Who’s Flying the Plane?

    I fly fairly often and I enjoy it. But there have been those moments while sitting in that chair 30,000 feet in the air, streaking across the sky in excess of 500 mph, when I’ve thought to myself, “I hope this guy got As in his aviation classes.”
    We tend to just trust the guy in the pilot seat. And we should. These guys (and gals) have a huge amount of training and have passed multiple exams, as well as hundreds of hours of flight time before they even make it to co-pilot. They are all really good pilots. But still, have you ever wondered if a “C” student slipped through, and he’s the guy flying your plane?
    I couldn’t believe what happened last week. A pilot on board a regional Delta flight en route to LaGuardia Airport in New York City, had to use the rest room shortly before landing. That’s understandable; they do it all the time while in flight.
    He followed protocol and alerted the flight attendant (small regional jets often have only one) to sit in his place in the cockpit while he stepped out (FAA requires two in the cockpit at all times for obvious reasons). The pilot went to the very back of the plane where it’s only bathroom was located. When he finished, he tried to open the door, only to discover the latch had broken and he couldn’t get out. He worked it for several minutes and even tried to put his shoulder against the door, to no avail. He was stuck inside and the plane was already in a holding pattern waiting for him to return to land it. So he started pounding on the door.
    A nearby passenger heard the pounding and came to his aid, calling through the door asking what he could do to help. The pilot instructed the man to alert his co-pilot in the cockpit of his predicament. Well, this helpful passenger happened to be middle eastern with a thick accent. You can imagine what the co-pilot was thinking as a man with a thick middle-eastern accent began pounding on the high security cockpit door, shouting something that was difficult to understand, after the pilot had been gone for an inordinate amount of time for a simple bathroom break.
    The co-pilot radioed the FAA, which in turn ordered the co-pilot to bring the plane in immediately, despite the pilot’s whereabouts being in question. The FAA also alerted the Air Force to begin the procedure for scrambling fighter jets.
    Just then, the pilot heaved himself against the bathroom door with all his might, breaking it open. (Imagine what all this looked like to the passengers!) After explaining the ordeal through the cockpit door to the co-pilot, he opened the door and let him back inside and the pilot climbed back into his chair to land the plane (at an airport that had been cleared due to a perceived security emergency to be brought down by the co-pilot with the help of a scared-to-death flight attendant!
    Close call; but all’s well that ends well.
    My question for you is, who’s flying your plane?
    You see, God never needs to use the rest room. He is more qualified to direct your life than any airline pilot is to fly a jet airliner. But when you try to take over yourself, you are more like the flight attendant sitting in a seat facing dozens of sophisticated instruments and control equipment. It might be exciting, but it isn’t very safe!
    Maybe its time you let Him fly the plane. He’ll not only bring you to a safe landing at the end of life’s journey, He’ll make the whole trip a lot more worthwhile!

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