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"The Night Before Christmas"
Original post: 12/13/1998
By: R. Michael Pollard
"Twas the night before Christmas all over the place,
when we were confronted by an old flying ace.
There was icing reported and turbulent air.
But he said "File me a flight plan, I gotta get there"
Outside sat his aircraft all ready to run,
And the old man walked out to that P-51 (or 231, 201, etc.)
"Bad weather's no problem," he silently mumbled,
The prop came to life ...that big Allison rumbled.
When he eased in the throttle, the roar shook the ground.
He taxied on out and he turned it around.
He went through the run-up and seemed satisfied,
Then he said to himself,"I'm in for a ride."
So he lined it up straight as he poured on the coal,
The tailwheel came up as he started to roll.
Up off the runway, he sucked up the gear,
And that mighty V-12 was all you could hear.
He screamed overhead with a deafening crack,
The blue flames were flying from each shiny stack.
He pulled up the nose and started to climb,
No ice on that airframe, it didn't have time.
On top of the weather with the levers all set,
He looked up above him and saw a Lear jet.
"With jet fuel and turbines there just ain't no class,
Gimme pistons and props and lots of avgas!"
Now he was approaching where he wanted to go,
But the weather had covered the runway with snow.
How would he land it? We'll just have to guess,
Because the only way in was a full I-L-S.
Then over the marker he started his run,
The ceiling was zero...visibility, none.
Still going three hundred and he felt the need
For an overhead break to diminish his speed.
Over the numbers he zoomed along like a flash,
Pulled into his break; we knew he would just crash.
Oh, why do they do it on these kind of nights??
Then over the threshold we saw landing lights!
"I'm on a short final with three in the green,
And I see enough runway to land this machine."
And as he tied down that old Mustang, we all heard him say,
"Next year, I'm stickin' with my reindeer and sleigh!"