“We need to land this plane NOW!” shouted my friend and pilot, Danny as he looked frantically out the small Cessna’s rain speckled windshield.
Three of us college kids had boarded the small aircraft just hours before in Southwest Michigan. It had been a cloudless sky with perfect flying conditions as we lifted off and headed South to Chattanooga, Tennessee to attend a workshop. With such great weather, nobody was concerned that our licensed pilot did not have instrument rating.
And then everything changed. Rapidly. In what seemed like seconds, the sky went from blue to gray and not far ahead we saw horrific black clouds and lightning bolts. Our pilot who had been calm and confident became panicked and shocked as rain pelted on the aircraft’s windshield. He knew without instrument training, flying into that kind of weather situation was a disastrous risk.
Danny threw an aerial map at me and shouted, “Find a place to land!” I looked at the map which was nothing like a road map and saw nothing that looked familiar. My stomach went into my throat as I put the map down and looked out the window, eagle-eyed, trying to find something in all the farmland below that might possibly be a small airfield.
Over in the far distance I spotted something yellow which could possibly be a cone shaped flag flying at the end of what appeared to be a short road. Could it be? Was this a little airstrip at the end of a farmer’s field? I shouted to Danny, “I think I see something over here to my right!” Danny looked and said, “No matter what it is, I need to get this plane down now so we’re going for it.”
All three of us prayed and Danny started to rapidly descend toward that little yellow speck and the little road. As we got closer and closer, we saw to our amazement that it was indeed a small runway with just enough length for a small airplane to land safely.
And so we landed. Safely. No one was there to greet us. No other planes were around. There was one hangar and one short runway. That’s it.
All three of us college kids believed and still believe that we had been through an absolute miracle. At the very moment that we needed to land that little plane amidst a developing fierce storm, we found a small little airstrip in the middle of thousands and thousands of acres of farmland.
Call to Remembrance & Action
Not all of us go through scary travel scenarios like this one but I believe that God is always at work in our lives, protecting us; guiding us each and every day as we hustle and bustle via air, car, boat, train, bike, or walking! Let us lift up our voices of thanks for life. For health. For safety! And may we glorify God in all that we do in this new day He has given to us.