Tiger Moth
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Reflections of a pupil pilot
June 1944

Tiger Moth


A flying machine one day was planned
By a fellow called de Havilland
Two wings, a tail and fuselage
Two wheels, tail skid and empennage
An engine and propeller both
The whole damn thing called Tiger Moth.

As to why it should be called so
I'm afraid I really do not know
Nothing tigerish in its frame
And no attraction to a flame.

Dressed up in its yellow paint
Some people think it rather quaint
So now the pupil needs must try
To fly this machine across the sky.

But 'ere he flies up in the sky
He has to learn just how and why
The pupil labours day and night
To understand the Theory of Flight.

And then he needs must bend his will
Towards the vital cockpit drill
He learns the cockpit drill with ease
Go through it all - no shortcuts please.

The propeller's swung, the engine fires
Slipstream makes music in the wires
It's time to open up the throttle
Choose take-off path - towards that wattle.

The tail will swing, that's understood
Just look out for yonder wood
Peering o'er the lower wing
Apply the rudder bias spring.

So now it's running straight and true
Concentrate, don't make a blue.
The speed is building without fail
Some forward stick will lift the tail.

Running fast on two wheels now
And the instruments avow
That take-off speed at last is nigh
Stick backward pressure sees him fly.

And as the earth beneath him sinks
A moment to relax - well done he thinks.

Time now to climb to cruising height
Then straight and level sees him right.

The engine maintains a steady beat
The map is read, the course complete
The compass is the pilot's friend
Pay close attention that's the trend.

Destination now in sight
There's the aerodrome on the right
Time to choose the landing run
Cockpit landing drill begun.

Close the throttle, set the glide
Turn left and watch on every side
The boundary fence just now is passed
The landing path is rising fast.

Stick right back and now she sinks
Down on three points - well done methinks.
Taxi in all spick and span
Tomorrow, do it all again.

Lepidoptera Tigris (ESH)