The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Flying

You may just fall in love with the sky. ~Tom Hanks, "A Special Weekend," Uncommon Type: Some Stories, 2017

Surely no child, and few adults, have ever watched a bird in flight without envy. ~Isaac Asimov

The engine is the heart of an aeroplane, but the pilot is its soul. ~Walter Raleigh, The War in the Air: Being the Story of the part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force, 1922

AVIATION  Winged levity wobbling about in the center of gravity. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914

No one but an aviator has a right to look down on others. ~Elbert Hubbard

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... The nearness of death. The longness of life. ~Charles A. Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. Louis, 1953

What a delightful sensation is that of flying, in dreams! Have you never found yourself trying at midnight the most daring experiment of Dædalus — climbing to some hill-top as a starting point, venturing a leap from the bedroom window sill, or even feeling so lightsome as to soar aloft from the level road? As long as you have faith, you sail along superbly through ether, scarcely deigning to look at the few surprised mortals who are on terra firma below you; but no sooner do you begin to wonder whether you won't fall than your waxen wings melt, and down you come toppling into the Icarian Sea. ~Thomas Clark Henley, A Handful of Paper Shavings, 1861

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh, why can't I?
~E. Y. "Yip" Harburg (1896–1981), "Over the Rainbow," 1939 ♫

There are only two emotions in a plane:  boredom and terror. ~Orson Welles (1915–1985)

Whenever we safely land in a plane, we promise God a little something. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. ~Gil Stern, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1971

O, for a horse with wings! ~William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, c.1609  [III, 2, Imogen]

If God had really intended men to fly, he'd make it easier to get to the airport. ~George Winters, in The American Legion Magazine, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1983

I never liked riding in helicopters because there's a fair probability that the bottom part will get going around as fast as the top part. ~John Wittenborn, unverified

Bicycling, furthermore, is the nearest approximation I know to the flight of birds. The airplane simply carries a man on its back like an obedient Pegasus; it gives him no wings of his own. ~Louis J. Halle, Jr., Spring in Washington, 1947

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. ~Jean Kerr

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, Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit, 1994

If the good Lord had wanted people to stay on the ground, he would have given us roots. ~Author unknown

Sometimes, when we talk about the potential for aviation growth, we like to say the sky is the limit. But the sky is not the limit. The ground is. ~Alan S. Boyd, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, 1967

      I listened more carefully than ever to the people around me. I listened as I sat with pilots, now and then, clustered on the night grass under the wings of a hundred different airplanes... "I suspect the thing that makes us fly, whatever it is, is the same thing that draws the sailor out to the sea," I heard. "Some people will never understand why and we can't explain it to them. If they're willing and have an open heart we can show them, but tell them we can't."
      ...An airline captain, touching up the wing of his homebuilt racer with a miniature paint bottle and a tiny brush. "Why fly? Simple. I'm not happy unless there's some air between me and the ground." ~Richard Bach, "People who fly," A Gift of Wings, 1974

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of flying. There is an art, it says, or, rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. ~Douglas Adams

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't. ~Douglas Adams

...he who wisheth one day to fly, must first learn standing and walking and running and climbing and dancing: — one doth not fly into flying! ~Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Thomas Common

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

Here's a tip to investors: Buy airship stocks. They are sure to go up. ~"Edlets," The Spatula: An Illustrated Magazine for Pharmacists, 1919 wing rose from the grave of earth... ~Richard Bach, Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit, 1994

Progress may have been all right once, but it went on too long; I think progress began to retrogress when Wilbur and Orville started tinkering around in Dayton and at Kitty Hawk, because I believe that two Wrights made a wrong. ~Ogden Nash, "Come, Come, Kerouac! My Generation Is Beater than Yours," 1959

This is the first convention of the Space Age — when a candidate can promise the moon and mean it. ~David Brinkley

My soul is in the sky... ~William Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream, c.1595  [V, 1, Bottom. Context: death. —tg]

Given angel's wings, where might you fly?
In what sweet heaven might you find your love?
Unwilling to be bound, where might you move,
Lost between the wonder and the why?...
~Nicholas Gordon,

Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly. ~G. K. Chesterton

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published 2006 Jul 8
revised 2021 Aug 7
last saved 2022 Oct 20