Sitting in the back seat of a small Cessna airplane, I knew beyond any doubt that I would soon be meeting the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. As the two men in the front of the airplane yelled and screamed at each other and cursed the situation at hand, all I could do was sit in the back and pray.
We had taken off from Chico, California after the ministry function with the next stop on our tour being Eureka, California. The pilot was skilled and had flown his plane hundreds of times and that was why the Regional leader agreed to save time and fly to the various stops instead of driving.
For much of the year, this trip would have been uneventful and a genuine savings of time. But, since this was the middle of winter, the one situation which could present a problem was never considered. Due to the combination of ocean, mountains, valleys and sea breezes; there are times when the great central valley of California gets covered with a fog so thick it is impossible to see 10 feet in front of you. There are also times when the sea fog moves in and blankets the California coast with fog as thick as a blanket.
There had been talk of fog but when we took off from Chico there was none. This was a good thing for the pilot was only rated VFR meaning he was not able to take off and land using instruments. He could only fly when he could see the landing strip and visually land the plane.
Within a fifteen minutes of taking off the fog suddenly started forming. We quickly climbed above the fog where the night was crystal clear. The pilot was assured via radio that the fog was clear as he flew north and that Eureka was reporting clear conditions. We marveled at the sight of the fog below us and thanked God for keeping us safe far above the danger below us.
An hour into the flight the radio came to life informing the pilot that the fog had suddenly developed all the way to and including Eureka. The pilot freaked out as he told the tower he was only VFR rated and there was not enough fuel to fly somewhere where the fog was light enough to land in.
After much discussion, the pilot was instructed to make a dash for Eureka since their fog might dissipate whereas the valley fog was going to be there for days. With only enough fuel to make it to Eureka and no further, this was a calculated risk but the best risk nevertheless.
We made it over the Coastal Mountains fully expecting to see the lights of Eureka. What we saw instead caused our blood to freeze and our hearts to stop. What we saw was NOTHING. Not only had the fog not dissipated but it had gotten so thick it was literally impossible to land a plane not equipped with the instruments and trained pilot needed to land in zero visibility conditions.
Unfortunately I have run out of time and words for this blog and will continue it tomorrow. Until then, God Bless you and Blessings 2 You.
Now B2Y, I KNOW that blog has not exceeded the maximum number of words you are allowed. You just want to leave us all hanging on the edge of our seats.
I'm thinking of those times when I feel like I am flying through the fog unable to see the landing strip and indeed, wondering if I will crash into a mountain or run out of fuel. It is during those moments when I must remember... I am not the pilot but I am flying with the ultimate pilot who always knows exactly what to do, never makes a wrong move and indeed is in complete control of everything at all times.
Today, I need to remember that. Thank you.
You can't be serious!!! Tomorrow!! I know you were smiling when you left us hangin'!!!
Kbird starts singing..."Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll wait till tomorrow, it's only a day away" [With apologies to 'Annie']. Now, as near as I can figure it, seeing as how you are writing this blog, you must have survived. I just have to wait now, and then I can find out how!! :wink: