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.
You are my trainer?
Yes is there any problem?
No Sir have I got to Sir you.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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)