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!”
Pilot, Instructor, Poet.