BY BYRON MCNUTT
The Eagle River Airport is a valuable asset for the greater Vilas County area. The daily airplane traffic and the number of hangars you find on the grounds tells us of its importance to the area’s economy.
The following “20 rules for flight” actually came from people at the Tomahawk Regional Airport. I’d guess anyone with a pilot’s license has seen this list and can attest to their validity.
1. Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.
2. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.
3. Flying is not dangerous. Crashing is what’s dangerous.
4. It’s always better to be down here wishing you were up there rather than up there wishing you were down here.
5. The only time you can have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.
6. The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane which is used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops you can actually see the pilot sweating.
7. When in doubt hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.
8. A good landing is one from which you can walk away. A great landing is one after which you can use the plane again.
9. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.
10. You know you’ve landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.
11. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small likelihood of survival, and vice versa.
12. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains tend to hide out in clouds.
13. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of takeoffs you’ve made.
14. You start out with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag with experience before you empty the bag of luck.
15. Helicopters can’t actually fly. They’re just so darned ugly that the earth repels them.
16. It’s always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.
17. Keep looking around. There’s always something you’ve missed. Why are there no parachutes or flotation vests?
18. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are!
19. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles an hour and the ground going zero miles an hour, the ground has yet to lose.
20. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It’s the law.