The Aviator's Night Before Christmas

The Aviator’s Night Before Christmas
(source unknown)

'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,
while peak northwest gusts reached 39 knots.
I sat near the fuel desk, at last all caught up,
and settled down comfortably upon my butt.

When over the radio, there arose such a clatter,
I turned up the scanner to see what’s the matter.
A voice clearly heard over static and snow,
asked for clearance to land at the airport below.

He barked out his transmission so lively and quick,
I could have sworn that the call sign he used was “St.Nick.”
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Sure that it was only Horizon’s late Dash.

Then he called his position, and there could be no denial,
“This is St. Nicholas One, and I’m now turning final.”
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
A Rutan sleigh, and eight Rotax Reindeer.

Cleared for the ILS, down the glideslope 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’!?

The last several fixes left the controllers confused,
they called down to the office to give me the news.
The message they left was both urgent and dour:
“When Santa pulls in, could he please call the tower?”

He landed like silk, with the sled runners sparking,
Then I heard “Exit at Charlie,” and “Taxi to parking.”
He slowed to a taxi and exited Three-Two,
as he came down the taxiway the sleigh bells’ jingle grew.

He stepped out of the sleigh, but before he could talk,
I had run out to him with my best set of chocks.
He was dressed all in fur, which was covered with frost
and his beard was all blackened from Rotax Reindeer exhaust.

His breath smelled like peppermint, gone slightly stale
and he puffed on a pipe, but he didn’t inhale.
His cheeks were rosy and jiggled like jelly,
and his boots were as black as a cropduster’s belly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old fool,
and he kindly informed me that he needed some fuel.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his toes,
led me to know he was desperate to powder his nose.

I spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
and I filled up the sleigh, but I spilled like a jerk.
He came out of the restroom with a sigh of relief,
and then picked up a phone for a flight service brief.

And I thought as he silently scribed in his log,
that with Rudolph, he could land in eighth-mile fog.
He completed his preflight, 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 his clearance and squawk.
“After departure fly heading three two zero,” the tower called forth,
“and watch for a Cirrus inbound from the North.”

Then I heard him exclaim, as he climbed in the night,
“Merry Christmas to all, the traffic’s in sight.”


The talent of some peole amazes me! Thanks for sharing this!

Imitation is certainly the sincerest form…, especially with respect to an “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas”, formerly considered to be the work of Clement Moore…this link blows the roof off this “mis-accreditation”. You can now say thanks to Major Henry Livingston Jr. (1748-1828)…just a bit of literary trivia to lighten the Holiday Season, “HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!” H.L. Jr.

In keeping with your Christmas theme, Roger, I submit the following:

(Posted on AvWeb - Author Unknown)

On the first day of Christmas, my C-F-I gave to me…

A regulation 91.3;
A two-hour preflight;
Three full stalls;
Four short approaches;
Six flights computing;
Seven route re-thinkings;
Eight in-flight briefings;
Nine charts a-folding;
Ten minutes holding;
Eleven towers talking; and,
Twelve-hundred squawking.

Here’s a to this interesting bit of research into literary history.

For an extensive collection of articles about holiday-related myths and legends, visit the superb Legends Reference Pages.

Bah! Humbug!