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Fantasy Flight
copyright 1993 by H. Paul Shuch, all rights reserved

Up in the ozone at dawn's first light -
Oh, what a sense of power!
Turning my knuckles a ghostly white
At six hundred miles an hour.

Went for a hop in an F/A-18
At Naval Air Station Lemore.
My face and my flight suit are suitably green,
And still I am begging for more.

A half dozen hard points beneath the wing
Remind me of her true task.
And are we now carrying anything?
I am afraid to ask.

Skim fifty feet off the desert floor,
Then a slight tug on the stick
Has you ascending to heaven's door,
Quite an impressive trick.

Aerial combat maneuvers I've flown
In the Air Force's T-34
Cannot compare to the wonders I've known
In these past few days at Lemore.

I came to the base as a VIP
To accredit their radar school.
Would I like a ride? I replied, "Who, me?"
Trying to play it cool.

Helmet and G-suit and altitude test,
Ejection seat lessons to learn.
Three full days to prepare for the best
Ride any pilot can earn.

Today, as the canopy, full of sky,
Causes my heart to shout,
I cannot help but to wonder why
I choose the Air Force route.

Lower the tail hook and catch the wire,
Full power and bolt if you slip.
Difficult! Frankly I don't aspire
To ever try that on a ship.

I doubt I shall know such a ride again,
So I hold the experience dear
And envy the fortunate women and men
Who fly like this as a career.

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