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Don Desfosse

Happy Holidays!

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As we come screaming into this hectic, yet hopefully very soon a very peaceful season, I'd like to share with you an old aviation tome that puts a smile onto my face every year when I get to read it.  You have my sincerest and best wishes for a very safe, healthy, blessed and happy holiday season!



A retelling of the 19th-century story, especially for aviators.

This has been floating around the Internet for years in various forms -- and probably was passed around as photocopies for years before that.



'Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the ramp,

Not an airplane was stirring, not even a Champ.

The aircraft were fastened to tie downs 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 with 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,

I'd have sworn that the call sign he used 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 what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a Rutan-built sleigh, with eight Rotax Reindeer!


With vectors to final, 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'?


While controllers were sittin', and scratchin' their heads,

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-ho..."


He stepped out of the sleigh, but before he could talk,

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 he 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."

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 Grumman, inbound from the west."

Then I heard him proclaim, as he climbed thru the night,

"Merry Christmas to all! I have traffic in sight."

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Guest Glenn Buonanducci

I'm glad to see that Santa doesn't inhale!  Very festive, thanks.

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Guest Jason Herman



Have a safe and happy holiday, it is a great time to spend with family and friends (those who mean the most to us). Enjoy!




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Guest AA

Happy Holidays, everyone! Stay safe and have fun!


Jeffrey Marques

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Hard to believe another year has gone by, and a year since I posted this.  It still puts a smile on my face --- hopefully it will for you too. 


Thank you for all we've been able to accomplish together in 2010, and I'll take this moment to wish you, your families, friends and loved ones a very safe, healthy and happy holiday season, and an even better 2011!

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Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a healthy new year!


Here's another one found on the interwebs:


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!"


Rich Bonneau (BU)

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Guest Glenn Buonanducci

Happy and safe holidays for everyone.



Blue Skies,

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Guest Thomas Reid

"Bah! Humbug! What do you think? This vacation is for relaxing or something? More like more time to get work done, now get to it!"

-Seasons greetings from SHS



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Guest Glenn Buonanducci

Happy and safe new year.  Keep you headings between the lines and remember your separation.

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These continue to be awesome, year after year.


Thank you for all we've been able to accomplish together in 2011, and I wish you, your families, friends and loved ones a very safe, healthy and happy holiday season, and an even better 2012!

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Guest Caleb Morgan

I wish everyone a happy and safe holiday!

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Guest Glenn Buonanducci

Happy holidays.  It is hard to believe that another year has flown by.  Stay safe.

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