North Wales Gliding Club

Good advice for pilots

Some nuggets of advice distilled from years of flying are given below. Although these are for General Aviation, a lot of them apply to gliding as well. For those who are only visiting and are not pilots, don't worry - it's all tongue-in-cheek!.
  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. It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.
  4. Keep looking around. There's always something you've missed.
  5. It's always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.
  6. When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.
  7. A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again.
  8. Learn from the mistakes of others or else you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.
  9. Good judgement comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgement.
  10. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice versa.
  11. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.
  12. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another aeroplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds.
  13. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you've made.
  14. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.
  15. 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.

... and for the powered pilots among us...

  1. Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly the earth repels them.
  2. If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.
  3. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminium going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.
  4. You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.
  5. 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.
  6. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.
  7. The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind you, and a tenth of a second ago.