The Night Before Christmas (From a Pilot’s Perspective)

A Christmas greeting from the AVweb family.


Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the land
Not a creature was stirring
A storm was at hand.

Ol’ Santa was worried
As he said with a frown,
"The children expect me.
I can’t let them down."

He checked on the weather
But the forecast was dreary
It looked like this Christmas
Might not be so merry.

So he gathered his reindeer
In hopes that among them
They’d find a solution
To this unforeseen problem.

Dasher and Dancer
Were no help at all
While Comet and Cupid
Just watched the snow fall.

Prancer and Vixen
Were willing to try,
But Donder and Blitzen
Thought it risky to fly.

"Hey, Rudolph can help us,"
Santa then stated.
"I know for a fact
That he’s instrument rated."

The others had teased him
And acted atrocious
As he studied his Jepp charts
And practiced approaches.

Now the time and the effort
He’d put into training
Would make Christmas happen
Whether snowing or raining.

He knew about vectors
And could use GPS
Which would guide them to places
Without having to guess.

So they loaded the sleigh,
Which presented a challenge
To confirm the CG
And assure weight and balance.

When Santa was ready
And Rudolph was too
There was one final task
That they needed to do.

They contacted Center
To file IFR
For a trip that would take them
To countries afar.

With clearance to waypoints
They flew into the flurry.
On airways they’d travel
There was no need to worry.

From country to city
And every small town,
Rudolph guided the sleigh
And each house he found.

When he landed at mine
I’ll admit my surprise
And I’m sure it was clear
By the look in my eyes.

The night was as cold
As I could remember
And the chill left no doubt
That the month was December.

His landing was perfect
And worthy of boast.
Had he not been proficient
He’d have missed the approach.

The sound on my rooftop
Brought relief and a sigh.
Santa had made it;
We’d not been passed by.

He came down the chimney
And opened his sack
Then shook off the snow
From his beard and his back.

In spite of the weather
Ol’ Santa was jolly
For some, t’would be work
But to him this was folly.

He filled all the stockings,
Put gifts ’round the tree.
Most were for children
But I saw one for me.

Then, quick as a flash,
He was back to his sleigh
Where Rudolph was ready
To show him the way.

He’d plotted the course
That would get them back home,
With the help of flight following,
From Athens to Nome.

Santa looked at his checklist
Then let out a whistle
And away they all flew
Like an ICB missile.

But I heard him exclaim
As he flew out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all,
Thanks to Instrument Flight!"


Happyholidays and fly safe,

Fromall of us at AVweb