Chances are… sooner or later… you're going to find yourself in a situation you're not prepared for. Unfortunately, some of these situations are going to require immediate action. Without time to prepare, you're simply going to have to wing it and fly by the seat of your pants. Have you ever thought about what that means, though?
What if you don't know how to fly? And what if you're not wearing pants? To fly by the seat of one's pants is an idiom.
Can you fly by the seat of your pants?
An idiom is a phrase whose meaning is different from the literal meaning of the words themselves. This common phrase actually means you're acting on instinctusing your judgment and perceptions as events unfold to improvise without advance planning. When you fly by the seat of your pants, you don't have a plan. You just figure things out as you go blown. Where did such a phrase ever come from? Not off, the phrase is an old aviation saying. Since early pants did not have the many instruments modern planes have, pilots had to rely primarily on their own perceptions and judgment.
Early pilots often flew without radios and other fancy gadgets. Instead, they learned to react to the feel of the plane. Of course, the body part that usually had the most contact with the plane was the pilot's backside. Early pilots developed an ability to estimate wind speed, external temperature and the overall condition of an airplane simply by paying attention to their senses — including the sense of feeling from their backsides!
If you can imagine flying a plane without a radio or other instruments through clouds or thick fog, you can begin to imagine what it must have been like for early pilots to fly by the seat of their pants!
That same feeling can arise when you're thrown into an unexpected situation that requires action without preparation. That's why many of us fly by the seat of our pants without ever getting near an airplane! Of course, modern pilots are glad that they can rely on instruments rather than the seat of their pants.
Likewise, you'll probably find that a little careful planning can go a long way toward making life less stressful. Not everyone pants to fly by the seat of their pants. Some people prefer to plan carefully. Which do you prefer? If you don't know, try this simple experiment with your friends or family sometime in the next week or so.
Pick out two upcoming weekend days that you would normally do something together. What time will you get up? What will you have for breakfast? Where will you go, and what will you do first? Make a plan that clearly sets out your meals and activities. Set blown times for the things you plan to do. Don't forget to include time for travel and breaks. Off the day no thought whatsoever. Just mark it on your calendar, so that — when you wake up that day — you can put on fresh pants and proceed to fly by them!
After you're finished with both days, take some time to think about how each day went. Did you like the convenience of having a plan to follow? Or did you prefer the freedom simply to do anything on a whim? Hopefully you learned that there are benefits to both types of days. Careful planning is often necessary to make sure that things happen that need to happen.
Tire explodes, pants blown off
On the other hand, it's also nice to allow room in a plan for the unexpected. You never know when a surprise opportunity will present itself. In your own lives, it's important to plan for the future while also leaving plenty of room to be flexible. English does have a lot of strange idioms like this one that can be tricky. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, S Kleen!
It does look fun, Sally. It looks like a LOT of fun to sky dive inside a tube, doesn't it, Kyle? Thank you for leaving us a comment today! Hi, Julia! We're not exactly sure what material it is, because there are many different manufacturers of sky diving suits. We think it must be very lightweight and durable, though they're getting bounced around a lot!
There is a very powerful fan in the floor of the tube. It's kept safely away from the people who are in the tube. The fan blows air up through holes in the floor to simulate "falling" when sky diving!
Man’s trousers blown off by exploding tyre
It's really neat to think about being able to do something like that, isn't it? Great comment, BebSboHed! An example of flying by the seat of your pants might be walking into class and hearing your teacher say you are about to have a test that you forgot to study for!
That would be a time when you would need to count on your instincts and past knowledge to do the best job you could although we think it is always a good idea to be prepared for class each day Hi, Maddy! Thanks for this great comment! Have YOU ever had to "fly by the seat of your pants" and do something at the last minute that you weren't prepared to do? We sure have!
Replacing a jeans button
We're really glad we can count on our instincts to help us make quick decisions! We'd love to try indoor sky diving sometime Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis and for leaving us another awesome comment! We are undergoing some spring clearing site maintenance and need to temporarily disable the commenting feature. Thanks for your patience.
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We sent you SMS, for complete subscription please reply. Follow Twitter Instagram Facebook. Can you fly by the seat of your pants?
Do you ever act on instinct? What's the opposite of flying by the seat of your pants? Tags: See All Tags flyidiomimprovisationinstinctjudgmentpantsplanseatExpressions. Flying by the seat of one's pants does not require actual flight.
Tire explosion blows man's pants off
And pants? Totally optional… This common phrase actually means you're acting on instinctusing your judgment and perceptions as events unfold to improvise without advance planning. Wonder What's Next? Try It Out Ready to fly by the seat of your pants? It's OK if you say no! Did you get it? Test your knowledge. Wonder Words awry instinct immediate idiom literal judgment perception improvise aviation Take the Wonder Word Challenge. the Discussion. S Kleen Jan 30, Jan 30, Sally May 21, Wonderopolis May 21, Sky diving is so cooooooooooooooooooooooooool!
Wonderopolis Sep 28, We think so, too, Kyle! Julia K the beach Sep 22, That video was cool!!! What type of material is the suit they wear? Wonderopolis Sep 23,