fly by the seat of your pants

fly by the seat of (one's) pants

To rely on one's instinct, as opposed to acting according to a set plan. I really don't know how to operate this thing, I'm just flying by the seat of my pants here. You can't just fly by the seat of your pants, Jenna—please give your future some serious thought.
See also: by, fly, of, pant, seat

fly by the seat of your pants

INFORMAL
If you fly by the seat of your pants, you use your judgment and intelligence to do something that you have never done before, in a way that is risky, because you have no experience or training to rely on. `In the first year of trading we knew nothing and were flying by the seat of our pants,' Petti said. The truth is that all new parents fly by the seat of their pants and try to learn quickly from experience. Note: You can also use seat-of-the-pants before a noun. It had always been a seat-of-the-pants type of organization.
See also: by, fly, of, pant, seat
References in periodicals archive ?
You fly by the seat of your pants when investing in emerging markets.
Renshaw's managing director, Robin Mountain said: "You can't just fly by the seat of your pants.
A fabulous aspect today gives you the upper edge if you dare to go with the flow, fly by the seat of your pants and believe that what you think is impossible, is doable.
Do you execute a well-prepared plan, or do you fly by the seat of your pants and simply react when adversity strikes?
I think once you get into it you really have to fly by the seat of your pants and really trust your own gut.
I think you have to fly by the seat of your pants because it asks different questions of you.
It got that way because expert pilots and engineers refined it--went over the same system again and again, eliminating roughness and equalizing forces--until it became more an extension of the pilot than a tool, a plane you wear rather than fly or, as the well-known and accurate phrase goes, fly by the seat of your pants.
Everything's come so quickly you've got to fly by the seat of your pants and hope you've covered everything, then come back later and give a second look.