Safety Publications/Articles

Sounding Like a Sage

Would you like to sound wise beyond your years as an instructor? It's easy. Just dispense a few bon mots. Those aren't words you eat, although they're often heard in hangars and airport coffee shops. They're aviation aphorisms, such as, "It's better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here."

Words of wisdom are best delivered in small packages. Much aviation wisdom has been distilled into short sayings that easily stick in pilot brains. It's quite likely that you still remember your primary instructor saying, "Never stop flying the airplane." These aphorisms stick because they're catchy--short, easy to remember, precise in their meaning, and somehow profound in their intent. That's why you want to dispense a few of these choice sayings throughout your students' flight training. You sound wise, and your students become wiser. Everybody wins.

One CFI I know likes to tell his students, "There's nothing more useless than the runway behind the airplane and the sky above it."

Another instructor enjoys reminding his students to, "Never let the airplane take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes before."

To help students maximize the value of any mistakes they make, one instructor says, "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment."

Take time to master a few of these useful aviation phrases, and casually let them loose during ground or flight lessons. Your students will benefit, and you'll sound wise beyond your years and between your ears.

By Rod Machado

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