Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Aftermath of Pilot pause for prayer

‘ So heavenly minded as to be of no earthly use’ is an indictment often directed at Christians who seem more caught up with the ‘pieties’ of their Faith rather than the practical outworking of it. This phrase popped into my head as I read of the court hearing in Italy under this dramatic headline-PILOT WHO PAUSED TO PRAY…GETS 10 YEARS. According to this report a Tunisian pilot , back in 2005 paused to pray instead of implementing the emergency procedures before crash-landing his plane, killing 16 people. Investigators identified a malfunctioning fuel-gauge as the primary cause of the crash but also found that the pilot panicked and prayed aloud instead of operating emergency measures which could have landed the aircraft at a nearby airport.
Spurgeon the eminent 19 th. Century preacher once said…
“ Far be it from me ever to say a word in disparagement of the holy, happy, heavenly exercise of prayer. But, beloved, there are times when prayer is not enough-when prayer itself is out of season.”
I think Chesley Sullenberger the pilot who incredibly landed his stricken plane in the Hudson river without loss of life had the right perspective. When asked by a reporter had he at any point prayed, he replied, “ I would imagine somebody in the back was taking care of that for me while I was flying the plane.”
Gerard O'Shea


Elf Girl said...

If it wasn't so serious, I'd want to laugh at that last quote. It's so true. "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...""

Tony said...

Well I know the pilot I would prefer to fly with, but it holds a lesson for us all.

Kevin said...

I think Ryanair landings have done more to encourage prayer than many a church or chapel !