The following poem was written by Ben R Whicker while deadheading on the DC-6 sometime between June 1966 and early 1970.

Come here, my dear fellow, and lend me your ear.

This ode is in memory of the Flight Engineer;

He is an unknown in this great new jet age,

But was found during the ole recip stage.


He was a character, a “jack of all trades” of sorts.

In the beginning, for these huge transports;

A combination of mechanic, pilot and wizard,

Oft times oily and slimy as a lizard.


Sometimes a leader, refueler or stew,

He kept the beasts flying with wire and glue

While forty below, with pilots asleep and snug,

The old Engineer was out changing a jug.

If not for this smoothy, a diplomat first class,

Many a Captain would have busted his rear end!

The Engineer’s smooth tongue and prophetic insight

Helped the Captain make most decisions about right.


The Engineer was a stubborn, independent cuss, they say,

As the cowboy, the product of a by-gone day.

So when you see those proud transports so high,

Remember the old Engineer, He was quite a guy!


The jet, though pretty, was really a spoiler…

There exists no longer a profession called “Oiler”!