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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Aviation Catholic Confessional

My dirty black work pants
Covering bruised and battered knees
Fell heavily upon the red velvet wrapped kneeler
The massive confessional door clicked shut loudly
Cuing a sliding panel to open in front of me
With a silhouette in view past the woven bamboo fingers

"Bless me father for I have sinned
It's been so long since last time
I can't even guess since when

I have committed grave sins against Type Certification
Creating Frankenstein's monster
Where once a Cessna Citation once had been

Three hard points upon each naked wing
In support of various ordinance
Wrecking the aerodynamics
Defeating physics at last
I don't know how it stays in the air to be honest
If not for the high performance turbofans we installed

Beefed up engine pylons
With oversized lugs
To take GE F404's
Complete with afterburner nozzles
Shrouded in one of a kind cowling

Four extra fuel bladders beneath the floors
Plumbed with titanium line
Inline fuel pumps with magnets around the outlets
To align the electrons for higher performance
Because the owner had watched too many late night commercials

A cockpit panel made of one piece of interactive touchscreen glass
Made by the Chinese
Which company I forgot to ask
Basically a king sized iPod with wings
With fly by wire control sticks
For the pilots to do their things

Jammers and boosters
Penetrating radar to the rear
Satellite internet service
Which costs pretty dear
Though money was no object
And we all worked through the night out of fear

I seek absolution for this sin against aviation
More rocket than aircraft
The only thing keeping it in the air is thrust
An F-4 is a glider dancing upon thermals by comparison"

The priest cleared his throat
And offered this,
"My son
Jesus would not approve of your bending of the rules
But He would rejoice in the high performance of the result
Therefore I prescribe a light penance to remind you to look at your maintenance manuals a little more often

Perform six Acts of Contrition
Three Hail Mary's
Read the AC43.13 latest revision from front to back
And write "I will not modify aircraft and components without a Form 337 or STC" exactly 100 times

I will expect that last one upon my rectory desk by tomorrow morning
Now go in peace with God's blessing my child"

The little door slid shut with an implied sigh
Echoed by my own
As I rose
Opened that large door
And went to the front pew to get started on my penance