Thursday, January 17, 2013


Remember that dream you had when you were a kid?

The one where you were flying?

Remember how you felt soaring over the earth and waves?

I do that.

Being a military pilot is a dream come true for me, and like everything that is worth having, it didn't come easy. One of the great perks of being a military pilot aside from the box lunches, free hair styling products, and an expensive collection of velcro patches, are the nick names we sometimes earn.

A plane my Dad flew, now in someones museum.

One of the great misunderstandings about call signs is that they are cool. Cool in the 1984 Top Gun motorcycle fist shake at a roaring F14 Tom cat kind of cool. They are not.

Me, standing next to the airplane I fly, that is on display in someone else's museum.

I know a guy whose call sign is GIMP. In the three years I have known him, I have never seen him without a bandaid, crutch or stitch. Considering how uncoordinated he is, it is a wonder that he can use a fork let a lone hover a 20 thousand pound helicopter.

There is of course PADDY NO PANTS. That one is pretty self explanatory. In his defence, every story he tells that concerns him taking off his pants in public actually makes sense and was the best decision at the time. What has always been his downfall however was his choice in undergarments.

Mose no pants stories start like this.

I am particularly found of SKYWALKER. I gave him his nick name. While focused on the Tactical Display in the aircraft, he was asked if he would like to get out and stretch his legs while we fuelled on the back of the ship. "Sure," he replied then unstrapped from his chair, turned, and opened the passenger door, only to realize we were still hovering 60 feet off the side of the ship. He still doesn't like to talk about that story. I do however.

This is where Skywalker would have washed up.

I can not forget to mention HOT TUB. His is an account of an escalating game of drunken Truth or Dare with 3 ladies. His humiliation has lead to many thoughtful discussions of what one would do in a similar circumstance. I have told his story on 4 continents and although we have all laughed at his expense, I have yet to meet a man that wouldn't have done what he did.

Some call me KNUCKLES. Thankfully there is no story behind it.