The Cessna 152

The Cessna 152 is a two seat high winged basic training aeroplane. This is my tribute to this little workhorse of the sky. Any pilot who has flown one will recognise some of the points referred to!

THE Cessna 152 design,
Is not by any means, sublime,
With clumsy struts, and angled fin,
And a fuselage, made out of tin,
A cabin, small, just room for two,
You really have to know your crew!
For safety’s sake, may God be praised,
The undercarriage can’t be raised,
Full flaps drop down, forty degrees,
Like twin barn doors, into the breeze,
The seats move smoothly, fore and aft,
If the catch unlocks, this happens fast,
The cabin vents are curious things.
Like aerosols stuck in the wings,
They’re firmly fixed, without a doubt,
Until you climb, the they drop out,
These things you’ll recognise, and more,
But what’s the rear view mirror for?
This little ‘plane has given much,
Withstood the student pilot’s touch,
And carried me through miles of sky,
And in her charge, I learned to fly,
She’s no classic, that much is true,
But, deep down, she’s great, my 152

Mark Charlwood
Pilot, Instructor, Poet

The Halcyon Days of Flying

Halcyon Days

The Halcyon days of flying are past,
When forty five knots was considered too fast,
When aircraft were made out of fabric and wood,
And cockpits were open – no Plexiglass hood.

A hardy breed, those pioneer flyers,
Exposed to the rain, and the wind in the wires,
Their only guide for keeping for keeping on track,
We’re their two old faithfuls – a compass and map.

Those early machines that aspired to flight,
We’re nothing more really, than a motorised kite,
When the cardinal rule book was terribly thin,
With just two commandments – don’t stall and don’t spin.

Men were starting to probe the mysterious sky,
And a very large number were sadly. To die,
Others came back having had a bad fright,
Giving the warning that “Aeroplanes bite!”

As I sit in my cockpit with its array of dials,
And see the flight manual, (two very large files)
With its gyros and gauges, and radio stack,
I muse we’ve come a long way, and there’s no going back.

So wistful, at dusk, I leave the flight line,
Wishing I’d flown in that glorious time,
So, back to the club house for one or two beers,
And to the pioneer fliers, raise my glass and say “Cheers!”

Mark Charlwood
Pilot, Instructor, Poet.