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A Typical Day

The Ninety Two, Twelve Ninety and the Watchman,

All tasked to clear the Range in Hebrides,

Maintained and kept in order by a Scotchman,

Would test the heart of even Socrates.


We need each radar up to ensure safety.

To check no plane or ship is on the Range.

Our trials rely on them to work, but lately

This operation has been true but strange


For six long hours the Ninety Two was working,

Though we were told for sure it couldn’t be.

Communication failed or someone shirking,

Kept Voodoo on the ground not o’er the sea.


We set to work and got the launcher ready.

The Voodoo for this trial was called V3.

Then we were told “Don’t launch yet, please keep steady,

Twelve Ninety’s broken and we just can’t see.”


They put another radar on the Range Head.

It pointed out to sea to look for ships.

All systems go, and still this trial is not dead.

We launched with grace and thankfully no flips.


The object of the trial – long range, high flying,

And teaching Calum what he has to know.

He’s doing very well, it’s not too trying,

Then, bloody hell, the Watchman fails to show.


And so we asked the techies what was failing.

They looked at charts and said “microwave duct.”

The signal from St. Kilda’s gone off sailing.

In other words, our operation’s functionally constrained.


So Calum flies the Voodoo back for landing,

And manages to land it on a fence.

But luckily the aircraft is still standing,

Allowing for some bumps and scrapes and dents.


Another target launched and climbed quite larkish,

Until telemetry went on the blink.

We had to bring it back to land quite sharpish,

We couldn’t face it dropping in the drink.


We knew that now we’d seen all that could test us,

So we came in to have another bash.

I thought someone was only trying to jest us.

No flight today, we’ve got volcanic ash.


April 2010
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