Sunday, September 24, 2006

Low Flight

I've just been visiting Bazza's blog, where he has posted the immortal High Flight poem, by Flying Officer John Magee.

Having flown many hours in helicopters, I would like to share a less known derivative of this famous poem. I am not able to say where I sourced it from, but I believe it originates from a US Army helicopter pilot.

I dedicate this to all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice flying helicopters in peacetime and war.

Low Flight

Oh, I have lifted vertically from the ground
And humbly joined the sky with wings swept round
Forward I've flown, while closely hugging earth
Beneath the clouds, and done a hundred things you would not dare to:
Autoed, hoisted and beeped while challenging death.
Hov'ring there I've fought the shifting winds around
And forced my balking craft through fearful turbulent air
Down amongst the low awaiting fog -
I've stayed above the sea
Through skill - where never goat nor C-130 flew
And while with silent humble stance,
I've listened to the men who flew on high
I've lowered my head and taken their abuse
And somewhere God looked at me and smiled

The Silver Eagle

Photo of an RNZAF Bell Uh-1H Iroquois helicopter on operations in East Timor. Photo courtesy of my friend Chip Lundgren


Blogger gem said...

Nice tag to bazza's poem, which I love. The author wrote in perfect iambic pentameter (the meter of Shakespeare) and was well schooled.

This was also a fine piece. I think people tend to underestimate that helicopter pilots face danger, too.

One of the bravest helicopter stories I know (I'll admit I don't know many)is from Into Thin Air, the chronicle of the worst climbing disaster on Everest. Anyway one survivor needs emergency treatment to live which he can only get if he's airlifted off Everest. But the air is so thin, there's no air to chop. It might have been certain death, but the copter pilot chances the air lift and the man from Texas lives to tell about the experience. Very moving story.

9/25/2006 5:21 AM  
Blogger Reeholio said...

I've heard of that, but didn't know the details. I will be interested in reading it myself. I will have to look out for that book. Thanks Gale.

9/27/2006 3:46 PM  
Blogger Bazza said...

Thanks for the link Rhys. A very interesting poem. I never knew of it. Gem/Gale is right about how good your blog is/are. I am going to put a link to it in my sidebar. Incidentally that's a good idea to put them in alphabetical order. My new blog will be 'Aardvarks Unlimited'.....

9/30/2006 5:15 AM  
Blogger Reeholio said...

Wow. What a coincidence, I was just reading your post about Woody Allen about five minutes ago. Thanks for the link. I will also add one to the sidebar to yours as well.

Regards, Rhys

10/01/2006 12:10 PM  

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