Category Archives: Flying

Flying

I was very fond of flying.
I could have ended up as a good Flying Officer (not a fighter pilot) and I had all the right ingredients but I came close to it finally.
The day my father took a flight to India on good old Air Ceylon (Avro, I believe) and watched the the take off from the Air Control Tower, I new I was going to fly a lot.
I never told anybody especially my father (he would have never allowed me) but did my own survey and found that it was humanly possible for me to break in without a big connection.
I gave up that idea.
However, even though I did biology I made it a point to offer applied mathematics (I was very good in my mathematics and in fact I beat all the maths students from my biology class) and mathematics in case one day fortune favours me.
Then of course moment I passed out and confirmed in service I applied for Volunteer Air force but I was not enlisted.
I had all the qualifications including physical and sports and was sure of getting enlisted.
When final selection came guy who was almost one foot short was selected and I was not even called for an interview. 
Then when I did my own search and I found that somebody had a hand in not forwarding  my application to the board.
Not only that somebody was enlisted without maths and applied mathematics (he was unceremoniously thrown out later after having being in Uniform for many years). I do not know who instigated his fall but I made a decision I will chuck the Government Service moment I finish my compulsory service, which I did with my father’s vehement protest.
That decision I always cherish and three months after the compulsory service I left the service for good saying myself I will never join it again.
I had been in service I would have ended up in a regrettable high post where corrupt practices are the norm.
The cost of my first flight to UK one way was less than Rs.4000/= and luckily for me  by then my brother who scooted off before me without a red cent in hand was very well settled abroad and not married too.
It took another almost five years for me to get all the training in accident and emergency service to qualify to become a flying doctor (before I changed my course radically to enter academic sphere) and my last job abroad had a quota of flying doctor and doctor for horse racing(I liked horse racing more than flying) if I was not otherwise engaged officially.
But before that I have flown from Northern Hemisphere to Southern Hemisphere and I never got a free ticket or a free ride but i never could qualify as a frequent flyer like most of the Arabs and American CEOs.
What could not dream here in spite all qualifications I could do it in a foreign country down under.
Funnily enough now I hate flying mainly because of the pricing of the tickets which has not come down in spite of stock market crisis and fall.
I always flew on my own money and never ever taken a red cent (I am entitled) from government coffers unlike our MP who go on entourage (rather pilgrimage) and make a mess out of our foreign affairs.
That is something my family is very proud of.
It is  shame to fly on public money and that is a norm today.
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Pelican Story

He was an ex-income tax officer who was seen as good choice for help for Mahanabrahma’s Assistant not only as a Flying Officer but also as a delivery man. Pelicans are known to deliver babies to mums at least when the second one arrives unexpectedly and the first one born asks the silly question from where the hell the second one came.

The pelican come into operational requirement of mothers often in the West but not so much here in Sri-Lanka.

In this context as a delivery man he does not have to deliver babies but all what he has to do is to drop baskets full of documents to sea often containing false declarations made by expectant candidates for their next round of birth and to get favours from Mahabrahma’s Assistant.

 

When he thinks something is cooked up especially coming from Sri-Lanka, the assistant delvers them to the pelican to be dropped to sea so that the ink and all the forgeries are wiped out by the ocean currents ( the ocean can take any rubbish come what it may).

 

On his return pelican has to pick few of them back to heaven and the assistant checks to see if any merits are left tangled with the soggy paper and if not delivers them straight to Appaya (AI) International with a tag number for prompt action.

At AI the soggy paper is irradiated with UV light and then a special black ink is sprayed and that is when all the Papa Karmas are exposed for my equation to take cognizant and automatic reprisal by Apaya authorities.

 

Unlike in the heaven my equation has to be modified when new crimes like that are committed by American investors and speculators are discovered.

Very severe scrutiny is done unlike the Federal Regulators of USA.

The pelican is the go between the Apaya and the Heaven.

In some cases when the documents are landed on high ground or floating ice there is a chance some might escape the sea currents and get a respite but if they are discovered on a subsequent birth it is not the pelican who is punished but the holder of the certificate.

Pelican has no jurisdiction in matters of merits and demerits but only a go between and a mechanism of delaying merits or demerits so that backlog is prevented at the  entry point be that it may be Apaya or Heaven.

 

Pelican navigation skill are considered to be complimentary to the operational mechanics.

 

How he became a trainer Flying Officers was purely an accident by meeting our crab and the tortoise at the lake side.

 

He was offered foreign currency initially by the Air Marshal but when he decided to pay that in Sri-Lankann equivalent of Rupees he really got annoyed since neither Apaya nor Heaven recognize Sri-Lankan Rupees.

 

That is why he deserted the Flying Operations in mid air.

 

I have suggested to remedy this situation soon with a plastic card that automatically converts itself of the credit balance to the currency type moment the airspace of the country is entered but there are few navigational glitches / hitches when the pelican decides to stay in border zones like Palk Straight and the likes.

 

It is currently worn around the pelican neck and it has dual responsibility of location guide and a currency convertor. Once it is tested to Apaya satisfaction it will be used by our pelican and he may decide to return to his substantive post on Earth but that is all at his discretion.

Flying Officer Grounded

You may think that the war efforts are accomplished that most of the flying officers are grounded and not flying any more.

Nothing of that kind but a flight record of a blackbox conversation of the final 5 to 7 minutes of ill fated flight of SL (UL-Usually Late) named P.P.P.

Thank god it is not a civilian flight but a training flight with only two involved one surviving and the other succumbing to injuries ending at Mahabrahma for another round of life cycle.

I have to put the middle of the story first (but the beginning will related briefly in the flight record) to make it brief and interesting and I may have to go for another record for how Mahabrama (his assistant-that part would be interesting) dealt with the emerging crisis.

Flying is a pastime for some (politicians on our money and government coffers) and fantasy for many Sir-Lankans. Many a Sir-Lankan young blood wants to become a flying officer but never get a chance to get there.

I remember I wanted to become a volunteer officer many moons ago but even though I had all the qualifications and the paper work my application never got to the scrutiny table when Public Service  Commission was in operation.

In my case, I was able to make amends and fly almost once a year or more on my own money never a red cent reedemed from the Government and one of my posts  abroad down under was almost a Flying Doctor on distress calls (not me in distress but with adrenaline high and mood elevated)

It is a different story now that the Chief Minister decides the fate of everybody.

In this story Chief Minister also has a fair share of involvement.

Sit tight and listen to the flight recorded data.

The conversation is between a pelican (Flying Instructor) and the flying officer in training.

You may wonder what the hell the pelican doing in the cockpit.

He was not trapped in air but he was the trainer in white suit with beautiful avian stripes to adorn.

Yes he was the trainer.
Then who was the trainee?

The trainee was a typical Sir-Lankan man who went up the ladder by being a yes man all his life without any decoration or qualification to boast about

He was somewhat similar to Bun Ki Moon who is a yes man for the big nations and red bully for small nations.

I hope you got the picture.

If he say yes to big shots he will be sure of another term in UNO.

Our man of course did not have applied mathematics but a forged certificate to say he passed the “O” Level in mathematics applied and general.

The conversation went on like this rudely terminated in mid air.

Hello Sir!
You are my trainer?

Yes is there any problem?
No Sir have I got to Sir you.
It depends!

If you end up passing with flying colours yes but not otherwise.

He was bit confused but continued to say SiR to which the pelican with good senses did not object.

He was wanting to count how many times he Sirs him during the first flight.

Sir, you have a big beak but no hands.

So Sir, how are you going to help me with the joystick?

I have good eyes and a small brain and that were enough to navigate from Europe to Sir-Lanka to escape from harsh winter believe me I can navigate you if you listen to me carefully instead of saying Sir.

He firmly ascertained his navigation skills.

Besides you have too hands, don’t you?

Now nose up, flaps up and raise off the ground.

Yes Sir.

Now they were in flight in the first few seconds and the flying officer was inquisitive  enough and wanted to find the loop holes in his flight instructor’s credibility to get some bonus in the first flight itself.

Sir how you come you become a trainer in Ceylon (In heaven they still call it Ceylon coming from Cinnamon Garden).

It is easy any foreign joker or a bird can get a job in Sri-Lanka even in supermarkets without knowing the  food habits of locals. You just put a label for export and that works.

I had a export label tagged from my childhood he said.

Sir who appointed you and turned his head around to the right and the plane  the two seater veered to the left?

Look what you  are doing get the nose straight not your butt.

OK Sir!

It is your Chief Minister who appointed me and it is a long story.

But Sir, I would like to hear more, thinking one day he might become a trainer himself by getting in good books with the Chief Minister and twisting his arms.

But your ex-chief Minister is a tortoise now.

How come Sir, I thought he went to heaven by the celebration we had after his death.

He never got a chance. The way he abused official vehicles and the way he drove with the entourage annoyed the Maha and he decided to pace him down to earth and made him a tortoise.

Sir my goodness will the Maha makes me also a tortoise in my next birth Sir!

In the first place you have to die!
Are you ready for that.

Yes Sir!

This answer pleased the pelican very much since he knew he did not have to train this guy for long.

Where did you meet this Tortoised Chief Minister, SiR?

Near a lake flooded in Batticoloa with a water crab with him.

The water crab was his escort Police Officer. on entourage who could always bend the law of the country for his master’s favour in real life in Sir-Lanka.

But he could not prevent the premature death of the entourage who met with a fatal accident.

SiR why he was made a crab

Two reasons.
It is a delicacy in Sir-Lanka.
This officer could never walk straight with the law he always side stepped and went horizontally instead of straight.

By birth right he had to be a crab in next life.

SiR will I become a crab in next life.
This was too distracting for the pelican that the plane was in full speed now in turbulent weather.

He said autopilot now!

My friend in excitement put the nose down.
He was only educated in Sinhala and could not read the English word autopilot and he pressed the button right under his nose without reading it in the first place.

Pelican was very happy now that his flying lesson would end abruptly.

Pelican opened the cockpit door and before making a nose dive himself said, your first and the last flying lesson are over.

Good bye and slammed the door closed.

To which our yes man said.
Yes Sir!

The rest is history and the blackbox is the only evidence we have now.

Incidentally this plane was taxied from Hambantota and landed nose down in the newly build port at Hambantota.

The blackbox was traced within minutes since the water level of the harbour is deep enough to see even a blackbox from above and our pelican friend hovered around it as if he was looking for a dead body of fish that helped the Navy very much.

Unfortunately the body of the victim was never found and the air force is still looking for the deserted officer in flight training and the flight trainer.

Our flying officer trainer, the pelican disappeared from his post.

I will tell you the rest of the story if you could count correctly the number of times this unfortunately grounded officer said Sirs in his first flight lesson instead of concentrating on flying and why the pelican deserted his post!

Flight P.P.P stands for Paksheta Pashsha Pora and I hear even the Pakshaya is having a nose dive now!

Please note even though these stories are quite akin to Buddhist stories and anthology, they are not designed for Dhamma sermons and any recitals without my implied consent will be strictly prohibited.

P.P.P can  even stands for Paksheta Patata Pakshapatha (Pora)