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Heart to Heart

    by Pat Chwialkowski

Lessons from a Pilot
Date Posted: August 15, 2012

This past weekend my husband and I went to a wedding expecting not to know anyone─since we barely knew the bride and groom. After finding some seats at an empty table, we were quite pleased when a couple approached and asked if they could join us. We immediately invited them to sit down.

As they were being seated, the guy looked over at Kirk and said, “Hey, I know you”. Since we were both pretty certain we never met the guy before, we just blew his coment off. It was not until we got their names did we realize he was right. Sitting before us was a buddy of my husband's from 50 years ago!

Well, the night took a turn from that point on. Kirk and Dave had to bring each other up-to-date, so you can imagine the stories that began.

We learned that Dave leads a very interesting life as a pilot. He shared with us one particular account that got me thinking. This is his story:

It was on July 16,1999 Dave and a co-pilot were taking a CEO to Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend. That particular night the haze was thick and the visibility poor. As Dave was making his descent, both he and his co-pilot remarked how they felt disoriented for it was hard to discern between the ocean and the sky. He said, “If I did not trust the gauges in front of me indicating that I was okay, I would have sworn that I was flying upside down”. Dave flew the plane safely into the airport, only to find out that someone else was not as fortunate that night.

That someone else was John F. Kennedy Jr.

We all know now how the story ends, but at this wedding I was hearing from an experienced pilot the reasons that Kennedy’s plane went down. Yes, this tragedy could have been avoided if only John would have heeded some warnings.

First, he was told to have another experienced pilot with him in those weather conditions. Plus, it was night and he had very little experience flying over the ocean in the darkness. On top of that, he did not know how to read the instrumentation very well, which made him depend more on his feelings than reality. Dave said, “One thing that a pilot must never ever do is to trust his feelings”.

But in this case Kennedy did exactly that, when he became disoriented and turned his plane right into a nose dive position heading for the Atlantic.

I could not help but think, aren’t we Americans receiving the same warnings? We are told it is good to have accountability, especially as the times grow more perilous. We are told to never trust our feelings that we are living right, but to always use the Word of God as our mandate. And finally, does anyone really have a grasp on the difference between heavenly and earthly things, as we are so busy feeding our flesh and ignoring our souls?

I’m afraid if we do not heed these same warnings we may find ourselves just as John Kennedy Jr. found himself that night…spinning out of control with no chance to recover! Oh God help us before it is too late!!!

"Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish"

Luke 13:5 Spoken by Jesus.

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