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Chuck Yeager Quotes From the Famous Flying Ace

Chuck Yeager was the first human to officially break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, and many of these Chuck Yeager quotes are about doing so in the X-1.

He is arguably one of the best pilots to ever live, so it is no surprise that many of the quotes on this list are about flying.

He began his career as a private in the US army during WWII as an aircraft mechanic.

In September 1942, he enlisted pilot training.

When he graduated he was promoted to the rank of flight officer (the World War II Army Air Force version of the Army’s warrant officer).

He was also a “flying ace” which means that he shot down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.

For Chuck Yeager, it was a little different as he was reached what is called “ace in day” status.

He shot down five or more aircraft all in one day.

Keep reading through these Chuck Yeager quotes that you can use in your daily life, even if you are not a fighter pilot!

Don’t forget to also check out these airplane quotes about flying and travel.

Short Chuck Yeager quotes to live by

1. “Rules are made for people who aren’t willing to make up their own.” — Chuck Yeager

2. “Never wait for trouble.” — Chuck Yeager

3. “Everybody that I’ve ever seen that enjoyed their job was very good at it.” — Chuck Yeager

4. “At the moment of truth, there are either reasons or results.” — Chuck Yeager

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5. “Hey Ridley, that Machometer is acting screwy. It just went off the scale on me.” — Chuck Yeager

6. “You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done.” — Chuck Yeager

7. “You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can’t, you do the next best thing. You back up, but you don’t give up.” — Chuck Yeager

8. “What good does it do to be afraid? It doesn’t help anything. You better try and figure out what’s happening and correct it.” — Chuck Yeager

9. “There is no kind of ultimate goal to do something twice as good as anyone else can. It’s just to do the job as best you can. If it turns out good, fine. If it doesn’t, that’s the way it goes.” — Chuck Yeager

10. “Maybe that helped me in war. I’m a fatalist, if that’s what you call it. The phrase that I use is ‘If you can’t do anything about it, forget it.'” — Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager quotes about flying and being a pilot

11. “If you want to grow old as a pilot, you’ve got to know when to push it, and when to back off.” — Chuck Yeager

12. “There’s no such thing as a natural-born pilot.” — Chuck Yeager

13. “The best pilots fly more than the others; that’s why they’re the best.” — Chuck Yeager

14. “For the best pilots, flying is an obsession, the one thing in life they must do continually.” — Chuck Yeager

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15. “The secret of my success is that I always managed to live to fly another day.” — Chuck Yeager

16. “Whatever my aptitudes or talents, becoming a proficient pilot was hard work, really a lifetime’s learning experience.” — Chuck Yeager

17. “You really don’t think about the outcome of any kind of a flight, whether it’s combat, or any other kinds of flights, because you really have no control over it.” — Chuck Yeager

18. “If you can walk away from a landing, it’s a good landing. If you use the airplane the next day, it’s an outstanding landing.” — Chuck Yeager

19. “I was always afraid of dying. Always. It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit.” — Chuck Yeager

20. “I have flown in just about everything, with all kinds of pilots in all parts of the world- British, French, Pakistani, Iranian, Japanese, Chinese—and there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between any of them except for one unchanging, certain fact: the best, most skillful pilot has the most experience.” — Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager quotes about the sound barrier, the X-1, and NASA

21. “Just before you break through the sound barrier, the cockpit shakes the most.” — Chuck Yeager

22. “It wasn’t that the X-1 would kill you, it was the systems in the X-1 that would kill you.” — Chuck Yeager

23. “In 1966, NASA took over in space, and it has been a bureaucratic mess ever since.” — Chuck Yeager

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24. “We were flying supersonic. And it was as smooth as a baby’s bottom; Grandma could be sitting up there sipping lemonade.” — Chuck Yeager

25. “After about 30 minutes, I puked all over my airplane. I said to myself, ‘Man, you made a big mistake.”’ — Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager’s illustrious career

Chuck Yeager’s accomplishments were not limited to his exemplary fighting skills in WWII.

He became a test pilot and flew all types of aircraft, including experimental rocket-powered aircraft for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

It was through that program and the X-1 that he was able to fly at Mach-1 and break the sound barrier.

He broke many speed and altitude records throughout his career.

In 1962, he became the first commandant of the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School.

This put him in charge of training astronauts for NASA and the Air Force.

Years later, he would also command flight squadrons in the Vietnam War.

He was also promoted to brigadier general in 1969.

Two years before he retired in 1975 he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

You can share any of your favorite Chuck Yeager quotes and sayings that didn’t make this list in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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