Mayday, Mayday! “Bowman Field Airport, please standby for a crash landing! Do you copy?”

1 Jan

My hands and heart froze.

I had no business

flying with so little experience.

I never overcame the fear of flying.


The employees at Bowmen Field Airport

called me white knuckles

because my knuckles were so

white as  I held so tight to the flight controls.


They told me to relax,

that crashing is not a bad way to die.

They continued, it happens quickly–

You die within a short time  if the propeller stops.

Yes, they were joking.


My next time flying

the propeller sputtered, then stopped.

Time stood still.


Verses from a song

I often heard in Sunday School as a child

flooded my mind.

I think I could almost

hear my Sunday School classmates

sing it right there in the plane.

Of course it was only my memory

from years past.


The song goes like this:

“Jesus loves me, this I know

for the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to him belong;

they are weak but he is strong.”


Suddenly I felt a presence within the plane

the presence filled

the co-pilot seat next to me.

I remember saying outloud

“Jesus, is that you,

are you  with me Lord?”


Words I once read

in the Bible flashed across my mind —

“The Lord is my Shepherd

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in

green pastures.”


At that very moment my eyes glanced

downward — I had glided over farmland.

I  remembered during my first lesson

I was told my plane could glide

for several minutes until I located

a safe place to land and to always look

for a patch of farmland.


I was flying a Cessna 152

with a propeller that stopped spinning.

That moment is frozen in my mind.


I slowly and gently glided

onto a clear level area on the farm land.


When I stepped out of the plane

the words from the 23rd Psalm

flowed through my mind again —


“The Lord is my Shepherd

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down

in green pastures.”





3 Responses to “Mayday, Mayday! “Bowman Field Airport, please standby for a crash landing! Do you copy?””

  1. Jim Wortham
    Steven Tevis February 23, 2017 at 2:25 am #

    I remember the first time I “didn’t” sing “Jesus Loves Me”. I was very young and it was my first experience in a church not far from where my Dad lives now. The Sunday school teacher taught a group of us children the song to perform together. When it came time to sing I silently mouthed the words without singing. I was afraid, I don’t know of what.

    • Jim Wortham
      Jim Wortham February 23, 2017 at 4:38 pm #

      Hi Steven! I too was afraid of singing outloud and in church and would just mouth the words. I was shy. In our early years we are scared of many things. Maybe fear of disapproval from others causes such problems.

    • Jim Wortham
      Jim Wortham March 17, 2018 at 8:08 pm #

      Hi Steven, thanks for sharing your memory. I silently mouth songs too because I had people I did not sing well. I no longer try to sing. I love this song and sometimes sing it in my mind, especially when trying to sleep.

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