lay in each puff of wind.
I began to feel that I lived on a higher plane than the skeptics of the ground; one that was richer because of its very association with the element of danger they dreaded, because it was freer of the earth to which they were bound. In flying, I tasted a wine of the gods of which they could know nothing. Who valued life more highly, the aviators who spent it on the art they loved, or these misers who doled it out like pennies through their antlike days? I decided that if I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary life time.— Charles A. Lindbergh

 

I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things . . .— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

To put your life in danger from time to time... breeds a saneness in dealing with day-to-day trivialities.— Nevil Shute

 

Once you have learned to fly your plane, it is far less fatiguing to fly than it is to drive a car. You don't have to watch every second for cats, dogs, children, lights, road signs, ladies with baby carriages and citizens who drive out in the middle of the block against the lights. . . . Nobody who has not been up in the sky on a glorious morning can possibly imagine the way a pilot feels in free heaven.— William T. Piper

 

Courage is the price that life extracts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things.
The soul that knows it not knows no release from little things.
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights, where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.— Amelia Earhart

 

Flying. Whatever any other organism has been able to do man should surely be able to do also, though he may go a different way about it.— Samuel Butler

 

[I'm] getting housemaid's knee kneeling here gulping beauty.— Amelia Earhart

 

Ours is the commencement of a flying age, and I am happy to have popped into existence at a period so interesting.— Amelia Earhart

 

From the air, the distinctions between residential, commercial, and industrial areas are easily understand while town, county, and state boundaries go unseen.— Oliver Gillham

 

The airplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth.— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

The magic of the craft has opened for me a world in which I shall confront, within two hours, the black dragons and the crowned crests of a coma of blue lightnings, and when night has fallen I, delivered, shall read my course in the starts.— Antoine de Saint

 

The modern airplane creates a new geographical dimension. A navigable ocean of air blankets the whole surface of the globe. There are no distant places any longer: the world is small and the world is one.— Wendell Willkie

 

We want the air to unite the peoples, and not to divide them.— Lord Swinton

 

Unlike the boundaries of the sea by the shorelines, the "ocean of air" laps at the border of every state, city, town and home throughout the world.— Welch Pogue

 

We humans are basically content with a two-dimensional world, which is what we’ve always occupied. We travel mostly on the ground, have traffic jams, parking problems , and we’d do a lot better to look up a little bit because there is that great aerial highway that’s always ready to go, you don’t have to pave it and the benefits are very great.— Paul MacCready

 

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

 

I've never known an industry that can get into people's blood the way aviation does.— Robert Six

 

Maybe it's sex appeal, but there's something about an airplane that drives investors crazy.— Alfred Kahn

 

whhheeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! The scream of jet engines rises to a crescendo on the runways of the world. Every second, somewhere or other, a plane touches down, with a puff of smoke from scorched tyre rubber, or rises in the air, leaving a smear of black fumes dissolving in its wake. From space, the earth might look to a fanciful eye like a huge carousel, with planes instead of horses spinning round its circumference, up and down, up and down. Whhheeeeeeeeeee!— David Lodge

 

My senses of space, of distance, and of direction entirely vanished. When I looked for the ground I sometimes looked down, sometimes up, sometimes left, sometimes right. I thought I was very high up when I would suddenly be thown to earth in a near vertical spin. I thought I was very low to the ground and I was pulled up to 3,000 feet in two minutes by the 500-horsepower motor. It danced, it pushed, it tossed. . . . Ah! la la!— Antoine de Saint

 

Dad, I left my heart up there.— Francis Gary Powers

 

As soon as we left the ground I knew I myself had to fly!— Amelia Earhart

 

Even before [we] . . . had reached 300 feet, I recognized that the sky would be my home. I tumbled out of the airplane with stars in my eyes.— Geraldyn Cobb

 

I wanted to go higher than Rockefeller Center, which was being erected across the street from Saks Fifth Avenue and was going to cut off my view of the sky. . . . Flying got into my soul instantly but the answer as to why must be found somewhere back in the mystic maze of my birth and childhood and the circumstances of my earlier life. Whatever I am is elemental and the beginnings of it all have their roots in Sawdust Road. I might have been born in a hovel, but I determined to travel with the wind and stars.— Jacqueline Cochran

 

After about 30 minutes I puked all over my airplane. I said to my self, "Man, you made a big mistake."— Charles

 

I've had a ball.— Charles 'Chuck

 

To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything.— Otto Lilienthal

 

Aeronautics was neither an industry nor a science. It was a miracle.— Igor Sikorsky

 

It is not the visions but the activity which makes you happy, and the joy and glory of the flier is the flight itself. . .
Every time I have gone up in an aeroplane and looked down have realized I was free of the ground, I have had the consciousness of a new discovery. "I see:" I have thought, "This was the idea. And now I understand everything."— Isak Dinesen

 

You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment you touch the perfect speed. And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, of flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfect speed, my son, is being there.— Richard Bach

 

There is no excuse for an airplane unless it will fly fast!— Roscoe Turner

 

Professor Focke and his technicians standing below grew ever smaller as I continued to rise straight up, 50 metres, 75 metres, 100 metres. Then I gently began to throttle back and the speed of ascent dwindled till I was hovering motionless in midair. This was intoxicating! I thought of the lark, so light and small of wing, hovering over the summer fields. Now man had wrested from him his lovely secret.— Hanna Reitsch

 

Everyone asks me 'how it feels to fly.' It feels like riding in a high powered automobile, minus bumping over the rough roads, continually signaling to clear the way and keeping a watchful on the speedometer to see that you do not exceed the speed limit and provoke the wrath of the bicycle policeman or the covetous constable.— Harriet Quimby.

 

That this tiny two-seater box of metal managed to rise into the air at all felt unbelievable. Once we broke ground, it seemed as if I were floating on a magic carpet. The lightness and height made me tingle in somewhat the same way I feel aroused before making love. When I took over the controls, I felt as if I were at the center of my universe instead of orbiting someone else's. I felt then, and still believe now, that piloting a small aircraft is about as good as it gets.— Barbara Cushman Rowell

 

I take the paraglider to the mountain or I roll Daisy out of her hangar and I pick the prettiest part of the sky and I melt into the wing and then into the air, till I'm just soul on a sunbeam.— Richard Bach

 

The engine is the heart of an aeroplane, but the pilot is its soul.— Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

 

High sprits they had: gravity they flouted.— Cecil Day Lewis

 

This is all about fun. You can grab ahold of an airplane here, and literally take your life in both hands. One for the throttle and one for the stick, and you can control your own destiny, free of most rules and regulations. It may not be better than sex, but it's definitely better than the second time. Adrenaline is a narcotic; it may be a naturally induced narcotic, but it is a narcotic. And once you get it movin' around in there, it's a rush like none other, and when this puppy gets movin... — Alan Preston

 

Flying makes me feel like a sex maniac in a whorehouse with a stack of $20 bills.— Pancho Barnes

 

Flying without feathers is not easy; my wings have no feathers.— Titus Maccius Plautus

 

He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.— Old Testament

 

The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.— Sir James Matthew Barrie

 

The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who, in their grueling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space, at full speed, above all obstacles, on the infinite highway of the air.— Wilbur Wright

 

Real flight and dreams of flight go together. Both are part of the same movement. Not A before B, but all together.— Thomas Pynchon

 

I ask people who don't fly, "How can you not fly when you live in a time in history when you can fly?"— William Langewische

 

I cannot imaging anyone looking at the sky and denying God.— Abraham Lincoln.

 

We contrive to make the invisible air support us, we relinquish the security of feet on the ground because flying is demanding, delightful, beautiful: because we love it. Very few of us are actually crazy, and nearly all of us manage the risks as well as we can, but we all willingly trade some of our security for the immeasurable beauty of the sky.— Paul J. Sampson

 

No bird ever flew nonstop from New York to Tokyo, or raced 15 miles high at triple the speed of sound. But birds do something else. They do not conquer the air; they romance it.— Peter Garrison

 

No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.— William Blake

 

Fly and you will catch the swallow.— James Howell

 

Sometimes I feel a strange exhilaration up here which seems to come from something beyond the mere stimulus of flying. It is a feeling of belonging to the sky, of owning and being owned — if only for a moment - by the air I breathe. It is akin to the well known claim of the swallow: each bird staking out his personal bug-strewn slice of heaven, his inviolate property of the blue.— Guy Murchie

 

Splutter, splutter. Yes - we're off - we're rising. But why start off with an engine like that? But it smooths out now, like a long sigh, like a person breathing easily, freely. Like someone singing ecstatically, climbing, soaring - sustained note of power and joy. We turn from the lights of the city; we pivot on a dark wing; we roar over the earth. The plane seems exultant now, even arrogant. We did it, we did it! We're up, above you. We were dependant on you just now, prisoners fawning on you for favors, for wind and light. But now, we are free. We are up; we are off. We can toss you aside, for we are above it.— Anne Morrow Lindbergh


I had never cared about flying, and in fact had only once been up in the air; although I do a great deal of motor-boat and car racing, I had always been afraid of flying. I used to tell my friends that I should never fly and that sometimes I even hated butterflies, or anything with wings, and that it actually made me dizzy to look at my own foot. That was my outlook so far as flying was concerned until this day when I spied the little machine in that shop window.— The Hon. Mrs Victor Bruce

 

Every flyer who ventures across oceans to distant lands is a potential explorer; in his or her breast burns the same fire that urged the adventurers of old to set forth in their sailing-ships for foreign lands. Riding through the air on silver wings instead of sailing the seas with white wings, he must steer his own course, for the air is uncharted, and he must therefore explore for himself the strange eddies and currents of the ever-changing sky in its many moods.— Jean Batten

 

Travelers are always discoverers, especially those who travel by air. There are no signposts in the air to show a man has passed that way before. There are no channels marked. The flier breaks each second into new uncharted seas.— Anne Morrow Lindbergh

 

. . . the fundamental magic of flying, a miracle that has nothing to do with any of its practical purposes — purposes of speed, accessibility, and convenience — and will not change as they change.— Anne Morrow Lindbergh

 

I have lifted my plane . . . for perhaps a thousand flights and I have never felt her wheels glide from the Earth into the air without knowing the uncertainty and the exhilaration of first-born adventure.— Beryl Markham

 

I'll run my hand gently over the wing of a small airplane and say to him, "This plane can teach you more things and give you more gifts than I ever could. It won't get you a better job, a faster car, or a bigger house. But if you treat it with respect and keep your eyes open, it may remind you of some things you used to know — that life is in the moment, joy matters more than money, the world is a beautiful place, and that dreams really, truly are possible." And then, because airplanes speak in a language beyond words, I'll take him up in the evening summer sky and let the airplane show him what I mean.— Lane Wallace

 

Flying is within our grasp. We have naught to do but take it.— Charles F. Duryea

 

I was sold on flying as soon as I had a taste for it.— John Glenn

 

It will free man from the remaining chains, the chains of gravity which still tie him to this planet. It will open to him the gates of heaven.— Wernher von Braun

 

What is it that makes a man willing to sit up on top of an enormous Roman candle, such as a Redstone, Atlas, Titan or Saturn rocket, and wait for someone to light the fuse?— Tom Wolfe

 

It was quite a day. I don't know what you can say about a day when you see four beautiful sunsets. . . . This is a little unusual, I think.— John Glen

 

As you pass from sunlight into darkness and back again every hour and a half, you become startlingly aware how artificial are thousands of boundaries we've created to separate and define. And for the first time in your life you feel in your gut the precious unity of the Earth and all the living things it supports.— Russell 'Rusty' Schweikart

 

Father, we thank you, especially for letting me fly this flight … for the privilege of being able to be in this position, to be in this wondrous place, seeing all these many startling, wonderful things that you have created.— L Gordon Cooper Jr,

 

Today gives us a chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars.— Henry Van Dyke

 

No one regards what is before his feet; we all gaze at the stars.— Quintus Ennius

 

For my part I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream.— Vincent Van Gogh

 

The stars are the apexes of what wonderful triangles! What distant and different beings in the various mansions of the universe are contemplating the same one at the same moment!— Henry David Thoreau

 

Do there exist many worlds, or is there but a single world? This is one of the most noble and exalted questions in the study of Nature.— Albertus Magnus

 

For everyone . . . must see that astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.— Plato

 

Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come . . . . Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate.— Seneca

 

Through you, we feel as giants, once again.— President Ronald Reagan

 

In the press grandstand where I watched Discovery rise against the cloudless sky, the media hit the abort button on cynicism. The Earth shook to the sounds of man, three miles away. The candle lit. . . only someone stripped of awe can leave a launch untouched.— Jonathan

 

There is no flying without wings.— French proverb

 

And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.— Herman Melville

 

To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home.— anon.

 

If you are a woman, and are coming to the flying field seeking stimulation, excitement and flattery, you had better stay away until flying is a little bit safer. If you are thinking that flying will develop character; will teach you to be orderly, well-balanced; will give you an increasingly wider outlook; discipline you, and destroy vanity and pride; enable you to control yourself more and more under all conditions; to think less of yourself and your personal problems, and more of sublimity and everlasting peace that dwell serene in the heavens - if you seek these latter qualities, and think on them exclusively, why - FLY!— Margery Brown

 

I learned to watch, to put my trust in other hands than mine. I learned to wander. I learned what every dreaming child needs to know — that no horizon is so far that you cannot get above it or beyond it. These I learned at once. But most things come harder.— Beryl Markham

 

When I'm up in the air, it's like I'm closer to heaven; I can't explain the feeling.— First Officer Jeffrey Gagliano

 

To fly a kite is to hold God's hand.— Daniel C. Hawkins

 

What happiness this is: to fly, skimming over the earth just as we do in our dreams! Life has become a dream. Can this be the meaning of paradise?— Nikos Kazantzakis

 

Anyone who's not interested in model airplanes must have a screw loose somewhere.—Paul MacCready

 

But to fly is just like swimming. You do not forget easily. I have been on the ground for more than ten years. If I close my eyes, however, I can again feel the stick in my right hand, the throttle in my left, the rudder bar beneath my feet. I can sense the freedom and the cleanliness and all the things which a pilot knows.— Saburo Sakai,

 

They shall mount up with wings as eagles.— Isaiah 40:31.

 

How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?— William Blake

 

Anyone who has spent any time in space will love it for the rest of their lives. I achieved my childhood dream of the sky.— Valentina Tereshkova

 

Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes.— Charles A. Lindbergh

 

I may be flying a complicated airplane, rushing through space, but in this cabin I'm surrounded by simplicity and thoughts set free of time. How detached the intimate things around me seem from the great world down below. How strange is this combination of proximity and separation. That ground — seconds away — thousands of miles away. This air, stirring mildly around me. That air, rushing by with the speed of a tornado, an inch beyond. These minute details in my cockpit. The grandeur of the world outside. The nearness of death. The longness of life.— Charles A. Lindbergh

 

A small machine is ideal for short flights, joy riding the heavens, or sight seeing among the clouds; but there is something more majestic and stable about the big bombers which a pilot begins to love. An exquisite community grows up between machine and pilot; each, as it were, merges into the other. The machine is rudimentary and the pilot the intellectual force. The levers and controls are the nervous system of the machine, through which the will of the pilot may be expressed-and expressed to an infinitely fine degree. A flying-machine is something entirely apart from and above all other contrivances of man's ingenuity.

The aeroplane is the nearest thing to animate life that man has created. In the air a machine ceases indeed to be a mere piece of mechanism; it becomes animate and is capable not only of primary guidance and control, but actually of expressing a pilot's temperament.— Sir Ross Smith

 

We who fly do so for the love of flying. We are alive in the air with this miracle that lies in our hands and beneath our feet.— Cecil Day Lewis

 

Flying alone! Nothing gives such a sense of mastery over time over mechanism, mastery indeed over space, time, and life itself, as this.— Cecil Day Lewis

 

It was a cherished experience. I feel I got the chance to see the inner workings of the grand order of things. In the overall scheme of things, it proves that men can do about anything they want to if they work hard enough at it, and I knew that I could do it . . . and that leads, of course, to a strong suspicion that everybody else can do it if they want to.— Scott Carpenter

 

This was the crystalline moment Dan loved so well, the moment of transition between ground and air, when the laws of aerodynamics took over the job of physical support of the jet. He'd become a pilot for this very moment: the feel of mighty engines and the roar of the slipstream, all converging on the reality of sustained flight on an invisible highway of air. Flying was a thrill in even a single-engine airplane, but to levitate a leviathan — a metallic eggshell longer than a football field and heavier than a house — was a magic he could never quite comprehend. Every liftoff was a philosophical wonder that left a broad smile on his face.— John J. Nance

 

He did it alone. We had a cast of a million.— Neil Armstrong

 

How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life?— Charles A. Lindbergh.

 

Pilots are a rare kind of human. They leave the ordinary surface of the word, to purify their soul in the sky, and they come down to earth, only after receiving the communion of the infinite.— José Maria Velasco Ibarra

 

Until now I have never really lived! Life on earth is a creeping, crawling business. It is in the air that one feels the glory of being a man and of conquering the elements. There is an exquisite smoothness of motion and the joy of gliding through space. It is wonderful!— Gabriele D'Annunzio

 

Flying has always been to me this wonderful metaphor. In order to fly you have to trust what you can't see. Up on the mountain ridges where very few people have been I have thought back to what every flyer knows. That there is this special world in which we dwell that's not marked by boundaries, it's not a map. We're not hedged about with walls and desks. So often in an office the very worst thing that can happen is you could drop your pencil. Out there's a reminder that are a lot worse things, and a lot greater rewards.— Richard Bach

 

I am alive. Up here with the song of the engine and the air whispering on my face as the sunlight and shadows play upon the banking, wheeling wings, I am completely, vibrantly alive. With the stick in my right hand, the throttle in my left, and the rudder beneath my feet, I can savor that essence from which life is made.— Stephen Coonts

 

I live for that exhilarating moment when I'm in an airplane rushing down the runway and pull on the stick and feel lift under its wings. It's a magical feeling to climb toward the heavens, seeing objects and people on the ground grow smaller and more insignificant. You have left that world beneath you. You are inside the sky.— Gordon 'Gordo' Cooper

 

Then it was intoxicating. The smooth takeoff, and the free feeling of having the world drop away. Soon after leaving the ground, they were crossing patches of stratus that lay in the valleys as heavy and white as glaciers. North for the first time. It was still an adventure, as exciting as love, as frightening.— James Salter

 

He knew that we gave constant lip service to the dictates of safety and howled like Christians condemned to the arena if any compromise were made of it. He knew we were seekers after ease, suspicious, egotistic, and stubborn to a fault. He also knew that none of us would have continued our careers unless we had always been, and still were, helpless before this opportunity to take a chance.— Ernest K. Gann

 

More varied than any landscape was the landscape in the sky, with islands of gold and silver, peninsulas of apricot and rose against a background of many shades of turquoise and azure.— Cecil Beaton

 

We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing. Similarly, we ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the heavens. . . . The diversity of the phenomena of Nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.— Johannes Kepler

 

A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things.— Rear Admiral Grace Murray Brewster Hopper.

 

Every generation has the obligation to free men's minds for a look at new worlds, to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation. Your vision is not limited by what your eye can see, but by what your mind can imagine. . . . Make your life count and the world will be a better place because you tried.— Astronaut Ellison Onizuka

 

Ah hell. We had more fun in a week than those weenies had in a lifetime.— Pancho Barnes

 

I have the normal desire, experienced by everybody who's ever flown an airplane with a certain amount of zoom capability, to go a little bit higher and a little bit faster.— Gordon Cooper

 

It's the most exciting thing you have ever done with your pants on!— Stephen Coonts

 

Air racing may not be better than your wedding night, but it's better than the second night.— Mickey Rupp

 

If you have flown, perhaps you can understand the love a pilot develops for flight. It is much the same emotion a man feels for a woman, or a wife for her husband.— Louise Thaden

 

Nowadays a businessman can go from his office straight to the airport, get into his airplane and fly six hundred or seven hundred miles without taking off his hat. He probably will not even mention this flight, which a bare twenty-five years ago would have meant wearing leather jacket and helmet and goggles and risking his neck every minute of the way.
No, he probably wouldn't mention it - except to another flier. Then they will talk for hours. They will re-create all the things seen and felt in that wonderful world of air: the sense of remoteness from the busy world below, the feeling of intense brotherhood formed with those who man the radio ranges and control towers and weather stations that bring the pilot home, the clouds and the colors, the surge of the wind on their wings.
They will speak of things that are spiritual and beautiful and of things that are practical and utilitarian; they will mix up angels and engines, sunsets and spark plugs, fraternity and frequencies in one all-encompassing comradeship of interests that makes for the best and most lasting kind of friendship any man can have.— Percy Knauth

 

Be like the bird in flight . . . pausing a while on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, yet sings knowing yet, that she has wings.— Victor Hugo

 

Flyers fell a certain kinship with the sight of the earth unencrusted by humanity, they want to see it that way in one sweeping view, in reassurance that nature still exists on her own, without a chain-link fence to hold her.— Richard Bach

 

The man who flies an airplane ... must believe in the unseen.— Richard Bach

 

The Wright brothers flew through the smoke screen of impossibility.— Dorothea Brande

 

When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.— Patrick Overton

 

The last of the lonely places is the sky, a trackless void where nothing lives or grows, and above it, space itself. Man may have been destined to walk upon ice or sand, or climb the mountains or take craft upon the sea. But surely he was never meant to fly? But he does, and finding out how to do it was his last great adventure.— Frederick Forsyth

 

The bluebird carries the sky on his back.— Henry David Thoreau

 

Thou art an eagle, thou doest belong to the sky and not to the earth, stretch forth thy wings and fly.— Paul H Dunn

 

Oh, that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away, and be at rest.— Psalms

 

The philosopher is Nature's pilot. And there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift: to be in heaven is to steer.— George Bernard Shaw

 

Long flights give you more time to reflect, look around, experience your surroundings. I got to know the nooks and crannies on Mir very, very well.— Mike Foale

 

Up in the sky, look! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!— The Narrator

 

I'm a new man. I go home exhilarated.— former President George Bush

 

It is appearances, characteristics and performance that make a man love an airplane, and they, are what put emotion into one. You love a lot of things if you live around them, but there isn't any woman and there isn't any horse, nor any before nor any after, that is as lovely as a great airplane, and men who love them are faithful to them even though they leave them for others. A man has only one virginity to lose in fighters, and if it is a lovely plane he loses it to, there his heart will ever be.— Ernest Hemingway

 

You can always tell when a man has lost his soul to flying. The poor bastard is hopelessly committed to stopping whatever he is doing long enough to look up and make sure the aircraft purring overhead continues on course and does not suddenly fall out of the sky. It is also his bound duty to watch every aircraft within view take off and land.— Ernest K Gann

 

[Flying] fosters fantasies of childhood, of omnipotence, rapid shifts of being, miraculous moments; it stirs our capacity for dreaming.— Joyce Carol Oates

 

I might have been born in a hovel, but I determined to travel with the wind and the stars.— Jackie Cochran

 

Splutter, splutter. Yes - we're off - we're rising. But why start off with an engine like that? But it smooths out now, like a long sigh, like a person breathing easily, freely. Like someone singing ecstatically, climbing, soaring - sustained note of power and joy. We turn from the lights of the city; we pivot on a dark wing; we roar over the earth. The plane seems exultant now, even arrogant. We dit it, we did it! We're up, above you. We were dependant on you just now, prisoners fawning on you for favors, for wind and light. But now, we are free. We are up; we are off. We can toss you aside, for we are above it.— Anne Morrow Lindbergh

 

So the crew fly on with no thought that they are in motion. Like night over the sea, they are very far from the earth, from towns, from trees. The clock ticks on. The dials, the radio lamps, the various hands and needles go though their invisible alchemy. . . . and when the hour is at hand the pilot may glue his forehead to the window with perfect assurance. Out of oblivion the gold has been smelted: there it gleams in the lights of the airport.— Antoine de Saint

 

Flying is more than a sport and more than a job; flying is pure passion and desire, which fill a lifetime.— General Adolf Galland

 

The cockpit was my office. It was a place where I experienced many emotions and learned many lessons. It was a place of work, but also a keeper of dreams. It was a place of deadly serious encounters, yet there I discovered much about life. I learned about joy and sorrow, pride and humility, fear and overcoming fear. I saw much from that office that most people would never see. At times it terrified me, yet I could always feel at home there. It was my place, at that time in space, and the jet was mine for those moments. Though it was a place where I could quickly die, the cockpit was a place where I truly lived.— Brian Shul

 

Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like flying.— Neil Armstrong

 

Many wonderful inventions have surprised us during the course of the last century and the beginning of this one. But most were completely unexpected and were not part of the old baggage of dreams that humanity carries with it. Who had ever dreamed of steamships, railroads, or electric light? We welcomed all these improvements with astonished pleasure; but they did not correspond to an expectation of our spirit or a hope as old as we are: to overcome gravity, to tear ourselves away from the earth, to become lighter, to fly away, to take possession of the immense aerial kingdom; to enter the universe of the Gods, to become Gods ourselves.— Jerome Tharaud,

 

After the Shuttle checks out on its two upcoming flights, it will be ready to take larger components up to the International Space Station later this fall.- Marc Garneau

 

Although I know a lot of the previous shuttle flights, in theory, had their tasks laid out; but there were still some changes that came along for them.-Linda M. Godwin

 

And most of these pilots were lost during the first five flights.-Adolf Galland

 

Cutting up fowl to predict the future is, if done honestly and with as little interpretation as possible, a kind of randomization. But chicken guts are hard to read and invite flights of fancy or corruption.-Ian Hacking

 

Despite the painful changes we have had to make, we continue to believe in the St. Louis market. And we are hoping to add flights, in a careful way, as the economics of our business improve and the demands of the traveling public in St. Louis become clear.-Gerard Arpey

 

I am one of those unhappy persons who inspire bores to the greatest flights of art.- Edith Sitwell

 

I can't remember much about the early flights, except that it was ages before we got into First Class.- Phil Collins

 

I just want to say, good night, sweet prince, may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.- Harry Dean Stanton

 

I try to tell the people that are sort of new here when they come in and do their flights and whatever, the things that you remember most after your flights are the interactions you've had with your crew. Those are the most satisfying things you take away from a flight.- Shannon Lucid

 

I used my aviation contacts to open a travel agency. I used to book Caribbean flights.- Joseph Force Crater

 

It is well to fetter the wings of our fancy and restrain its flights. -Edward E. Barnard

On both of my flights, everything went very well. -Sally Ride

 

On long haul flights I always drink loads and loads of water and eat light and healthy food.- Lisa Snowdon

 

Our task was doing maintenance and repairs to keep the station in a good state for the return of the shuttle flights and resumption of major ISS construction. - Leroy Chiao

 

So an autobiography about death should include, in my case, an account of European Jewry and of Russian and Jewish events - pogroms and flights and murders and the revolution that drove my mother to come here. - Harold Brodkey

 

Sometimes people here can get so focused on, Oh, I've got to get a flight, that it becomes the end all of everything. Then they go off and fly a couple of flights and they think, Okay, is that all there is in life? No, it's not. There's a whole big life out there. - Shannon Lucid

 

The first two missions have some test objectives, some new capabilities that we're going to try to develop on orbit to possibly be used on later flights. - Mark Kelly

 

The mind is never satisfied with the objects immediately before it, but is always breaking away from the present moment, and losing itself in schemes of future felicity... The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope. -- Samuel Johnson

 

The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.- Samuel Johnson

 

We have lost one shuttle for every 57 flights and that is not a good ratio. I do believe we need to continue space flights, but maybe we can follow the example of the Russians and use unmanned vehicles to transport hardware into space. -Lincoln Davis

 
Last modified 03-Sep-2011 9:10 AM