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Flying

  • I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me that they are wonderful things for other people to go on.

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

  • Flying makes me feel like a sex maniac in a whorehouse.

    • Pancho Barnes,
    • in Lauren Kessler, The Happy Bottom Riding Club: The Life and Times of Pancho Barnes ()
  • With air travel there is no distance, there is only time.

  • And then, one day, it flew.

    • Katharine Wright,
    • c. 1920, on her brothers' early work with heavier-than-air machines, in Adela Rogers St. John, Some Are Born Great ()
  • There are no atheists on turbulent airplanes.

  • On the plane, an eight-year-old with an excess of testosterone keeps running across my feet. Finally I grab him by his T-shirt and say, very sweetly, 'Listen, darling, if you don't stop trampling me I'm going to make you sit on my lap while I tell you my entire life story. Including a lot of details about drug rehab and my divorce.' He goes back to his seat.

    • Rosanne Cash,
    • "The Arc of Loneliness," Bodies of Water ()
  • When one commits one's self to an airborne craft and the door is fastened against earth and home, there is no escape even by running away. The result is a strange sense of peace — desperate, perhaps, but peace.

  • ... planes were smaller, more responsive to air waves then — you were aware how thin the metal skin was between you and the winds that roved the skies.

  • Flight is nothing but an attitude in motion.

  • Landing a Tomcat [on an aircraft carrier] is sort of like dancing with an elephant — you can kind of nudge it over to the right and ease it over to the left, but when it decides it's going to sit down, there's not a thing you can do about it.

  • Ain't nobody gonna talk me into flying; I'll never get up there. Ain't no way in the world I'm going anyplace up in nobody's air. I'm not gonna gonna do it unless they put the airplane down here in the street. I might even get killed on the street, but I have a better chance of crawling out if it should crack up or something like that. But there ain't no crawling out when you come from up there.

  • My idea of everything going smoothly on an airplane is (a) that I not die in a slow-motion fiery crash or get stabbed to death by terrorists and (b) that none of the other passengers try to talk to me. All conversation should end at the moment the wheels leave the ground.

  • ... I never trust the airlines from those countries where the pilots believe in the afterlife. You are safer when they don't.

  • Once on a plane, she resolutely, if temporarily, cut all the cords binding her to life. She never made a list of anything she had to do, or wrote a letter that required mailing, or did anything else that indicated in any way that she ever expected to touch earth again.

  • ... in the event of a crash, you should put your chest to your knees and scrunch your whole body into a ball. Now if you're in coach, aren't you already sitting that way?

  • ... one did not 'hop' a plane. One took a long slow ride to an airport, and argued for hours with ticket agents who seemed to have been hired five minutes ago for what they supposed to be another job; and if one survived that, one got to Chicago only to join a 'stack' over the airfield there, and then either died of boredom or crashed into a plane that thought it was in the stack over Newark.

  • ... all the science of flying has been captured in the breadth of an instrument board, but not the religion of it.

  • He ... wondered why his plane always landed at a gate twenty minutes' brisk walk from ground transportation. Somebody had to land at all those gates close to the exit. Why was it never him?

  • If God had meant us to travel tourist class, he would have made us narrower.

  • Aviation is poetry ... It's the finest kind of moving around, you know, just as poetry is the finest way of using words.

  • In the case of an airplane, speed is determined by the outcome of the conflict between thrust of the power and drag of the plane. So it also is with humans.

  • On a plane you can pick up more and better people than on any other public conveyance since the stagecoach.

    • Anita Loos,
    • in International Herald Tribune ()
  • [Flying] may not be all plain sailing ... But the fun of it is worth the price.

  • Though a plane is not the ideal place to really think, to reassess or reevaluate things, it is a great place to have the illusion of doing so, and often the illusion will suffice.

  • This new sport is comparable to no other. It is, in my opinion, one of the most intoxicating forms of sport, and will, I am sure, become one of the most popular. Many of us will perish before then, but that prospect will not dismay the braver spirits. ... It is so delicious to fly like a bird!

  • The world is divided into two kinds of people: normal, intelligent, sensitive people with some breadth of imagination, and people who aren't in the least bit afraid of flying.

  • Planes are my foxhole. I'm always on my knees in them.

  • First of all, I don't think they have to go that high. That is not necessary, to be that high in the air. I think they're showing off, those pilots. I think we could just go really fast just a few feet off the ground. Just high enough to miss the animals.

  • It's what I've always said, if we were meant to fly we'd be given wings, just like if we were meant to walk we'd have four legs.

  • Flight is but momentary escape from the eternal custody of earth.