Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Aviation Night Before Christmas

I came across this some years back on a forum, and decided it was too good not to share again. I make no claim that it is original to me. Whomever the author of this piece is, he/she did a bang-up job! And, as tis the season...  enjoy!

'Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the ramp
Not an airplane was stirring, not even a Champ.
The aircraft were fastened to tie downs with care,
in hopes that come morning, all would be there.

The fuel trucks were nestled, all snog in their spots,
With gusts from two-ninety at 55 knots.
I slumped at the fuel desk, now finally caught up,
and settled down comfortably, resting on my butt.

When the radio lit up with a noise and a chatter,
I turned up the volumn to see what was the matter.
A voice clearly heard over static and snow,
called for clearance to land, at the airport below.

He barked his transmission so lively and quick,
I'd sworn right away the call sign said "St. Nick"?
I ran to the panel to turn up the airfield lights,
the better to greet this magical flight.

He called his position, no room for denial,
"St. Nicholas 1, turnin' left base, to final".
And what to my wondering eyes to appear,
But, a Rutan-built sleigh, powered by eight Rotax Reindeer!

With vectors to final, down the glide slope he came,
reporting all the fixes, he called them by name:
"Now Ringo! Now Tolga! Now Trixi! Now reporting Lincoln!!!
On Comet! On Cupid!" What Schnapps was he drinkin'?

The controllers were sittin', and scratchin their heads,
they phoned my office, and I heard it with dread,
they left their message, both urgent and dour:
"When Santa arrives, please have him call the tower".

He landed like silk, with sled skids 'a sparking,
His clearance was given; left on Charley, taxi to parking.
He slowed to a taxi, turned off of three-oh,
then stopped on the ramp with a "Ho, ho-ho-ho...."

He stepped out of the sleigh, but before he could talk,
I ran out to meet him with my best set of chocks.
His helmet and goggles were covered with frost,
and his beard was blackened, from Reindeer exhaust.

His breath smelled of pepperment, gone slightly stale,
He puffed on a pipe, but didn't inhale.
His cheeks were all rosy and jiggled like jelly,
His boots were as black as a cropduster's belly.

He was chubby and plump, in his suit of bright red,
and asked me to "fill it, with 100 low lead".
He came dashing in from the snow-covered pump,
I knew he was anxious for drainin' the sump.

I spoke not a word, went straight to my work,
and filled up the sleigh, but I spilled like a jerk.
He came out of the restroom, a sigh of relief,
then picked up the phone for his Flight Service brief.

And I thought as he silently scribed in his log,
these reindeer could land in an eighth-mile fog.
he completed his pre-flight from front to the rear,
Then put on his headset, I heard him call "clear"!

And laying his finger on his push to talk,
he called up the tower for his clearance and squawk.
"taxi down Charley, the southbound direction,
turn right to three-two-zero, at pilots discretion".

He sped down the runway, the best of the best,
"Your traffic's an RJ, inbound from the west".
I heard him proclaim as he retracted the skids
"Merry Christmas to all! We have traffic in sight".