YOU ARE OLD, AIR CHIEF MARSHALL
from the pages of
the 'classified' Aircrew Training publication
You are old, Air Chief Marshal," the young P/O said, "
And your body's exceedingly fat,
Yet you fly thro' the air with the greatest of ease.
Pray what is the reason for that ? "
"The cause of this strange aeronautical grace,"
Said the Boffin, relating his powers,
"Was the arduous practice in cockpit routine
And learning instructions for hours."
"I know," said the P/O, " but answer me this.
I've seen you do circuits and bumps,
Yet you never come down with your undercart up,
Like me and the other poor chumps."
"You see," said the Marshal, with almost a smirk,
"It's habit, good training, and sense
To look round the cockpit at needles and tits,
Relax yourself ; never sit tense."
"Watch the pitch and the flaps and the mixture as well,
The airspeed and angle of glide.
It's so very much simpler to land on the wheels
Than prang on the belly or side."
"Watch the chap in the band box," the old boy next said,
"With his lights, and his lamps and his flags.
Pay regard to his gestures, his foibles and whims;
Come in gently—no zigs and no zags."
"In my youth," said the Marshal, " I studied each word
That Flying Control put before me—
And avoided, thereby, those ridiculous prangs,
As frankly the stupid things bore me."
"Before taking off, get your maps—sign the book;
The Form 700 as well.
Check the wind and the weather, the runway in use;
Safety first—for you never can tell."
"I taxi quite slowly with caution and care,
And watch other aircraft about;
It's foolish to argue with bowsers or trucks,
They have the last word, without doubt."
"I look after my helmet, my dinghy and 'chute—
It's true they belong to the King,
But friends who are corpses have proved more than once
To maltreat them's the craziest thing."
"I never take chances when close to the ground;
And when clouds and high hills are about,
I use my R/T for all that it's worth
And keep all my fingers well out."
"Emulate me—young man—if determined you'd be
To grow old and get covered with rings,
Always bearing in mind, 'tis your chest—not your back
Should be used for displaying your wings."
By now our young P/O had had quite enough
And he started to yawn and to fidget...
But he made up his mind that in future he'd try
To extract the proverbial digit.