I’ve hung around small airfields, since I was just a lad,
A hangar rat, an Air Cadet, I was aviation mad,
Sent solo in a sailplane, when I was just sixteen,
Soaring over English fields, a quilt of gold and green.
Sweeping out the hangars, polishing the props,
Cleaning all their windshields, hanging round in ops,
Topping up the tanks and tyres, mowing taxiways and strip,
Befriending all the pilots, to see if I could blag a trip.
I worked hard at my day job, slaving nine til’ five,
Then pumping gas, and cleaning, to keep the dream alive,
When I wasn’t working, I was studying the sky,
Reading all the books I could, on learning how to fly
Then as I got bigger, the airfields did the same,
And I was thrilled to hang around, much bigger aeroplanes,
In flight operations, now planning flights and fuel
Working out performance, and briefing all the crews.
Now older, greyer, wiser, and thicker round the waist,
I stopped working at the airport, moved to a weirder place,
A full-flight simulator, is now how I cover my outgoings,
Teaching pilots how to fly their Airbuses and Boeings
I’ve worked at many airports, on many a different fleet
An aviation specialist, some would say a geek,
Now retirement calls, my airplane waits, as does my flying hat,
Once again, I am a lad, a happy hangar rat!
Mark Charlwood 2021 ©