Good songs celebrate flight

Although aviation community does not have an official anthem, pilots are honored by many artists creating inspiring songs. The folks at Baltic Aviation Academy in Lithuania compiled this list of songs. Any others you would add to the list? Add them in comments.

1. Learning to Fly – Pink Floyd. An absolute favorite for many pilots for several decades. The song was originally created in 1987 and describes a song writer’s passion about flying and radical changes in personal life. Interesting fact: the writer of this song, David Gilmour, is an experienced pilot and aviation enthusiast.

2. Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz. One of his most successful songs, the song was recorded in 1998, but enchanting chords of this rock hit is recognized till today.

3. Paper Planes – M.I.A. M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” is an extremely catchy song that became often played in 2008. The song will brighten every moody day and fill you with joy and happiness.

4. Watching Airplanes – Gary Allan. This 2007  country song about fading love can touch a romantic side of a pilot.

5. Aeroplane – Red Hot Chili Peppers. Despite its dark lyrical themes, “Aeroplanes” is one of the most catchy and most recognizable songs on Red Hot Chili Pepper‘s album “One Hot Minute.“

6. I Believe I Can Fly – R. Kelly. Clearly, our list wouldn‘t be complete without 1996 R&B singer R. Kelly‘s famous song “I believe I can fly”. It has won three Grammy Awards, and was ranked No. 406 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004. The song about personal growth and possibilities can motivate and inspire to pursue every pilot‘s dreams and to survive difficult periods.

7. Fly Me To The Moon – Frank Sinatra. A jazz legend Frank Sinatra also has some songs to offer for pilot community. “Fly Me to the Moon,” originally titled “In Other Words,” was written in the 1960s by Bart Howard and has become a frequently recorded jazz standard often featured in popular culture. This song will relieve every stressful situation a pilot faces in the cockpit.

8. Jet Airliner – Steve Miller. During his musical career, Steve Miller has popularized many songs that pilot community can relate to. “Jet Airliner” is definitely one of them. The song was written and released for the first time by Paul Pena in 1973.

9. Learn To Fly – Foo Fighters. “Learn to Fly” was released on two different singles in the UK in 1999. It is one of the band’s most successful and recognized singles during the whole Foo Fighter’s musical journey. The music video for the song takes place on a commercial airliner, parodying the movie “Airplane!”

10. Fly By Night – Rush. The song was released as a single in May 1975. “Fly by Night” is the group’s highest selling single to date, regularly seen on Top 10 radio spin charts in the category of Classic rock. The song‘s rhythmical beat can prepare pilots for a productive day.


  1. John says

    While not specifically about flying Jon Astley’s 1987 album Everyone Loves the Pilot (Except the Crew) has some nice cover art. You also can’t go wrong with singles like Mike Oldfield’s 5 Miles Out (1982) either or Gary Numan’s My Centurion (1983).

  2. Chris says

    Can’t have a list of flying songs without Iron Maiden’s “Aces High”. Lead singer Bruce Dickinson is a 757-type-rated ATP.

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