Kidadl

30+ Chuck Yeager Quotes From The Record-Breaking Test Pilot

Contents
Chuck Yeager used to be a United States Air Force pilot.

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

Charles Elwood Yeager aka Chuck Yeager was an officer in the United States Air Force during World War II.

He became a test pilot after the World War. Chuck Yeager became the first pilot ever to fly faster than the speed of sound in the year 1947.

We've curated this list of the best Chuck Yeager quotes from the legendary test pilot. If you'd like to read more such quotes, then check out our collection of the best pilot quotes and [Chesty Puller quotes].

Chuck Yeager Famous Quotes

Chuck Yeager flew several different types of aircraft as a test pilot.

Here are some famous Chuck Yeager quotes from the former United States Air Force pilot.

1. "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.

2. "All that I am … I owe to the Air Force."

- Chuck Yeager.

3. "Unfortunately, many people do not consider fun an important item on their daily agenda. For me, that was always a high priority in whatever I was doing."

- Chuck Yeager.

4. "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.

5. "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.

6. "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.

7. "Now you've got guys in space vehicles, smoking along at thousands of miles per hour. Speed is relative."

- Chuck Yeager.

8. "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.

9. "After about 30 minutes I puked all over my airplane. I said to my self, “Man, you made a big mistake."

- Chuck Yeager.

10. "As we went through mach one, the nose started dropping, so we just cranked that horizontal stabilizer down to keep the nose up."

- Chuck Yeager.

11. "I ran the astronaut school for six years, and I was the commandant and when I finished in '65, 26 of my guys went into space as NASA astronauts that I trained."

- Chuck Yeager.

12. "I don't think about life everlasting. If something doesn't have scientific evidence to back it up, I don't believe it. I'm a straight shooter."

- Chuck Yeager.

13. "He had a program called Free Spirit, ... He split 1 million four ways between people who didn't conform to the normal. I did a couple of slow rolls with the X-1, and I guess he thought that qualified."

- Chuck Yeager.

14. "In 1966, NASA took over in space, and it has been a bureaucratic mess ever since."

- Chuck Yeager.

15. "Most pilots learn, when they pin on their wings and go out and get in a fighter, especially, that one thing you don’t do, you don’t believe anything anybody tells you about an airplane."

- Chuck Yeager.

16. "It wasn’t that the X-1 would kill you, it was the systems in the X-1 that would kill you."

- Chuck Yeager.

17. "Later, I realized that the mission had to end in a let-down because the real barrier wasn’t in the sky but in our knowledge and experience of supersonic flight."

- 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. "The first time I ever saw a jet, I shot it down."

- Chuck Yeager.

20. "Just before you break through the sound barrier, the cockpit shakes the most."

- Chuck Yeager.

Inspirational Chuck Yeager Quotes

Here are some motivational quotes from Chuck Yeager.

21. "The eagerness to learn how and why every piece of equipment works is everything."

- Chuck Yeager.

22. "We didn't know if we could break the sound barrier. But it was our duty to try. That's the way I looked at it."

- Chuck Yeager.

23. "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.

24. "The one word you use in military flying is duty. It’s your duty. You have no control over the outcome, no control over pick-and-choose. It’s duty."

- Chuck Yeager.

25. "You concentrate on what you are doing, to do the best job you can, to stay out of serious situations. And that’s the way the X-1 was."

- Chuck Yeager.

26. "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.

27. "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.

28. "It's your duty to fly the airplane. If you get killed in it, you don't know anything about it anyway. Duty is paramount. It's that simple if you're a military guy. You don't say 'I'm not going to do that - that's dangerous.'"

- Chuck Yeager.

29. "I have no regrets about my life. People ask, 'If you had to do it all over again, would you do it differently?' No. That's speculation."

- Chuck Yeager.

30. "When I was picked to fly the X-1, it was my duty to fly it, and I did."

- Chuck Yeager.

31. "The best pilots fly more than the others; that's why they're the best."

- Chuck Yeager.

32. "The secret of my success is that I always managed to live to fly another day."

- Chuck Yeager.

33. "Everybody that I’ve ever seen that enjoyed their job was very good at it."

- Chuck Yeager.

34. "There is no such thing as a natural born pilot. Whatever my aptitudes or talents, becoming a proficient pilot was hard work, really a lifetime’s learning experience."

- Chuck Yeager.

35. "Rules are made for people who aren’t willing to make up their own."

- Chuck Yeager.

36. "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.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Chuck Yeager quotes then why not take a look at [Stonewall Jackson quotes], or Cold War quotes.

Author

Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Was this article helpful?

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s and and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.