High Flight  - Annotated


Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth (1)

And danced (2) the skies on laughter silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed (3) and joined the tumblimg mirth (4)

Of sun-split clouds (5) - and done a hundred things (6)

You have not dreamed of - Wheeled and soared and swung (7)

High in the sunlit silence. (8) Hov'ring there (9)

I've chaased the shouting wind (10) along,

and flung (11) my eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, (12) burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights (13) with easy grace

Where never lark, or even eagle (14) flew.

And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space, (15)

Put out my hand, (16) and touched the face of God.

- John Gillespie Magee Jr., 1941


Federal Aviation Administration notations, 199

1. Flight crews must insure that all surly bonds have been slipped entirely before aircraft taxi or flight is attempted.

2. During periods of severe sky dancing, the FASTEN SEATBELT sign must remain illuminated.

3. Sunward climbs must not exceed the maximm permitted aircraft ceiling.

4. Passenger aircraft are prohibited from joining the tumbling mirth.

5. Pilots flying through sun-split clouds must comply with all applicable visual and instrument flight rules.

6. These hundred things must be listed on a Federal Aviation Administration flight plan and approved prior to execution.

7. Wheeling, soaring, and swinging will not be accomplished simultaneously except by pilots in the flight simulator or in their own aircraft on their own time.

8. Be advised that sunlit silence will occur only when a major engine malfunciton has occured.

9. "Hov'ring there" will constitute a highly reliable signal that a flight emergence is imminent.

10. Forecasts of shouting winds are available from the local Flight Service

Station. Encounters with unexpected shouting winds should be reported by pilots.

11. Be forewarned that pilot craft-flinging is a leading cause of passenger airsickness.

12. Should any crew member or passenger experience delirium while in the burning blue, submit an irregularity report upon flight termination.

13. Windswept heights will be topped by a minimum of 1,000 feet to prevent massive airsickness-bag use.

14. Aircraft engine ingestion of, or impact with, larks or eagles should be reported to the FAA and the appropriate aircraft maintenance facility.

15. Air Traffic Control (ATC) must issue all special clearances for treading the high untrespassed sanctity of space.

16. FAA regulations state that no one may sacrifice aircraft cabin pressure to open aircraft windows or doors while in flight.

- Author Unknown