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.

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I didn’t know this but a friend assures me there are perks associated with reaching 50, or being over 60 and heading towards 70. Here are a few of those perks.

1. Kidnappers are not very interested in you. In a hostage situation, you are likely to be released first.

2. No one expects you to run … anywhere.

3. People call at 9 p.m. and ask, “did I wake you?” Shoot, I rarely make it through the 6 o’clock news.

4. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac. That makes me depressed.

5. There is nothing left to learn the hard way. I think I’ve surfed the entire Internet.

6. Things you buy now won’t wear out.

7. You can eat supper at 4 p.m.

8. You can live without sex but not your glasses or hearing aid.

9. You get into heated arguments about pension plans, and Social Security benefits.

10. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge. You are more likely to be stopped for going too slow.

11. You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.

12. Your doctor says your eyes won’t get much worse.

13. Your investment in health and life insurance are beginning to pay off.

14. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.

15. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.

16. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.

17. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

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It’s a wise man who knows middle age is when you stop criticizing the older generation and start blaming the younger generation for the mess we’re in.

Card games can be expensive, but so can any game where you hold hands.

If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.

Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

Why is a slow driver ahead of you an “idiot” and the fast driver behind you a “maniac?”

The amount of sleep required by the average person is usually about five minutes more.