“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 It, Chapter XXII, 1886.
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.
There is no flying without wings.
— French proverb
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.
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
I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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. ~Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra
To put your life in danger from time to time… breeds a saneness in dealing with day-to-day trivialities.
— Nevil Shute, ‘Slide Rule: The Autobiography of an Engineer.’
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.
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
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.