The air traffic controller radioed back, "Keep calm, Captain. Just repeat after me: Wings flap... check. Velocity... check. Altitude… check." The pilot made the appropriate adjustments and the aircraft continued on course.
Not five minutes later, however, the STARBOARD ENGINE stalled. The pilot radioed the control tower and shouted, "The STARBOARD ENGINE has stalled! What should I DO?"
The air traffic controller radioed back, "Keep calm, Captain. Just repeat after me: Wings flap... check. Velocity... check. Altitude… check." The pilot made the appropriate adjustments and again the airplane continued on course.
However, not five more minutes passed when the pilot radioed the control tower a THIRD time. This time he shouted, "MAYDAY! MAYDAY! BOTH the engines have gone! What should I DO?"
The air traffic controller radioed back, "Keep calm, Captain. Just repeat after me: 'Our Father... Which art in heaven... Hallowed be Thy name...'"
I hope I never find myself in such a situation! For that matter, I hope no one ever does! But I can imagine that an air traffic controller is indeed a blessing to any pilot who finds him/herself in distress.
Years ago, back in 1988, when preaching a crusade in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Billy Graham shared a real life illustration relating to the importance of an air traffic controller in a message titled “Visibility Zero”. Dr. Graham shared:
“Last December, an 18 year student pilot named Kim was making a solo flight across country when she became lost in a storm. She couldn’t see anything out the windshield of her small plane. She didn’t know where she was or how to get out of the storm and back to safety. Something had gone wrong with one of her instruments.
So she reached for her radio and made contact with the local air traffic controller. She said, “I don’t know where I am. I need some help. Please, please, help me!” The controller located her on his radar screen and began talking her down toward a nearby airport where the weather was good. She couldn’t see a thing; but he could see her on the radar. He knew where she was, which direction she was headed, where she needed to go, and the best way to get there.
She trusted her life to man she had never seen and whose name she did not know; and he got her out of the storm and safely to ground!”
Dr. Graham concluded his message with this pointed challenge:
“Tonight, you can trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. You’ve never seen Him with your naked eye. You may not know Him. But He’s there waiting for you with open arms to help you! So, I’m asking you tonight to quit flying blind! Trust yourself to Jesus Christ!”
What a powerful illustration of Who Jesus is and what He can do for us! He is truly our “Eye in the Sky”! And because of Him, even though we have lost our way, we can find the way safely home! For His Word is true and His Way is The Way!
Available widely on the internet in various versions. See, for instance: http://www.fayettevillebaptist.org/sermons/02-0203pm.htm.
BILLY GRAHAM AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER ILLUSTRATION SOURCE: