The guy was caught with his pants down. Literally.
The pilot of a Chatauqua Airlines flight from Asheville, NC, to New York City, decided it was time for a bathroom break mid-flight. That was when the problems began.
The door jammed and he couldn’t get out. There he was in tight quarters, with the plane ready to land. Desperate to get the plane that was in a holding pattern over LaGuardia down on terra firma, he began banging on the door to attract attention.
A sympathetic and well-intentioned passenger sitting in the front row heard the commotion and rushed over to help. The pilot yelled to the man to alert the cockpit crew to his unfortunate situation.
But the crew didn’t believe the passenger who conveyed the message. Because the passenger spoke with an accent. They didn’t react positively to this unexpected visit from a stranger speaking strange English while attempting to breach a secure area of the aircraft.
The Washington post reported that the jittery copilot—wondering why his captain’s bathroom break was taking this long—thought the accent was Middle Eastern.
He radioed air traffic control, his voice quaking. “The captain disappeared in the back, and, uh, I have someone with a thick foreign accent trying to access the cockpit.” Even after being told of his captain’s toilet woes, the co-pilot remained suspicious.
At this the controller, also spooked, advised the pilot to declare an emergency and “just get on the ground.”
Sensing potential danger, fighter planes were alerted, and FBI and Port Authority officers readied for a major terrorist situation.
Thankfully the trapped pilot finally broke out of the bathroom and got the plane on the ground.
Safe passengers. Empty-bladdered pilot. Relieved co-pilot. No terrorists. No rushed landing.
Pilot-less flying is dangerous, documented well throughout the Bible.
The first crash occurred in the Garden of Eden.
When the woman saw that
the tree was good for food,
and that it was a delight to the eyes,
and that the tree was desirable to make one wise,
she took from its fruit and ate;
and she gave also to her husband with her,
and he ate.
The rest, of course, is history.
In those days there was no king in Israel;
everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
The book of Judges depicts the dire consequences of this self-piloted kind of living.
And even later …
The LORD said to Samuel,
“Listen to the voice of the people
in regard to all that they say to you,
for they have not rejected you,
but they have rejected Me
from being king over them.”
1 Samuel 8:7
They locked out God out of the cockpit. And, needless to say, they suffered the consequences in a long line of generally hopeless and incompetent rulers.
I know, O LORD, that
a man's way is not in himself,
Nor is it in a man
who walks to direct his steps.
We are just not able to fly the plane on our own.
“I am the vine, you are the branches;
he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Get your Pilot on board. Let him into the cockpit.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.