Naval Air Christmas
by BMC, USN, Ret.
'Twas the night before Christmas, And out on the ramp,
Not an airplane was stirring, Not even a Champ.
The aircraft were fastened, To tiedowns with care,
In hopes that come morning, They all would be there.
The fuel trucks were nestled, All snug in their spots,
With gusts from two-forty, At 39 knots.
I slumped at the fuel desk, Now finally caught up,
And settled down comfortably, Resting my butt.
When the radio lit up, With noise and chatter,
I turned up the scanner, 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,
Couldn't hear him too well, But think his call sign was "St.Nick".
I ran to the panel, To turn up the lights,
The better to welcome, This magical flight.
He called his position, No room for denial,
"St. Nicholas One, Turnin' left onto final."
And then to my wondering eyes, There did suddenly appear,
A Rutan-built sleigh, With eight Rotax Reindeer!
With vectors to final, Down the glide slope he came,
As he passed all fixes, He called them by name.
Now Ringo! Now Tolga! Now Trini and Bacun!
On Comet! On Cupid! " What pills was he takin'?
While controllers were sittin', And scratchin' their head,
They phoned to my office, And I heard it with dread.
The message they left, Was both urgent and dour:
"When Santa pulls in, Have him please call the tower."
He landed like silk, With the sled runners sparking,
Then I heard "Left at Charlie," And "Taxi to parking."
He slowed to a taxi, Turned
off of three-oh,
And stopped on the ramp, With a "Ho-Ho-Ho..."
He stepped out of the sleigh, But before he talks,
I ran out to meet him, With my best set of chocks.
His red helmet and goggles, Were covered with frost,
And his beard was all blackened, From Reindeer exhaust.
His breath smelled like peppermint, Gone slightly stale,
And 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 he asked me to "fill it, With hundred low-lead."
Then he came dashing in, From the snow-covered pump,
I knew he was anxious, For drainin' the sump.
I spoke not a word, But went straight to my work,
And I filled up the sleigh, But I spilled like a jerk.
He came out of the restroom, And sighed in relief,
Then he picked up a phone, For a 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 the front to the rear,
Then he put on his headset, And I heard him yell, "Clear!"
And laying a finger, On his push-to-talk,
He called up the tower, For clearance and squawk.
"Take taxiway Charlie, The southbound direction,
Turn right three-two-zero, At pilot's discretion"
He sped down the runway, The best of the best,
"Your traffic's a T-6, Inbound from the west"
Then I heard him proclaim, As he climbed thru the night,
"Merry Christmas to all! I have traffic in sight.
-- Author Unknown
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