by Wes Guy
Portland --- God Answers Prayer
And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. 1 John 5:14-15 (NRSV)
It was just after midnight when the phone rang. There had been a very bad accident at the Portland airstrip. I found out later the cause of the accident. Around the airstrip was a narrow road and as I was told it was used by young teenagers for races, in which each car challenged the other car going round the bends. On this night two cars had been playing "chicken" as it was called. That is one car racing up to another trying to pass.
Unknown to these pranksters, another car was coming around the other way. As a result the three cars met head on. Several were killed instantly but others had received severe injuries. Two aircraft were required to transfer the seriously injured to Melbourne hospitals. I decided to fly one of the aircraft.
The first aircraft had no difficulty in landing at Portland, before the weather conditions deteriorated. Strange how many times at night weather played a prominent part in these Ambulance flights! I was able to get to Portland without too many problems, and the other aircraft flew back to Essendon through the growing storm successfully. I uplifted a sixteen year old girl with very serious injuries. The mother of this girl came with us. After take-off I was advised by the controller that Melbourne airports were closed to all operations. Before I could advise my intentions, the Chief Flying Instructor at Ballarat airstrip, who had been listening to my conversation with the Melbourne control, told me that Ballarat was not too bad and he thought I could land there.
I told control what I intended to do and proceeded towards Ballarat. Weather conditions deteriorated badly. The CFI at Ballarat suggested I fly over the airstrip and he would tell me when I was overhead. I was in cloud at this time but homed in on the Ballarat radio aid. I descended to a minimum height and soon heard the CFI calling out that he heard my engines over-head. Then he suggested I turn onto a certain heading which would take me onto my downwind leg. Another heading was suggested and I realised this would be on the base leg of my approach. I completed all my drills, lowering partial flap and the undercarriage, then the final heading was given.
In the meantime I had offered up a prayer to the Lord. I said, "Lord, if you want to save this young girl, also the mother and the nursing sister you will help me." I approached down to about two hundred feet before I saw the flare path. The nurse came up to me after landing to tell me that the girl had died just as we crossed the boundary fence. It was a sad period but God had saved not only myself but the mother and the nursing sister.
What a wonderful God we have who always answers our cries for help.
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