God is my Co-Pilot
by Wes Guy
God is my Co-Pilot --- Part 4
In the 49th edition of the Online Magazine we introduced a series by Wes Guy entitled "God is my Co-Pilot". This is Part 4 in the series (here is part 2 and part 3) Some may argue that we should regard God as our Pilot - holding full control over our lives. To remind you of the direction that Wes has taken, his introductory paragraph from the first edition is repeated.
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.
Story 9 Air Ambulance - Mildura
During the period 1970 - 1976 I was the Director of Operations with Executive Airways and Executive Airlines, In this position I was directly responsible for the Air Ambulance Services in Victoria.
One morning about 2 o'clock the phone rang at home. I was told that there was an emergency in Mildura. A six day old baby boy needed to be uplifted and brought down to the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. So I decided to do this flight.
When I arrived at Essendon I found that the aircraft was ready and a nursing sister waiting to accompany me on the flight. The weather forecast was not good. A violent storm covered the whole of Victoria. Before we left I told the sister that we would have a very rough ride but that we would get through to Mildura. This statement proved true.
At Mildura we picked up the little boy, put him in the humidicrib in the aircraft and took off. The weather had not improved and we had a very rough ride. I felt very sorry for the sister who, although sick kept on tending the little infant.
Half-way back to Melbourne I was informed by radio that Tullamarine and Essendon were closed to all operations. Launceston was open but was closing very soon. Adelaide was still open and Sydney was doubtful. "What is your plan?" I was asked. I worked out my fuel and decided I did not have sufficient for the aerodromes which were still open, so I told the controller that I would continue to Mangalor. "What is wrong with you." I was asked. "If Essendon and Tullamarine were closed so too would Mangalore . I said that I would continue to Mangalore. Then I challenged God. I said," If you want this little baby to live then you will make the way clear to Mangalore. So please help me."
The bad weather persisted and I kept getting closer and closer to Mangalore. I was still in cloud at ten miles, then about five miles from the aerodrome the cloud cleared and there in front of me were the lights of the aerodrome. The landing was uneventful, but shortly after the storm came back.
An ambulance was waiting and we took that little one to the Hospital. A week or so after this episode I returned the toddler to Mildura, fit and healthy. Remember Psalm 120:1
Story 10 Bodinumu - PNG
I had one passenger left and he was to be flown to Efogi. Once I had left him in Efogi I would then fly back to Port Moresby having completed my work for that Sunday morning. Today I was flying the Nomad, a twin turbo-propeller engined aircraft. I had taken passengers and vegetables from and to several small airstrips about 50 kms north of Port Moresby. This was my last flight and I was looking forward to getting home and resting.
The weather was deteriorating and the cloud was getting lower and lower. I saw what I thought was the Efogi valley and entered. A few minutes later I realised that I had entered the wrong valley. The valley became narrower and narrower and I realised that I could not turn the aircraft around. I could not climb because the cloud base was too low. It was at this stage that I felt there was only one thing I could do So I asked the Lord to help me. As I turned around one corner of the valley directly in front of me was an airstrip! I immediately lowered my undercarriage, flaps and throttled back, making a short-strip landing. The passenger got out of the aircraft and told me that he was very happy I had landed at this strip because he was much closer to his village than if we had landed at Efogi. Before I could ask him what the name of this strip was he had gone off to his village.
God had heard and answered my prayer once again. Because of the low cloud which now covered the valley, I could not take off until the cloud had lifted.
The next morning I contacted the District Airport Inspector, related my incident, then asked him the name of the airstrip. He told me it was Bodinumu, a new airstrip which had not yet been cleared for aircraft operations. In fact he said that he intended to fly into the airstrip in the next day or so to declare it open to aircraft to land. I suggested that he could open the strip now as I had found it in very good condition He believed me and opened it then and there.
Story 11 Manari
The last Sunday in October, 1977, I flew the twin-engine turbo-propeller aircraft, Nomad, on a passenger/vegetable run to five airstrips at the foot of the Owen Stanley Ranges, about 50 kms north of Port Moresby.I had completed all the flights and had just landed at Naoro to return to Port Moresby. A couple of passengers got out and I was ready to take-off when five young Papuans came up to me, "Taubada (master)we are late for a football match at Manari. It will take us all day to walk there and we know that it will take only a few minutes to fly there in the Nomad. Please, Taubada,take us us to Manari." Incidently, these young fellows knew that I was a Seventh-day Adventist. Even though I was very tired I decided to take them. I told them to sit up the front of the aircraft and to put on their safety belts.The reason for the passengers to sit up front was because of the balance of the centre of gravity. The Nomad aircraft is very sensitive in its fore and aft and the loading had to be made up front first. If the load was aft of the centre of gravity the aircraft would be out of balance and would not fly properly.. In fact, two weeks after this episode the Chief Pilot of Douglas Airways, Brian O'Sullivan, coming in to land at Manari, missed his approach and tried to go round again. Unfortunately, his load shifted towards the rear of the aircraft, and he crashed killing all the passengers including himself.
As I took off from Naoro I felt that the aircraft was not fully balanced but I corrected, and flew on. We circled Manari, to ensure all was clear for the landing, then as I put down the undercarriage I had to trim forward because the nose tended to come up. On base leg I put down a quarter flap. I had to trim nose down quite a lot. On final I put down full flap. Suddenly, the nose of the aircraft came up and it took both hands on the control column to prevent the nose rising further. My main concern was to keep the airspeed at a certain speed otherwise below that speed all control would be lost and the aircraft would crash. All I could think of then was to yell out, "Lord, help me! Lord help me!" Within a few moments the aircraft's nose lowered and I was able to take one hand off the controls, raise the undercarriage and flaps, and returned to Port Moresby where we landed safely.
Before you call I will answer, and while you are still speaking I will hear. Throughout my life the Lord has watched over me and whenever I have experienced difficulties He has heard my cries of distress. Believe me, God always answers our prayers. What a wonderful God we have.
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