|WHAT IS A FIGHTER PILOT|
WHAT IS A FIGHTER PILOT?
A fighter jock is quite a phenomenon. He likes flying [single seat only ] and especially gunnery, acrobatics and cross countries. He has a strange fascination for flying boots, gambling, smoking and breaking glasses. He can usually be found in sports cars, at parties or happy hour. His natural habitat [while on the ground] is the Land of The Bearded Clam, Europe and or certain parts of the Orient. He has an affinity for women and booze [especially Martinis so dry that the bartender just faces Italy and salutes]. He likes Steve Canyon, to read Snoopy, eat steaks and tell dirty jokes. His favorite hiding place is in dark cool bars or behind a pair of dark glasses. He is capricious. To amuse himself he may fire practice flares from mobile control, throw empty beer cans down the BOQ corridors, pour drinks down an overexposed decoupage, or become generally obnoxious. His favorite conversation revolves about a continuous chatter concerning flying, booze, or females [the order of priority is apparently irrelevant].
He has an aversion to survival training, bomber pilots [or most other pilots for that matter] mobile control, AO [Airdrome Officer] duty and extended alerts. He tolerates ankle biters and house apes [other than his own] and has an overwhelming hatred for bingo. Whenever possible he avoids weather, icy runways, lost communications, flame outs and ejections. Water makes him sick [ unless frozen and surrounded by scotch], and he would rather face a firing squad than be caught pushing a baby buggy or carrying an umbrella. At the mention of matrimony, he may become a catatonic schizophrenic and has a mysterious distaste toward wearing a wedding band.
A fighter pilot is a composite. He has the nerves of a robot, the audacity of Dennis the Menace, the lungs of a platoon sergeant, the vitality of an atomic bonb, the imagination of a science fiction writer, glib as a diplomat, impervious to suggestion and is a paragon of wisdom with a wealth of unassorted, completely unrelated and irrelevant facts. He wears the biggest watch, has the shortest staying power and is always trying to get laid on credit. When he tries to make an impression, either his brain turns to mud or he becomes a savage, sadistic jungle creature bent on destroying the world and himself with it.
Who else can cram into one flying suit: check lists, maps, zeus openers, a dime novel, knives, guns, flares and snares, nylon cording, a handker-chief, assorted inhalers, aspirin, cigarettes, a flashlight, check lists, pencils, pens, gloves, a deck of cards, coded telephone numbers, a wallet, keys, his horoscope, a talisman, a St. Christopher medal, check lists and a chunk of unknown substance.
At home with his wife he is docile, sweet, tender, loving, amiable, just a helluva nice guy to have around the house, straight arrow all the way, except when they are fighting, then he becomes a beast who is tyrannical, suspicious, diabolical and a masochistic sex fiend who just ain't got no couth [these symptoms may also appear after beer call].
As a father he is tough but oh so gentle, kind, just, protective, far sighted, ambitious and really proud of that young fighter pilot [he'll never admit it, and it's never displayed in public, but that goes for the little girl too].
In the air he is calculating and confident. His voice, gruff and steely cool [an acquired characteristic regardless of how he feels] pierces the garbled waves, barking terse commands. On the hunt he becomes part monster: scanning with the eyes of a falcon, has the reaction of a cat, the instincts of a barracuda, the cunning of a fox and the ability to rotate his head 360 degrees on all axis. When approaching the target, mind and metal fuse, spawning a killer child. Destruction is sure and precise as Euclidean geometry. Steel
After the mission he is tired, thirsty, dirty and bedraggled. He walks with his legs crossed to the nearest latrine [or empties out his G suit]. Hair matted with helmet rat snarls and mask scars etched on a red, raw face, he knows he has met and beaten the grim reaper. And then with the oily odor of JP 4 clinging to a salt encrusted zipper ripper, he'll unleash that shiny-eyed smile which says 'lets press on to the O club and inhale a few tall frosty ones' whereupon he miraculously regenerates into a critical mass and with a flurry of hands, arms, legs and body English stuns his alcoholic cohorts with tales of 'hairy' deeds.
A fighter jock is magic, a master imposter, Houdini with the top of his blouse unbuttoned. Sometimes he's old, sometimes he's young. Immature yet sage. He is instant fear and lasting bravery. The original metamorphosis. He hovers between play and business, and can make your date vanish right before your eyes. He is present, past and future rolled into one. But most of all he's got wings and with a throttle in his left hand and a stick in his right, shackled to a million dollar blowtorch and always ready to get the maximum out of every minute of every hour of every day.
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
|OH I HAVE SLIPPED THE SURLY BONDS OF EARTH AND DANCED THE
SKIES ON LAUGHTER-SILVERED WINGS. SUNWARD I'VE CLIMBED, AND JOINED THE
TUMBLING MIRTH OF SUN SPLIT CLOUDS. AND DONE A HUNDRED THINGS YOU HAVE
NOT DREAMED OF. WHEELED AND SOARED AND SWUNG HIGH IN THE SUNLIT SILENCE.
HOV'RING THERE, I'VE CHASED THE SHOUTING WIND ALONG, AND FLUNG MY
EAGER CRAFT THROUGH FOOTLESS HALLS OF AIR. UP, UP THE LONG DELERIOUS,
BURNING BLUE. I'VE TOPPED THE WINDSWEPT HEIGHTS WITH EASY GRACE WHERE
NEVER LARK, OR EVEN EAGLE FLEW. AND, WHILE WITH SILENT, LIFTING MIND I'VE
TROD THE HIGH UNTRESPASSED SANCTITY OF SPACE, PUT OUT MY HAND AND
TOUCHED THE FACE OF GOD.
PILOTS PSALM BY CHAPLAIN EDWARD H.
THE LORD IS MY PILOT, I SHALL NOT CRASH.
HE MAKETH ME TO FLY IN CLEAR SKIES;
HE LEADETH ME DOWN TO SMOOTH LANDINGS;
HE KEEPETH MY CHART.
HE GUIDETH ME THROUGH THE PATHLESS
WAYS OF THE SKIES FOR HIS NAMES SAKE.....
YEA ,THOUGH I FLY THROUGH THE STORMS
AND TEMPEST OF LIFE, I SHALL DREAD
NO DANGER; FOR THOU ART NEAR ME;
THY LOVE AND THY CARE, THEY PROTECT ME;
THOU PREPAREST AN AIRPORT BEFORE ME
IN THE HOMELAND OF ETERNITY;
THOU EMBLAZONETH THE SKIES WITH THY BEAUTY;
MY PLANE FLIES GRACEFULLY.
SURELY SUNLIGHT AND STARLIGHT SHALL FAVOR ME
ON THE FLIGHT I TAKE; AND I WILL ABIDE IN THE
PRESENCE OF MY GOD FOREVER.
One last word. You only live once so:
TAKE A BIG BITE OUT OF LIFE
EVERYTHING TO EXCESS
MODERATION IS FOR MONKS
DO YOUR THING EARLY
LIFE IS VERY SHORT