Aviation Humor

January 4th, 2009 by xformed

I was at the “pay library” today, going though the usual stack of magazines, and the current issue of the Smithsonian’s Air & Space mag had a parody on “High Flight,” purportedly about the famed Phantom F-4 genre of aircraft:

Oh, I have slipped through swirling clouds of dust,
A few feet from the dirt,
I’ve flown the F-4 low enough,
To make my bottom hurt,
I’ve flown in the desert, hills, and valleys,
Mountains too,
Frolicked in the trees,
Where only flying squirrels flew,

Chased the Frightened cows along,
Disturbed the ram and ewe,
And done a hundred other things,
That you’d not care to do.
I’ve smacked the tiny sparrow,
Bluebird, robin, all the rest,
I’ve ingested baby eagles,
Simply sucked them from the nest.

I’ve streaked through total darkness,
Just the other guys and me,
And spent the night in terror of
Things i could not see.
I turned my eyes to heaven,
As I sweated through the flight,
Put out my hand and touched,
The Fire Warning Light.

-Poet Unknown
Air and Space Magasine
Feb/Mar 2009
Page 8 column 1

To see if I had found something original, I

download Murder Rooms: The Photographer’s Chair

Live Animals

dogpiled and also came across this list

of the many variants of about the same poem, as well as more twisting of “High Flight” itself:

HIGH FLIGHT parodies:

Glider Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of rope
A few feet from “The Road”.
I whip the Schweitzer ’round so fast
Exceeds the max’mum load.
I’ve slipped, I’ve stalled, I’ve spiral dived,
Spun past the sixth full turn.
“You can’t do that!” the new ones say,
They’ve got a lot to learn.
I find a thermal, turn in it
To try and gain some height.
But I must beat the towplane down
Or this is my last flight!
On 2-3 fly a crooked base
Then crank the plane around.
Or 2-9: pass the hangars then I dive straight for the ground!
But the best is 3-6 final when I know I should be higher,
Put out my hand and touch The passing telephone wire!

ATP High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of gate times
And held rigid by impossible air traffic controllers;
Upward I’ve climbed and joined the congested skies
Of fixes, missed approaches and done hundred things
My passenger did not care for — delays, turbulence, and held
In the holding pattern low on fuel. Waiting there,
I’ve chased the schedules, and flung
Myself against management and union rules.
Up, up the long ascent in seniority list.
I’ve topped and gone to the next aircraft
Hoping that I do not get furloughed.
And, while with worried mind I’ve trod
The difficult sanctity of regulation,
Waiting for the FAA inspector who is God.

— Brian Caver, in honor of Phillip Valente, Captain American Eagle Airlines.

Low Flight (1)

Oh! I’ve slipped through the swirling clouds of dust,
a few feet from the dirt,
I’ve flown the Phantom low enough,
to make my bottom hurt.
I’ve TFO’d the deserts, hills,
valleys and mountains too,
Frolicked in the trees,
where only flying squirrels flew.
Chased the frightened cows along,
disturbed the ram and ewe,
And done a hundred other things,
that you’d not care to do.
I’ve smacked the tiny sparrow,
bluebird, robin, all the rest,
I’ve ingested baby eaglets,
simply sucked them from their nest!
I’ve streaked through total darkness,
just the other guy and me,
And spent the night in terror of
things I could not see.
I’ve turned my eyes to heaven,
as I sweated through the flight,
Put out my hand and touched,
the master caution light.

Low Flight (2)

Oh, I’ve slipped the surely bonds of earth
And hovered out of ground effect on semi-rigid blades;
Earthward I’ve auto’ed and met the rising brush of Non-paved terrain;
And done a thousand things you would never care to
Skidded and dropped and flared Low in the heat soaked roar.
Confined there, I’ve chased the earthbound traffic
And lost the race to insignificant Headwinds;
Forward and up a little in ground effect I’ve topped the General’s hedge with drooping turns
Where never Skyhawk or even Phantom flew.
Shaking and pulling collective,
I’ve lumbered The low untresspassed halls of victor airways,
Put out my hand and touched a tree.

Freightdog’s Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of instructing,
And plowed the skies on ice-laden wings.
Moonward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling turbulence
Of lightning split clouds – and done a hundred things
The Feds have not dreamed of – scud run, busted mins,
Flown handheld, homemade approaches. Yawning there,
I’ve chased the impossible schedule, and flung
My ancient craft through convective sigmets.
Up, up the long over-loaded, over-heating climb,
I’ve topped the MVAs with red-line power,
Where bats and even owls fly,
And while with hypothermic, fatigued mind I’ve trod
The complex, congested New York airspace,
Put out my hand, and touched the de-ice switch.

— Name withheld per Freightdog’s attorney

High Flight, with FAA Supplement

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth(1),
And danced(2) the skies on laughter silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed(3) and joined the tumbling mirth(4)
Of sun-split clouds(5) and done a hundred things(6)
You have not dreamed of — Wheeled and soared and swung(7)
High in the sunlit silence(8). Hov’ring there(9)
I’ve chased the shouting wind(10) along and flung(11)
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious(12), burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights(13) with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle(14) flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space(15),
Put out my hand(16), and touched the face of God.

NOTE:

1. Pilots must insure that all surly bonds have been slipped entirely before aircraft taxi or flight is attempted.
2. During periods of severe sky dancing, crew and passengers must keep seatbelts fastened. Crew should wear shoulderbelts as provided.
3. Sunward climbs must not exceed the maximum permitted aircraft ceiling.
4. Passenger aircraft are prohibited from joining the tumbling mirth.
5. Pilots flying through sun-split clouds under VFR conditions must comply with all applicable minimum clearances.
6. Do not perform these hundred things in front of Federal Aviation Administration inspectors.
7. Wheeling, soaring, and swinging will not be attempted except in aircraft rated for such activities and within utility class weight limits.
8. Be advised that sunlit silence will occur only when a major engine malfunction has occurred.
9. “Hov’ring there” will constitute a highly reliable signal that a flight emergency is imminent.
10. Forecasts of shouting winds are available from the local FSS. Encounters with unexpected shouting winds should be reported by pilots.
11. Pilots flinging eager craft through footless halls of air are reminded that they alone are responsible for maintaining separation from other eager craft.
12. Should any crewmember or passenger experience delirium while in the burning blue, submit an irregularity report upon flight termination.
13. Windswept heights will be topped by a minimum of 1,000 feet to maintain VFR minimum separations.
14. Aircraft engine ingestion of, or impact with, larks or eagles should be reported to the FAA and the appropriate aircraft maintenance facility.
15. Aircraft operating in the high untresspassed sanctity of space must remain in IFR flight regardless of meteorological conditions and visibility.
16. Pilots and passengers are reminded that opening doors or windows in order to touch the face of God may result in loss of cabin pressure.

CRUISE FLIGHT

— Rob Robinette

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of my spouse
And danced the clubs on Kiwi-polished boots;
Moonward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of Moon-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — in the Philippines
High in the domelit silence. Holding there,
I’ve scared the airsick pax, and flung their baggage through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning black
I’ve topped the turbulent heights with little grace
Where never C-130, or even C-5 flew.
And, while with fuzzy, sleep deprived mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of controlled airspace,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of The Aircraft Commander,
who thinks he is God.

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