@Lnafziger jokingly said that he would like to see a !!TeachMeToFly command on the suggest new chat bot commands question:

The command that I would like to see the most is:


Free flight instruction from our chat bot "Otto the Autopilot" would be great!

After a few of us discussing it in chat, it might actually be a bit of fun to include this kind of jokey "tip of the day"-type command!

Can you post some suggestions of quirky tips on how to fly? An example might be:

Don't forget to lower the landing gear before landing!

The !!TeachMeToFly command is now running with the responses below. I'll add any lines people answer here, or request via a GitHub pull request on av-teachmetofly.js.

  • $\begingroup$ The bot has been updated, as of now, with all suggestions. $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2014 at 13:40

5 Answers 5


Before starting your lessons, this is what you should know:

  1. 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.

  2. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  1. Push forward: buildings get bigger.
    Pull back: buildings get smaller.

  2. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate, in that order.

  3. There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots.
    There are no old, bold pilots.

  4. The most useless things in aviation:

    • Altitude above you
    • Runway behind you
    • Air in the fuel tank
  5. If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies;
    If ATC screws up, the pilot dies.

  6. Takeoffs are optional.
    Landings are mandatory.

  7. To land: Airspeed, Centerline, PAPI (repeat)

  8. The propeller is just a giant fan to keep the pilot cool;
    If it stops, the pilot starts sweating!

  9. Don't kill yourself to save the plane. The plane is there to save the pilot.

  10. With a mile of road, a car can go a mile; with a mile of track, a train can go a mile; with a mile of river, a boat can go a mile; But with a mile of runway, an airplane can go anywhere.

  11. Speed is life; altitude is insurance.

  12. Truly superior pilots use their superior judgment to avoid situations where they need their superior skills.

  13. Do a barrel roll

  14. If your flight is going remarkably well, you obviously forgot something.

  15. Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.

  16. I am serious, and please don't call me Shirley.

  17. Co-pilot checklist:

    1. Don't touch anything.
    2. Shut up
    3. Repeat
  18. It is always better to be on the ground wishing you were up in the air, than up in the air wishing you were on the ground.

  19. "We're not happy until you're not happy" - Motto of the FAA

  20. Pilots talk about women when flying, and flying when with women.

  21. Some pilots will declare an emergency for high oil pressure. Others, upon losing a wing, will ask for a lower altitude.

  22. A good landing is any landing you can walk away from. A great landing is one where they can re-use the plane.

  23. The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

  24. It is better to delay departure than to expedite landing.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Note that if you "Pull back all the way: buildings get huge and upside down". :P $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2014 at 4:31
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I always heard #4 as "Fuel in the truck" or "fuel on the ground" :) $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Jan 13, 2014 at 16:24
  • Keep the shiny side up and you can't go wrong.
  • Right rudder. Every answer in primary training basically boils down to Right Rudder.
  • In order to be legal, the weight of the paperwork must equal the weight of the aircraft.
  • When landing engine-out at night, if you don't like what you see as you are about to land, just turn off the landing light.
  • The difference between a Captain and a First Officer upon noticing something wrong: "First Officer: What's it doing now?" -vs- "Captain: Look, it's doing it again."
  • $\begingroup$ "Keep the shiny side up and you can't go wrong." the shiny side of what? IME both sides of an aircraft are shiny $\endgroup$
    – Dan Hulme
    Jul 21, 2017 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ @DanHulme The saying refers to the dirt (oil, etc.) running down the airplane and accumulating on the bottom, making it not as shiny as the top side. ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Jul 21, 2017 at 14:42

In a light twin with an engine failure, the remaining engine will ensure that you are the first to arrive at the scene of the crash.

  • Power. Ailerons. Rudder. Elevator. Memorize it. It might just save your life someday.
  • More right rudder.
  • Just because it has 4 seats doesn't mean you can put 4 people into it.
  • "November Charlie Foxtrot, Newark Ground. Are you ready to copy a phone number?"

In the ongoing battle of an aluminium tube going hundreds of miles an hour, and Earth going zero miles an hour, the Earth has yet to lose.

Stick forward, cows get bigger. Stick backwards, cows get smaller. Keep pulling backwards and the cows get bigger again.

Be very scared of clouds with embedded Cumulo-Granitus.

Helicopter rotors are for keeping the pilot cool. To prove this, turn it off and see the instant sweat.

There are 3 rules to landing a helicopter smoothly. Unfortunately, everyone has forgotten what they are.

Gravity is not a suggestion, it's the law. And there are no appeals.

Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

Helicopters don't create lift. They are so ugly that the Earth repels them.

It's a good idea to try to keep the number of landings equal to the number of take-offs.

Fly it until the last piece stops moving.

Plan the fly, and fly the plan.

If it's red or dusty don't touch it.

Airplanes fly according to principles laid out by Newton, not Marconi.


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