The Gremlins of Gibson Field


For centuries we have marveled

At the ingenuity of man

And somehow reluctantly accept

Not all things go to plan.

So when there seemed no answer

To the inexplicable mishaps

All tried to foist the blame upon

Some devilish little chaps.


Such devious hob goblins

Are known around this earth

In Ireland they’re called Leprechauns,

More trouble than their worth

When across in good old ‘Blighty’

Evolved another little 'Pimp'

For everybody’s heard of

Their infamous Lincoln Imp.


It’s not that this phenomenon

Is the preserve of modern man

Such ‘Spirits’ keep appearing

Through every primitive clan

Back in the wilds of PNG

No village dare deny

That everywhere are lurking

Those dreaded ‘Masalai’.

When you stop to think of it

These days, or so it seems

We usually associate

Such things with our machines

For many times we’ve come across

Some unexpected ‘hitch’

And found no ready culprit

For each unwelcome ‘glitch’


And so to such dilemmas

We applied no logic thought

And those early years of flying

Were particularly fraught

Among the early airmen

When no one was ever sure

They blamed it on the ‘Gremlin’

The mysterious saboteur.


By now, you’re surely wondering

‘What relevance to our sport?’

Well perhaps the circumstances

Are something of that sort

For one cannot help but notice

That our attrition rate is high

And have you ever spared a thought

To pause and wonder, Why?.

One minute our little aircraft

Might be soaring safe and sound

When in an instant its converted to

A wreck back on the ground.

While the devastated pilot

Trudges down the lonely pitch

To recover little pieces

From some tree, or pond or ditch.


Just recently, I bore witness

And no matter how I'd try

There seemed no explanation

As they pondered how or why?

Two well known local pilot ‘Guns’

While flying ‘Aces’ high

Without apparent reason

One dived headfirst from the sky.


As always, all those present

Declared, ‘Oh! what a shame’

While smugly noting to themselves

No one, -  Well seldom, took the blame

Now those who for the moment

Still hum their carefree tune

Should carefully reconsider

Cause’ they certainly not immune.

We’ve heard so many theories

As to what causes such bad luck

Used all manner of excuses

And some, just frankly, ’Suck’

But It seems there’s no protection

And ‘Lord’ help you, if you’re shy

As at some time we’ve all been served

Our share of ‘humble pie’.


So for me, it’s the Gremlins

That I’ve finally chosen to embrace

And decided they’re my only chance

Of ever saving face.

So too preserve the reputation

Of the ‘Acme’ aircraft brand

And divert some of the attention

From the thumb on my right hand.


Rodd Sherwin


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The Chronicles of SAAMBR