From RoguePoet on Everthing2.com – we thought Summit Aviation folks would enjoy this one.
My grandfather is a retired USAF recon pilot. He flew converted long-range bombers all over the world in WW2, including dozens of dicey sorties “over the Hump” (that is, directly over the Himalayas into China) in support of the Ledo Road and the famous Flying TigersÂ attack squadron.
It’s been 35 years now since he’s even set foot in a cockpit. I once asked him about this, why he never flies anymore, and he just laughed and jutted a thumb at an old clipping tacked up by his desk. He’s had this note up on the wall of his office for God-knows-how-long, and I’d never even stopped to read it before. It was the “FAA’s annotated version” of a poem held near and dear to the hearts of aviators the world over, John Magee’s High Flight. Seems like it took me an hour to stop laughing.
Here’s to surly old flyboys who still dream of the good ol’ days! Enjoy…
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth1,
And danced2 the skies on laughter silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed3 and joined the tumbling mirth4
Of sun-split clouds5 and done a hundred things6
You have not dreamed of — Wheeled and soared and swung7
High in the sunlit silence8. Hov’ring there9
I’ve chased the shouting wind10 along and flung11
My eager craft through footless halls of air. Up, up the long delirious12, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights13 with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle14 flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space15,
Put out my hand16, and touched the face of God.
- Pilots must insure that all surly bonds have been slipped entirely before aircraft taxi or flight is attempted.
- During periods of severe sky dancing, crew and passengers must keep seatbelts fastened. Crew should wear shoulderbelts as provided.
- Sunward climbs must not exceed the maximum permitted aircraft ceiling.
- Passenger aircraft are prohibited from joining the tumbling mirth.
- Pilots flying through sun-split clouds under VFR conditions must comply with all applicable minimum clearances.
- Do not perform these hundred things in front of Federal Aviation Administration inspectors.
- Wheeling, soaring, and swinging will not be attempted except in aircraft rated for such activities and within utility class weight limits.
- Be advised that sunlit silence will occur only when a major engine malfunction has occurred.
- “Hov’ring there” will constitute a highly reliable signal that a flight emergency is imminent.
- Forecasts of shouting winds are available from the local FSS. Encounters with unexpected shouting winds should be reported by pilots.
- Pilots flinging eager craft through footless halls of air are reminded that they alone are responsible for maintaining separation from other eager craft.
- Should any crewmember or passenger experience delirium while in the burning blue, submit an irregularity report upon flight termination.
- Windswept heights will be topped by a minimum of 1,000 feet to maintain VFR minimum separations.
- Aircraft engine ingestion of, or impact with, larks or eagles should be reported to the FAA and the appropriate aircraft maintenance facility.
- Aircraft operating in the high untresspassed sanctity of space must remain in IFR flight regardless of meteorological conditions and visibility.
- 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. ï»¿
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