BSAA Star Dust, 2 August 1947

Phil Howard

‘STENDEC’ – what could it possibly mean?
A desperate message sent on an Andean
Flight. Perhaps the control tower misunderstood,
Yet the word was confirmed twice in Morse Code,
The last word from an old-time aeroplane
Flown into a South American mountain –
The Jet-Stream may have caused a navigational error,
Then Star Dust flew into dirty weather –
Could it be that the radio operator
Was confused, phased by the unpressurised air?
God alone knows what he meant to say
But STENDEC was Star Dust’s opaque goodbye;
A case where the gap was an ocean-wide
Between sign and that which was signified.

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