Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 49 - October/November 2012 > God is my Co-Pilot (by Wes Guy)

God is my Co-Pilot

by Wes Guy

God is my Co-Pilot ---  God's care in various situations

People have asked me to explain why I say Co-pilot. In aircraft which have two or more engines there is always a second pilot, or co-pilot. His job is to do what the pilot or Captain tells him to do. But, if  an emergency, such as the captain being injured or incapacitated in some way, the second pilot, or co-pilot has to take over including being able to land the aircraft. Hence god is my co-pilot when things have gone wrong in my life and he has taken over.

The following stories show what God has done for me during my life.

The following two texts and quotation show why I feel I should tell my stories.

"But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life.  Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west;"  Isaiah 43:1,2,4,5

"Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you."  Mark 5:19

"That which will be most effective  is the testimony of our own experience"  quoted from the book Desire of Ages by E G White page 347

Story One -  Williamtown

We had just finished our pilot training course graduating as Sergeants. We received our posting to the Dive Bombing  Operational Training Unit at Williamtown, New South Wales. Arriving at the O.T.U. we were told to relax for the week -end, because the course did not start until the Monday. So my friend and I decided to go to Sydney for some sight-seeing.

By the time we had seen as much as we wanted it was time to catch the train to Williamtown. We arrived at the railway station to find that we had missed the last train to Williamtown. So we had to wait until the next morning.

On arrival we were told that the Chief Flying Instructor wanted to see us in his office. The C.F.I. tore strips off us then said that because I was the senior, by one month ,  that I would be transferred to the next course starting in one month's time. Can you imagine how I felt!

About a week later my friend was detailed to do some shadow shooting over the ocean. This detail was such that the pilot would fly low over the water while his air gunner, sitting in the rear cockpit would shoot at the shadow of the plane on the water. The pilot decided to make it more difficult for the gunner by flying lower over the water and doing some steep turns. Unfortunately, he misjudged the distance and the aircraft crashed. Both pilot and gunner were killed instantly.

If I had been on that course I could have been that pilot.

Several days later I received a posting to Camden, New South Wales, to do a Flying Instructor Course.

Story Two - Benalla

It was 1943 and I had been posted  as a RAAF Flying Instructor to No. 11 Elementary Flying School at Benalla, Victoria.

On this particular day I was teaching a student how to do Take-offs and Landings. Our aircraft was the Tiger Moth, a single engine biplane. The instructor sat in the front cockpit and the student in the rear cockpit. For communication we had what was known as the Gosport System, consisting of a pipe running along the side of the inside from front to back. Into this pipe both pilots would insert their ear- pieces. To talk to one another there was the Gosport tube, a rubber mouthpiece attached to the front of both cockpits. Each pilot would lean forward, place his mouth over the mouth-piece and speak. There was no problem in hearing as the ear-pieces were connected to the pilot's helmet.

"Now," I said to my student, "we will look out on both sides and in front to make sure there are no aircraft in our landing path." When this was done I told the student to turn and line up on our take-off path. We had seen an aircraft landing on  our left hand side and presumed he would turn left and taxi back to the tarmac, without interfering with our take-off path.

"Now ,I said, "Holding the control column slightly back, we open the throttle smoothly and fully. As we gather speed we ease the control column forward to bring the tail up into the flying position." As I said this I saw a flash of yellow. I pulled back hard on the control column. Our undercarriage struck the top mainplane of the other aircraft. Our aircraft turned upside down and we slid for quite a distance.

Before proceeding with the story I usually, when relating this experience, ask a member of the congregation who is 6 feet tall or more to stand alongside me. I am 5 feet 8 inches tall. I ask the congregation to note the difference in height - at least 4 inches, or 10 centimetres. Then I continue my story.

I was knocked unconscious and when I came to my senses I found myself hanging in my shoulder straps. I turned to see if my student was all right but found that he had gone. I heard some dripping sounds and realised that petrol was leaking. As I released my harness I was careful to put my hands down to feel the ground. I had heard that some pilots caught in a similar position had broken their necks by not taking the precaution of assessing where the ground was.  I left the aircraft and crawled away to a safe distance. There the ambulance picked me up and took me to hospital. I had suffered a broken cheek-bone, whiplash to my neck, and a very sore back, later developing into spondylitis.

I found out later that the student pilot in the other aircraft had turned the wrong way and had come down our take-off path.

Why did I ask that gentleman to stand alongside me to see the difference in height? The answer - as we slid on our back the top mainplane came right over my head but missed by a couple of inches. I had always wanted to be six feet tall but God knew best. If I had been six feet my head would have been sliced off. God knew best when He made  me only 5 feet 8 inches tall!!  What a wonderful God we have!

The other stories will be in future issues

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 49 - October/November 2012 > God is my Co-Pilot (by Wes Guy)