High Flight was composed by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., an American serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was born in Shanghai, China in 1922, the son of missionary parents, Reverend and Mrs. John Gillespie Magee; his father was an American and his mother was originally a British citizen. He came to the U.S. in 1939 and earned a scholarship to Yale, but in September 1940 he enlisted in the RCAF and was graduated as a pilot. He was sent to England for combat duty in July 1941. In August or September 1941, Pilot Officer Magee composed High Flight and sent a copy to his parents. Several months later, on December 11, 1941 his Spitfire collided with another plane over England and Magee, only 19 years of age, crashed to his death. His remains are buried in the churchyard cemetery at Scopwick, Lincolnshire. High Flight "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air. Up, up the long delirious, burning blue, I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace Where never lark, or even eagle flew - And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod The high untresspassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand and touched the face of God." Low Flight "Oh, I've slipped the surely bonds of earth And hovered out of ground effect on semi-rigid blades; Earthward I've auto'ed and met the rising brush of Non-paved terrain; And done a thousand things you would never care to Skidded and dropped and flared Low in the heat soaked roar. Confined there, I've chased the earthbound traffic And lost the race to insignificant Headwinds; Forward and up a little in ground effect I've topped the General's hedge with drooping turns Where never Skyhawk or even Phantom flew. Shaking and pulling collective, I've lumbered The low untresspassed halls of victor airways, Put out my hand and touched a tree." High Flight, with FAA Supplement "Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth(1), And danced(2) the skies on laughter silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed(3) and joined the tumbling mirth(4) Of sun-split clouds(5) and done a hundred things(6) You have not dreamed of Wheeled and soared and swung(7) High in the sunlit silence(8). Hov'ring there(9) I've chased the shouting wind(10) along and flung(11) My eager craft through footless halls of air. Up, up the long delirious(12), burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights(13) with easy grace, Where never lark, or even eagle(14) flew; And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space(15), Put out my hand(16), and touched the face of God. NOTE: 1. Pilots must insure that all surly bonds have been slipped entirely before aircraft taxi or flight is attempted. 2. During periods of severe sky dancing, crew and passengers must keep seatbelts fastened. Crew should wear shoulderbelts as provided. 3. Sunward climbs must not exceed the maximum permitted aircraft ceiling. 4. Passenger aircraft are prohibited from joining the tumbling mirth. 5. Pilots flying through sun-split clouds under VFR conditions must comply with all applicable minimum clearances. 6. Do not perform these hundred things in front of Federal Aviation Administration inspectors. 7. Wheeling, soaring, and swinging will not be attempted except in aircraft rated for such activities and within utility class weight limits. 8. Be advised that sunlit silence will occur only when a major engine malfunction has occurred. 9. "Hov'ring there" will constitute a highly reliable signal that a flight emergency is imminent. 10. Forecasts of shouting winds are available from the local FSS. Encounters with unexpected shouting winds should be reported by pilots. 11. Pilots flinging eager craft through footless halls of air are reminded that they alone are responsible for maintaining separation from other eager craft. 12. Should any crewmember or passenger experience delirium while in the burning blue, submit an irregularity report upon flight termination. 13. Windswept heights will be topped by a minimum of 1,000 feet to maintain VFR minimum separations. 14. Aircraft engine ingestion of, or impact with, larks or eagles should be reported to the FAA and the appropriate aircraft maintenance facility. 15. Aircraft operating in the high untresspassed sanctity of space must remain in IFR flight regardless of meteorological conditions and visibility. 16. Pilots and passengers are reminded that opening doors or windows in order to touch the face of God may result in loss of cabin pressure."